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-   -   What is the right thing to do? (https://www.huntingnet.com/forum/whitetail-deer-hunting/372667-what-right-thing-do.html)

AquamanPSD 09-18-2012 08:15 AM

What is the right thing to do?
 
I was sitting this past sunday on a farm that I leased strickly for hunting. I was by myself hunting and it is roughly 1 and a half hours away from my house or any one that would come help me get a deer out. The farm is in the eastern part of KY where it is extremely rough terrain to deer hunt and impossible to get around without a 4 wheeler. I had arrangments that if I killed a buck I had two guys that were going to come help me get it out. I was only hunting for a buck this time.

Anyway, around dark I had a doe come in that was ROUGH. she was completely gray with bald patches on her back. by far the biggest and oldest doe I have ever seen in my life. He front right leg was gimpy and she had no use what so ever in that leg. No visible injury. She had two yearlings with her which surprised me. Its obvious to me that she will not make it through the winter. She fell on her face twice while infront of me. I was met with a moral dilemma. Do I shoot her as a mercy killing knowing that she won't make it through the winter even though I will almost certainly not be able to retrive her by myself, or do I let her go knowing she will starve or freeze to death in a couple months? I ended up not shooting her and letting her walk but the scenario has been bothering me ever since. What would you guys do? Did i do the right thing? I absolutly HATE watching injured animals so that is why it bothers me so much.

furgitter 09-18-2012 08:30 AM

Animals get sick, hit by cars, beat up by other animals every day, all over the world. Not all injuries are imediately fatal. These are facts you know are true. Deep down inside, you know you did the right thing by not shooting her. In the days she has left she can teach her fawns allot of lessons in survival. Who knows? she may even survive the winter. I have seen many 3 legged deer make it more than a year after the injury.

vapahunter 09-18-2012 08:31 AM

Only you can answer that question for your own situation. Did the fawns look like they were old/large enough to survive on their own? I think I would have went ahead and shot her if it looked like the fawns could have survived. If not then I would have done what you did and at least give the fawns a chance. By it being on your mind I can see you still have a concern for the doe and her condition. That is a good thing.

Schobs 09-18-2012 08:34 AM

Putting myself in your shoes, not be able to get the deer out and use the meat, I would've done exactly what you did, not shoot. I personally feel like I would feel worse for killing an animal and not being able to get it out of the woods or use the meat than I would for letting nature take its course. If there was no visible sign of injury, it could be an old one that she's been dealing with for a while, and if she had yearlings (fawns, or last year's offspring) with her, she might very well be coping with it just fine.

I think you did the right thing, and I would've done the same.

AquamanPSD 09-18-2012 08:51 AM

The fawns were out of spots and eating on their own. I couldn't see anything that lead me to believe she was still or even could nurse. They were even starting to wonder off and they would get a couple hundred yards away and then start bawling and come running back. I'm pretty sure they could have survived but that was definitely ran through my head at the time.

HatchieLuvr 09-18-2012 09:26 AM


Originally Posted by furgitter (Post 3979193)
Animals get sick, hit by cars, beat up by other animals every day, all over the world. Not all injuries are imediately fatal. These are facts you know are true. Deep down inside, you know you did the right thing by not shooting her. In the days she has left she can teach her fawns allot of lessons in survival. Who knows? she may even survive the winter. I have seen many 3 legged deer make it more than a year after the injury.

x2! Deer (and really most wild critters for that matter) are really ALOT tougher and more adaptable than we "caring humans" realize. Mother Nature can be a cruel beyotch and the fact that the ol nag was still gettin around and motherin twins speaks for her toughness. I bet you'll see her around again. Deer are mighty mighty tough, the will to live is just far more than most of us can comprehend. I wouldn't let it bother you one more second.

Mojotex 09-18-2012 02:55 PM

I'd feel for her, but in your case I'd pass. It is impossible in my book to know if a critter such as this one is OK, just weak, or sick and will get over it ... she just might make it. And if not it's nature's way and her meat will feed woods critters. By now her yearlings should be OK to make it on their own.

Now if it was legal to take the doe and I was going to use the meat, she's groceries.

furgitter 09-18-2012 05:52 PM


Originally Posted by Mojotex (Post 3979382)
I'd feel for her, but in your case I'd pass. It is impossible in my book to know if a critter such as this one is OK, just weak, or sick and will get over it ... she just might make it. And if not it's nature's way and her meat will feed woods critters. By now her yearlings should be OK to make it on their own.

Now if it was legal to take the doe and I was going to use the meat, she's groceries.

My take on it too! I like the taste of some early season Veni! We get alot of tags here for does sometimes for herd control, and I try to fill all I can buy.

nodog 09-18-2012 09:26 PM

I'd let it walk.

The Outdoorsman 09-19-2012 09:12 AM

Like its been already said, let nature take its course. I'd feel worse for shooting a deer or any animal knowing I wouldnt be able to recover it such as in your case. Healthy and unhealthy deer/animals are taken by predators every day so its gonna happen eventually. If this is bothering you, I think putting her down and not even trying to recover her due to the terrain and such would bother you far more cause you "just left a kill" in the woods. You did the right thing by letting her walk.


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