View Full Version : Would this be an illegal take or attempt to take game?

June 3, 2006, 07:23 PM
OK, my buddy just relayed this story to me, and he wanted me to find out if what he did is illegal or not, so I thought I'd run it by here.

He's golfing today on a very rural course. Ball goes in woods left of fairway. He and his buddy see a doe, and it just stand there looking at them, and allows them to get closer. So about 20-30 yards away, he says, he tees up his ball, takes out his driver and lauches a ball, and only misses the deer's head by about 6 feet. So yes he's a dipstick, but do you think he tried to "take or attempt to take" game out of season, to use the language of the state wildlife department? He definitely attempted to kill or cause serious bodily harm to the deer, but OTOH, it wasn't a traditional *weapon*. I think pretty clearly it was an "attempt to take", but just wondered what y'all thought.

June 3, 2006, 07:45 PM
Don't know how a game warden would view it, but I see it as a reason to get new friends.

June 3, 2006, 08:17 PM
+1 to whwat hoghunting said. That is illegal, and just a really dumb thing to do.

Smokey Joe
June 3, 2006, 10:12 PM
And dumb, yes. In my state, the weapon you may hunt with is regulated (rimfire, centerfire, shotgun, archery equipment, etc) and there is a season.

If you use other than the legal equipment or do it out of season, you are breaking the law. In my state, the game wardens take a very dim view of this. Wardens tend to have conviction rates in the high 90's%.

That'd cost you the equipment with which you did the dirty deed, a hefty fine, and no hunting license for several years. If you hid the bloody golf ball or transported the illegal deer in yr car, that's part of your criminal equipment, too.

Seem a little severe? Hey, nobody said you HAD to poach deer.

June 3, 2006, 11:04 PM
I seriously doubt that even hitting a deer in the head with a golf ball will kill it, the odds of that happening has to be pretty high. If any Wildlife agents or Law Enforcement Officers had seen him he probably would have been cited on cruelty to animals and harrasing wildlife charges. Was your buddy drinking at the time that this happened, if so I bet there could have been some related charges brought up as well.

If you friend had killed the deer what was he going to do then, what would the other golfers think if he tried to carry the deer off of the course? If he had the deer in his vehicle and was stopped he would probably get hit with some illegal transporting charges. I bet if someone had seen this and it had been reported their could have been a number of charges brought aginst your friend.

We all do stupid things from time to time when growing up, but their should come a time when common sense prevails and tells you to think about what you are doing. I don't know how old your friend is but if he hasn't out grown his stupidity, then he is bound to get you involved in it sooner or later. If at all possible I would help him to see the error of his ways.

June 4, 2006, 12:34 AM
He would be charged with animal cruelty. Dump the loser friend.

June 4, 2006, 07:44 PM
What possesses an idiot to hit a golf ball at a deer?
The least of your "friends" worries would be the wildlife charges. The possession and influence of crack cocaine would get him in deeper trouble with the law. Obviously he is a frequent user.

June 4, 2006, 08:09 PM
One of my friends did that once, accidently of course. We were finishing up practice, for the golf team, and he hit one into the trees, we found it next to a doe that got hit and died. Fortunately because it was an accident nothing happened to him. Now because your friend did this intentionally I would say he'd be in deep trouble.

Jack O'Conner
June 5, 2006, 08:26 AM
Sometimes people do things they're sorry for later. I wouldn't dump a friend because he made a dumb goof. But you should have a long talk with him about potential consequences.

June 5, 2006, 08:58 AM
Unless your Tiger Woods no way your killing a deer with a golf ball. I walked up on a deer like that once in my friends development. I got so close I could have petted the deer if I wanted to. It is either too use to humans or someone it feeding them. If that deer gets displaced and ends up on huntable land, it is toast. Shame, takes the sport out of it.

Wild Bill Bucks
June 5, 2006, 09:34 AM
At Arrowhead golf course on Lake Eufaula, Oklahoma, There will be as many as 30 deer at one time on the fairway, and generally several deer through the first nine, on the greens.
I've seen a lot of guys hit them with golf balls, but never saw one get killed with one.
These deer are protected by the state, so they are so used to golfers, they become a real pest, but I still wouldn't condon deliberatley trying to hurt one. Besides, they give you a real good reason for a bad score.:D

Most of the guys can't hit the green, much less a deer.:p

Smokey Joe
June 5, 2006, 10:15 AM
Wildlife does get used to the strange things humans do.

Yesterday @ my club rifle range there were grackles and robins looking for food in the grass between the firing line and the 100yd targets. They didn't fly away when someone fired. They simply ignored the blast, the sound, and the bullets flying over their heads.

There were also a couple mourning doves which actually perched on a target frame.

There is a kingfisher nest at the top of the berm behind the 50yd pistol targets.

And other times I have seen a doe at the extreme end of the trap range, watching the shooters (and perhaps commenting to herself on their abilities?? :D )

June 5, 2006, 01:24 PM
minnesota has a law about disruption of wildlife, if it were done here, he could run afoul of that law, I do not have a game rules book with me here, but basically,you can not go out of your way to disrupt the habits of wildlife IN THEIR HABITAT, this gives you clearance to hit your golf ball down the fairway if a goose is out fertilizing, but does not allow you to turn and aim a golf ball at the goose sitting on a nest in the slough next to the fairway,

It is a question of intent, If you disrupted the game while in your daily activity, ok If you changed your routine to disrupt the game, you get a talk with the warden. This was written to keep people from chasing loons on the lakes with their boats, chasing deer with a 4 wheeler or motorcycle, chasing animals off their beds or nests to grab eggs or young.

I have only heard a few stories about people getting written up for it, but the ones I have heard the people getting the ticket deserved it.

June 5, 2006, 01:43 PM
Hmmm, well I suppose in PA he could claim he never saw the deer and pay the $25 to keep the meat--well worth it :D
But yes, if it's known he meant to drop the deer it's an illegal attempt to take the deer.

June 5, 2006, 02:51 PM
Aaahhhhhh! Alchohol and golf. Always a great combination.

June 5, 2006, 02:56 PM
Game & fish considers this "Molesting Wildlife" if you intentionally inflict bodily harm to an animal while not engaged in a hunting activity, you will get into serious trouble. now if the doe died the Game & Fish folks would fry him.... Molesting wildlife, cruelty to animals, hunting out of season, hunting without a licence, hunting with a non-approved weapon, hunting without a doe permit, the list goes on & on. you could get charged with @ least 4-6 different things.

pretty dumb thing to do....

June 5, 2006, 03:01 PM
They call it harrassing wildlife here in Colorado. It's illegal and lacking in class.

It might be funny to think about doing it but...

June 5, 2006, 03:26 PM
what a moron.

June 5, 2006, 10:02 PM
WBB, he was at Arrowhead in fact, and yes, spirits/beer were involved.

There were also a couple mourning doves which actually perched on a target frame.

Yeah, I've had birds perch on top of a target stand at just 15 yards away at the range. It was all I could do not to blast it, but I did refrain. :)

Smokey Joe
June 5, 2006, 11:19 PM
First freedom--It was all I could do not to blast it, but I did refrain.There are hunters, who HUNT, and then there are just reckless people who have guns, who blast anything living they see. This second category smears mud on all shooters' images.

Good on you for Doing The Right Thing!! :) :)

June 7, 2006, 11:05 AM
Once had a squirrel climb onto the rack of steel plates I was shooting at. I let him go, because I figured something that stupid deserves a break once in its life.

But as far as the golf ball thing goes, that was just plain old stupid. If you want to hit golf balls at things, go on the driving range and aim at the guy in the caged tractor (That's all I do, the guy must think I hate him or something).

June 7, 2006, 12:21 PM
If you want to hit golf balls at things, go on the driving range and aim at the guy in the caged tractor (That's all I do, the guy must think I hate him or something).


"Sorry buddy, your driving right into them"

June 15, 2006, 01:43 PM

"Sorry buddy, your driving right into them"


June 15, 2006, 03:38 PM
This just goes to show that 'golf' is 'nuts' spelled sideways. :rolleyes:

June 20, 2006, 05:58 AM
Tilden golf course, in Berkeley, Kalifornia, has a ton of deer, but, they most often are on the driving range. First off, at 150 yards, they are safe from 99% of the golfers in the world. With most golfers, the safest place to be is the target thieir aiming at, and I live on a golf course, and watch tons of bad golf...:D

Brief story, before I finish the above. On the 16th or 17th hole at Oakhurst Country Club, I took a 150 yard shot golf ball in the head, right on my temple. While mad as hell, and, I never found out who hit it, I'm still alive.

Now, after knowing that, I know deer are one Hell of a lot tougher then I am. I kept trying to hit the deer at the range, and, I'm a pretty good golfer, maybe in the 6-15 range, handicap wise, depending upon time of year, and amount of practice. I'm hitting drives at these deer, after they move out to about 270 yards, and I hit a buck feeding on the driving range. His head comes up, and he looks around, for maybe 5 seconds, and then went right back to feeding.

So, while at point blank range, the best deer weapon for your friend is probably his car.

The deer was NEVER in danger...

Recently, same scenerio, another driving range, same result, this time the deer, much smaller target, moved a bit when the ball landed close, like 5 feet, and then kept eating.


PS: Then their was the bluejay at the police range, at 25 yards, that elluded the entire police force in Santa Cruz trying to hit it, as, every close shot, it would jump in the air, and settle on the cable that held the silohuette targets. This in the 70's.

June 22, 2006, 05:04 PM
Is it illegal? Yes, and he is a dipstick.

Would he ever be prosecuted or found guilty of harassing wildlife or illegally taking that doe? No, I seriously doubt it, unless someone saw him intentionally do it and called in on him.

June 22, 2006, 06:32 PM
Sounds like an illegal (and foolish) action to me.

June 22, 2006, 09:18 PM
Of course it is illegal and another vote that he is a dipstick too.

I would be more concerned about what he might do to you when you are not looking. :rolleyes:

June 24, 2006, 11:19 AM
If you wouldn't hit a golf ball at a person, why would you do so at a deer. A golf ball wouldn't do much to a deer anyhow unless you managed to really smack it in the head. I might get knocked out or something but I think it would be very difficult to humanely kill a deer with a golf ball. That is just stupid and cruel. Why would anybody hit a deer with a golf ball? It is a magnificent creature that deserves to be taken humanely.

June 24, 2006, 02:49 PM
Yeah, don't disrespect the food! Karma might just make that guy go hungry for a day for that.

June 24, 2006, 05:59 PM
Same reason people try and shoot stuff they can't hit: It's fun. It doesn't bother the deer, and it gives you something to focus at. We aren't talking VJay Singh here, so the deer's in the safest possible place, where the Nimrod is aiming.;)

Deer are REALLY tough compared to humans, and, if I can take a golf ball in the temple, at about 120-150 yards, all you are going to do with the deer is get it's attention for about 10 seconds. I actually DID hit a deer with a golf ball, on the driving range at Tilden, at about 225 yards. Buck didn't do anything other then putting it's head up, look around, and went right back to eating grass. Misquitos do more damage.

I don't see why we have to get all politically correct on this. There is no danger to the deer, and, it can be a bit of fun, trying, providing you miss about 99.9% of the time.

Also, it would be better for the deer to at least realize that
being in areas where humans are could be fatal, and, they should stay the heck away from us, when we carry, long, slender, tubular objects like rifles.

By the way, I watched a guy at the driving range squib a shot, and wound a black bird on the range, right in front of him. Accident, but watching the bird flop around REALLY pissed me, off. I hope it recovered.

Also, we have squirrels up at the range, as well. I don't hit golf balls at squirrels, rabbits, skunks, hawks, rattlesnakes, raccoons(though I suspect they'd just shake one off as well), possums, or any animal that I might actually have a chance of injuring. Hitting a golf ball at a deer, at 250 yards the deer is totally safe. The odds of actual injury are probably better for the deer then getting hit by lightning.

I think deer like driving ranges because they can eat, yet they can see predators around them, for a long way away, and they don't have any cover. They could easily feed in the long grass around the range, but, they could be easily ambushed, or as easy as it is for any cat to sneak up on a deer, not very. Given the threat of teeth, vs. an occasional golf ball bouncing by, close, they much prefer the driving range.
I keep thinking back to the poor guy that hit a deer with his car, at something like 35 miles an hour, and knocked the deer out. He thought he'd killed it, so he called fish and game. The deer woke up, in his car I believe, and kicked the stuffings out of him. Deer was just fine.


June 25, 2006, 03:40 AM
socrates im the kind of golfer who makes it where you dont ever have to wash your windows, i just buy you new ones:D
i guess at a short range with a driver might do it. most golfers swing speed is over 100 mph.

June 25, 2006, 03:26 PM
I dont think that the deer was in real danger but i think that your buddy is trying to earn himself a darwin award by removing himself from the genepool in a stupid way and. Hitting a golf ball at the deer was just declaring his intent to someday win a Darwin award.

If he had been seen by a fish and wildlife officer he would have been in big doo-doo or had he been seen by a course official he may have been asked not to return

June 26, 2006, 01:46 AM
I don't think a 100 mile an hour golf ball, in the deers temple, would do other then piss it off. It would be funny:
Officer: "What happened?"
idiot: "Well, I hit a golf ball at a deer, and he s.... it you know where, after I hit him."
Officer:"The proctoligist is down the road, to the left."

Mass: I live on a golf course, where bad golf is the nature of the game. Thanks to the worst owner on the planet, Singh, the course is barely, ok, but the play is horrible.
I have nearly three boxes of balls that found their way into my house, or possession, and, I've had you on the course twice, in the same day, since my window was broken twice, within the time it was fixed broken again.:D


PS just bought one of these new fangled Ben Hogan S3C drivers, or whatever, with a regular shaft. I've put balls in places before safe to any golf ball. I drive the ball, with an old type driver, 290-340. With this Hogan, I picked up a lot of distance, but, the mi****s are off the map. X100 shaft tomorrow.

June 29, 2006, 02:37 PM
I will say this, having done some golf in odd places, I NEVER used to walk without a club in my hand. I remember walking a course near San Diego and hearing that SSSSSSSSSSSSssSSSSSSssSSSSS sound real close. I bent a perfectly good wedge shaft that day beating that snake till it was all soft and pulpy and I felt GOOD doing that. big difference from a deer.

June 29, 2006, 08:39 PM
If you wouldn't hit a golf ball at a person, why would you do so at a deer.

A deer is not a person. I do not shoot at people with the intent of eating them.

This guy was not (im sure) trying to kill, maim, or injure the deer. Kinda like throwing rocks at powerlines.

"Oh, my god! I hit it! Did you see that?"

As far as the legalities, in GA it would be considered harrasing game.

June 29, 2006, 08:56 PM
Wow, there are some anal-retentive individuals here at times... "dump the friend", "ditch the looser", etc... Come ON! I'm sure everyone here is just a rosy little bundle of 'straight and narrow' innocence... It's a deer, who's acustomed to people more than it should be, and a golf ball that missed. How many "accidental golfings" have made the papers---AKA someone killed by a stray ball on the back-9... At most, he might have thumped the deer, it'd run off a little ways with a bruise, and the guy might be able to get hit with a harrassing wildlife fine. If that's the worst the guy is capable of, I'd vote him in for pope.

Art Eatman
June 29, 2006, 11:28 PM
"Aw, I wouldn't do sumpn like that!"

Yeah, right. Not if anybody's looking, anyhow. :D You're gonna at least bet your buddy a beer on the deal.


June 29, 2006, 11:47 PM
I probably woulda taken that bet Art, even counting on my notoriously wicked slice :D Do I get a muligan?