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Tracking Wounded Deer at Dark

Old 08-27-2003, 02:19 PM
  #1  
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Location: Kitchener, Ontario CANADA
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Default Tracking Wounded Deer at Dark

In Ontario, you must encase and unload your gun, bow, etc after 1/2 hr after sunset. I don' t know what the regulations are in the States, but I' ve seen on the shows where the guys are walking around with rifles on their shoulders at dark.

Suppose you shoot a deer at last light. You hear it crashing around and finally stop say 80 - 100 yards away. You give it the proper amount of time to expire then begin to track it. Now, what if you came across the animal mortally wounded and unable to move, but alive. What do you do to ethically and humanely end the suffering?

What if you looked over a field and saw your deer moving but obviously hit hard?

Something I' ve been thinking about.......
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Old 08-27-2003, 02:37 PM
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Default RE: Tracking Wounded Deer at Dark

If I find the deer after dark with a flashlight and it is in need of another shot I would give it one, take my knife and cut the throat or leave the deer for next morning. Don' t shine a light around a field or you may get a ticket for spotlighting.
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Old 08-27-2003, 08:27 PM
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Default RE: Tracking Wounded Deer at Dark

I once dispatched a deer at midnight with my bow. It was my first bow kill, I had made a bad shot, and also made a bad decision in following too soon resulting in pushing a wounded deer. The shot would have been fatal, but when I finally caught up with it it was nearly paralyzed and stiff with the poisons in its system from the gut shot I delivered. when my buddy and i came upon it and realized it wasn' t going any further, we decided I would go back to camp and get my bow to deliver the coup de grace. I would do it again...the coup de grace that is......the following up so soon and continuing after I heard it ahead of me.....I' ll never do that again.
BTW, I was entirely ILLEGAL by the letter of the law. But in retrospect I did the right thing to deliver the final shot. It was the impetuos tracking that was the mistake.
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Old 08-27-2003, 09:19 PM
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Default RE: Tracking Wounded Deer at Dark

I think you back off if the animal is still moving. Shooting a rifle at night is not only illegal in most states, but very unsafe. One of the first rules of firearm safety is " To know your target and what is beyond" .

The ethical and humane thing to do is spend more time on the range practicing so this never happens to you.

As a Hunters Safety instructor I hope I can convince you to leave the gun in the truck at night.
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Old 08-27-2003, 11:40 PM
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Default RE: Tracking Wounded Deer at Dark

If you approch this subject with a politically correct view you can not fire a shot after the last legal minute of hunting light. You must stand back and watch the animal die a slow painfull death.

If you look at it from an ethical view you shoot the deer again and put it down for good even if it is five minutes past legal shooting time.

Any person with a heart does not like to watch a deer suffer.
I personally would shoot the deer again no matter what time of day or night it was.
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Old 08-28-2003, 04:40 AM
  #6  
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Default RE: Tracking Wounded Deer at Dark

Taxman, there are as many different laws in this regard as there are state agencies to make those laws. Every Game Warden that I know would encourage you to do the " Right Thing" for the animal, within reason. I know that leaves a lot of wiggle room but that is the way it is.
I have personally tracked wounded game several times in the dark, while armed. You can safely fire a rifle at night if you know where the bullet is going. I' m not talking about firing at a moving animal with an unknown bactstop but rather a final shot into an animal which is down and dying to put it out of pain and suffering.
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Old 08-28-2003, 05:42 AM
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Default RE: Tracking Wounded Deer at Dark

Taxman the games regs in Va. spell out the legal " hunting" hours, but I find nothing in regards to finishing off a wounded/dying animal after those hours and thank the good Lord I have never been in the situation, but I can honestly say I would finish the animal off no matter what the law says.
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Old 08-28-2003, 06:34 AM
  #8  
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Default RE: Tracking Wounded Deer at Dark

Ditto what Taz said. I wouldn' t hesitate to finish the job, legal or not.
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Old 08-28-2003, 01:25 PM
  #9  
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Default RE: Tracking Wounded Deer at Dark

My nephew got a $120 ticket for finishing off a deer after dark with a gun. The ticket was for shooting after dark not killing a deer after dark. Someone called the game warden and reported it and the game warden was waiting at my nephews truck when he got there with the deer. He was going to get more tickets but the deer did have two bullet holes and only one shot was heard after dark.
My nephew made a bad first shot and then went after the deer before he should have and that resulted in pushing the deer. Twice he tried to get close enough to cut it' s throat but both times the deer bolted. Finally, he shot the deer from about 20 yards to finish it.
The boy learned his lesson. In his defense, the buck was his first really nice buck and it was in an area heavy with coyotes and wild dogs and he didn' t want to lose it or have it eaten by the night critters. He said next time he makes a bad shot at dark that he would wait till the next morning to find it, regardless. I told him alot more practice would have eliminated the whole problem
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Old 08-30-2003, 11:27 AM
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Default RE: Tracking Wounded Deer at Dark

Of the many deer I' ve been allowed to take two died of a fatal knife wound. One was trailed and dispatched after legal light. (A poor hit on a 7-pointer) The other was a safe but long shot at a grown doe with my black powder rifle.

Enough time was allowed, the animals weren' t pushed, I was responsible to make a quick end to eliminate as much suffering as possible.
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