I actually stumbled on this question on social media the other day. At first, I laughed and I thought how stupid is that. Of course not, right? Well, then I had to dig in. Here's what I found about keeping a deer as a pet in Minnesota.

There are certain people who are allowed to "own" deer. But it's not as cute as you would think it would be. The most common situation people would want to have a deer as a pet is if they find an abandoned fawn and they want to raise it.

Abandoned Fawns Aren't Really Abandoned In Most Cases


First, you should know that if you come across a fawn and you don't see its mother, that doesn't mean it's been abandoned. Leave the fawn alone and walk away. The mother is likely close by and she may be hiding. You may think you're being a hero and saving the fawn, but in reality, you are taking it away from its mother most of the time.

Some types of deer can be owned in Minnesota with strict regulations.

Deer can be owned in Minnesota if the person is registered with the Minnesota Board Of Animal Health. "Cervidae" means animals that are members of the family Cervidae and include red deer, elk, moose, caribou, reindeer, and muntjac. They are deemed "livestock." A law was recently passed that doesn't allow for new registrations with the board. Anyone with a registration can transfer it to a family member for a fee. This does not include white-tailed deer.

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What the Minnesota law says about wild animals.

Minnesota Statute 97A.501 states that a person may not take, buy, sell, transport, or possess a protected wild animal unless allowed by the game and fish laws.

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Deer are considered protected in the state, so no matter how much you want to keep the deer as a pet, it's illegal.

Keeping a deer as a pet is illegal and dangerous.

They are wild animals, and when they grow up they are strong. Bucks can get very territorial and have attacked people in the past.

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Gallery Credit: Sabienna Bowman