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Old 12-03-2004, 05:22 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 20
Default The Ethics of Shooting a Running Deer

Ok folks,

Here is a scenerio that just happened earlier today involving my dad and my brother. They went out to hunt this afternoon, I already got my deer so I stayed at home. Before they went into the woods where we have our blind, they figured they'd flush the deer out of an adjacent woods that we also have permission to hunt in. The plan was to push these deer into the woods where the blind is located, then they would sneak into the blind and wait for them to approach. It was getting a little late in the afternoon, so they were in a hurry. They had to walk along the edge of a field where they didn't have permission to hunt in order to get to the woods they planned to drive. They were not prepared, they didn't have a plan, their guns weren't at the ready, and most importantly, they were not prepared mentally. My brother was in the lead with my dad following him as they approached the woods. All of the sudden, a doe leaps out of the woods heading in the opposite direction they wanted the deer to run. My brother fumbled madly with the safety. Then a good sized 6 pt buck leapt out after the doe. Without thinking, my brother raised his shotgun and fired, pumped, and fired again. He saw no reaction from the buck, so he thinks he missed.

Here's the deal. My brother is a really a safety-oriented, level-headed, ethical hunter, but there for a brief moment, he lost his cool in the rush of buck fever. And he feels really really depressed about the whole thing...he's beating himself up over it pretty bad. Because, (1) the buck was in the field he didn't have permission to hunt in, (2) he didn't stop and think about what was beyond his target (roads, houses, other hunters, etc.), and (3) the buck was running...he broke his self-imposed restriction of not shooting at a running deer.

On the first two counts, he was wrong, but as far as shooting at a running that wrong? The reasoning behind his philosophy, a philosophy I find myself agreeing with, is the fact that when shooting at a running deer, the risk of a non-lethal shot is greatly increased. We believe in the "one shot, one kill" idea, so the thought of maiming a deer doesn't agree with us. Secondly, he believes that when shooting at a running deer, the shooter has a tendency to not think about what is beyond his target...there is not enough time to analyze the risk.

I was just wondering what all of you more experienced hunters think about shooting a running deer. Would you condemn it or condone it?

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