What do you do?

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by hogheaven81, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. hogheaven81

    hogheaven81 Well-Known Member

    I just had a group of 3 young doe come walking through. One of them couldn't use its front left leg. It looked like it was broken previously and grew back incorrectly. I had no intentions of harvesting a doe this morning but do have available tags. She was probably 15 yards from me for a brief amount of time and I know I could have dropped here easily with my .270. As I debated whether or not it was an ethical responsibility to harvest her she started walking off with the other two. If I would have had my bow, I know I would have tried to get a shot, but chose not to with the gun. I am interested in hearing what others think about harvesting injured deer. What do you think the ethical decision is?

    Side note: I do believe it is the responsible decision to harvest a deer that has serious injuries. That's not the debate. I am talking about minor injuries that although are not life threatening, are life altering for the animal.
  2. buck n duck

    buck n duck Super Member<br>2012 Turkey Hunting Contest Winner

    If I had a tag available I probably would of shot her.

  3. bmccullough1

    bmccullough1 Well-Known Member

    Harvesting that doe would have been ethical. I also believe letting it walk is ok too. They adapt to their handicaps very well. As long it was ok, not bleeding or infected, it will probably be just fine or a predator would consume it. Nature has it's ways about things.
  4. Mr. Chitlin

    Mr. Chitlin Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    NE Ark
    I feel the same way. If she wasn't bleeding or in bad health she has probably healed and adapted pretty well.

    It would then be your choice as to whether you wanted to fill a doe tag or not.
  5. agreed
  6. Buckrub

    Buckrub Well-Known Member

    Me personally, I've been looking for a doe to shoot since 10/16 and have seen ONE, running at 275 yards!!! I'd have yelled "WOOO HOOO" and shot her.

    You? I'd let her walk. She can eat and live fine. Don't shoot one like this just to be 'humane'. It usually will work out.
  7. John Stiles

    John Stiles Ultimate Member 2007 Team Turkey Contest Winner

    If she was on obamacare....she'd almost certainly gave up her life for her country! :fit::fit::fit: Besides...does make better jerky than bux:biggrin:
  8. thomasw_lrd

    thomasw_lrd Well-Known Member

    I would have shot her, but I haven't harvested a deer yet this year. Its perfectly ethical to let her walk. Coyotes got to eat too. You made the decision that was right for you at the time. Nothing wrong with that.
  9. tyhunter23

    tyhunter23 Well-Known Member

    I have not been in that situation before but I would prolly take one out if I had the tags to do so.
  10. hogheaven81

    hogheaven81 Well-Known Member

    I am ok with my decision to let her walk, although I do believe that of the 3, she should be the one that a hunter should choose to harvest if placed in the same situation. She walked in and out with the other two and wasn't struggling to keep up. She also didn't look malnourished. The injury was either old and had healed up or it could have possibly been a strain with swelling. That being said, if she comes back by, under different circumstances or appears to be worse off, the hunt is on!

    It turns out it was a good thing I didn't shoot because less than 10-15 minutes after she walked off, I got a phone call that I had to get out of the stand and hightail it out of the woods for! If I had just shot her, I would have had to let her lie for a while, and then the coyotes would have really got a chance to eat!
  11. Buckrub

    Buckrub Well-Known Member

    No, coyotes do NOT 'need' to eat anything. Ever.
  12. hogheaven81

    hogheaven81 Well-Known Member

    AGREED! They especially don't need to eat anything that I have already killed!
  13. Tony Harris

    Tony Harris Super Moderator<br>2012-13 Deer Hunting Contest Wi Staff Member

    I have seen three legged deer on several occassions, deer with legs that would not bend and had huge knots where they had been broken before. I have also killed deer that had a leg dangling or a stumbling limp from a fresh wound. Dad shot a forkhorn back years ago that had a huge open wound across its brisket. Said the deer acted sick and when he saw the gaping wound he shot. I agree with the others. Open and fresh major wounds, they die. A healed injury they get a pass.
  14. BowHunter21

    BowHunter21 Select Member<br>2015-16 Deer Hunting Contest Winn

    had the same situation last weekend and let 'er walk... she was limpin, but not bad enough that I thought she was sufferin too terribly (them jokers are tough!!)... if it woulda been bad nuff that it "hurt me" to watch her walk, I'd shot her no doubt!
  15. Thenarwhal

    Thenarwhal Well-Known Member

    I've gone both ways on this. I used to shoot any injured deer I saw if I had a tag. But over the years I've moved the other direction. I've seen some animals with serious injuries recover. If the deer is getting along and is not severly wounded, I let them go, unless it's a deer I was planning to shoot anyway. Deer are incredibly tough. I have a friend who was a deer farmer for years. I saw deer in his pens with broken legs, gouges, severe cuts, and generally they recovered and adapted. I saw an antelope in Wyoming once that had its lower jaw blown off and flapping against its neck. I would have killed him if I could have gotten a shot. I use that type of injury as a guideline, if it is a major wound that the animal obviously will not recover from, I kill it. Otherwise the injury does not generally weigh much on my decision to pull the trigger.
  16. Zach Jaynes

    Zach Jaynes Active Member

    I see no problem with going either way. I had a doe come in about a month ago and every time she took a step her left front leg basically appeared to "buckle" at the knee. My uncle saw her yesterday near the stand I will be taking my son to hunt this weekend. If she comes back out I'm going to let him take her this weekend. That would be number two for him this season and he's only 5!
  17. newt

    newt Well-Known Member

    I cannot say whether or not I would have shot her. I would have just had to been there. What I will comment on is what just happened a little bit ago. I was going to a job site in Lincoln. I travel down this dirt road that cuts through Wedington WMA. I almost always see deer so I am always on the lookout. No deer seen on the way out.

    A couple hours later I came back through. Low and behold there was a very big doe on the side of the road. I stop and back up to her knowing she was not there on my way down, and so she was a "fresh" kill. I will not lie, I will pick up and get usable meat off of deer I know that have been just killed. I open up the back of the van and turn around. The doe is still breathing but not moving at all. She starts to breath louder as I approach.

    I notice her leg and it was just about to come off. You could see the bone and it was just completely shattered. Something did not seem right, but I knew I had to at least put her out of her misery. Got that done and was still going to load her up when I noticed the stench. I assume that she had been shot in the leg because the rest of her body was not hurt at all. She also did not have much of any blood on her except down low. It looked like she had been licking her wound and such. Her leg had started to rot though. She just could not go anymore and either laid down or got nicked by a car going by. Hard to tell because it almost looked like she had crawled under the barbed wire fence next to the road.

    Either way, she had gotten away from whoever had shot her unless they did not look at all. There must have been blood all over from where she was shot and she darn sure was not using her leg to get away. I understand deer get away. I have had it happen to me. But this one finally fell to the injuries it had. It was sad. You could tell she just did not have it in her anymore and had to be in pain.

    Ive never been put in that situation before. But I think that seeing what I did this afternoon, I would probably shoot a deer I saw was injured unless it simply did not seem to mind it at all. I think a person could probably tell by watching the way they walk and act. I have 6 tags. I do not need that many deer and would not mind burning one just to put an animal out of its misery.
  18. Juice

    Juice Well-Known Member

    A few years back, I shot a buck in late December who came in carrying a front leg and could barely get around. He didn't have horns, but I could see he wasn't a button buck. I hesitated shooting him, but he was so poor and it was obvious he was suffering. After the shot and getting down, this deer had such an odor it was sickening. When we moved him the arrow hole let air out I almost lost my guts and I'm not weak stomached. Dad suggested we dispose of him and one week later, the deer was still there, not touched by anything. Coyotes were plentiful which made me think he had something wrong with him. I'd probably make the same decision again. Oh yeah, he'd been shot in the leg by a rifle, it was swelled up and totally useless to him.
  19. Cjdavis618

    Cjdavis618 Well-Known Member

    To be honest, if her leg was already that bad, she will be one of the first to go. I would have taken the doe myself. Better to be shot and drop instantly than to be eaten alive by coyotes from the rear. Seen it too many times on calves.
  20. Adog

    Adog Well-Known Member

    Years ago we had a doe with a bad front leg, it flopped around when she ran. Nobody shot her cause she always had fawns nearby. She had 2 fawns every year for 3, maybe 4 years strait. I recon she was easy for the bucks to catch.