View Full Version : You make the call...

December 20, 2008, 08:16 PM
Our tags are filled and headed home when my son and I found this button buck caught in a fence. Hadn't been there long, leg appeared to be broken or badly damaged....so how would you handle this? (I'll tell you later what we did).



December 20, 2008, 08:53 PM
I hope you called the game warden and then put the buck out of his misery or vice versa. I'm a hunter myself that is a terrible thing to see.

December 20, 2008, 08:57 PM
If your tag's filled I'd have called the Game Warden and done whatever he directed.

December 20, 2008, 09:00 PM
Call a game warden. If he's close enough, then I'd let him handle it. If not, I'd do what the Game & Fish person on the phone said to do.

I have my wildlife biologist's (game warden) cell phone number plugged into my phone. I also have the operation game thief hotline number on my hunting license (800-352-0700 I think for Arizona), if all else fails.

I'd hate letting the little guy suffer, but I also wouldn't want to pay a fine and have my hunting license revoked (5 years for a game or fish violation)...along with my gun rights if they pushed it to a felony...not to mention possible jail/prison time.

It's a tough situation if the law doesn't cooperate to get things done right.


December 20, 2008, 09:15 PM
Tough situation. As others have said call DNR. If after observing animal closely, if I felt injuries where going to be lethal to him and cause him to suffer, I`d dispatch him. If not I`d find a way to cut him lose. Seeing a pics. and being there is two different things.

December 20, 2008, 09:27 PM
I hate situations like this. They tend to make a very hard decision between ethics and legality necessary. I believe I would have dispatched the deer and then reported it to DNR, Game Commision, or whatever handles game laws in your state. You have the pics to prove the situation to the authorities. I cant imagine that they would charge you with a violation in that circumstance. I have been faced by similar decisions while hunting, and one in particular still haunts me to this day. I was elk hunting and watched a hunter shoot the front leg off a cow elk. The cow came by me and I was faced with the decision to finish her or let her walk (or hobble). I did not have a cow tag.

December 20, 2008, 09:28 PM
Me? Good question. I would probably put it out of its misery.... Of course we can take 2 deer a day down here. I wouldn't feel bad about it being a button vs a bruiser. Mind you it would still be illegal...

Another option (if you were that worried about the game cops) would be to just slice that leg off.. Sound cruel , but he still might have a fighting chance. Being caught like that opens him up to mother nature.

Mother Nature has enough animals.....yup, probably take it for myself...

December 20, 2008, 10:35 PM
I's probably approach and try to free the leg. If that failed, I would put a 7.62 diameter hole behind its ear.

December 20, 2008, 11:04 PM
well, cutting the ranchers fence is kinda a nono, but I probably would try that rather than throwing the little guy back over the fence. I know this because i tried it. I learned one thing, no 2 things.
1. Deer can kick pretty damned hard.
2. If a deer cant kick you, he will bite the living S*&^ out of you.

Next one is getting snipped out of the fence. Deer are pretty tough critters, and will probably get by on 3 wheels.

I had kinda the same thing happen to me a few years ago. And It was kinda funny too.
Some lady in a nice Lincoln Navigator, with a John Kerry Bumper sticker on it at night was driving way out here in the sticks. She had Massachussets plates to boot!! I saw a deer run in front of her car and no brake lights. She pulled over and so did i to check on her. She was fine, but the front of her $50000 car was not. There was steam rolling out from under the hood, and the grill was smashed. Anyways, she is out of her car looking at the damage to her car and reaching for her cell phone. She says she is fine, and will call for a Tow. ( yes, it was that bad) Anyways, I noticed the deer that was hit somehow was trying to crawl off. I couldnt believe it, as she hit the deer going every bit of 75 mph. From what I could tell, inards where hanging out, and both front legs where broke. I guess I didnt give the lady enough warning, but I pulled out my 45 ACp and popped him in the back of the head.
Let me tell you.. that flash was HUGE That lady went ballistic. 10 seconds later, one of the Local state troopers i know pretty well came driving buy and stopped. The first words out of that womans mouth was "Officer, He's got a gun!!!" They guy knew me, and has pulled me over before just to see what interesting guns I have or how many dead hogs i have in the back. I have also seen him in a little trouble with some guys he pulled over . I stopped in easy view, and in rifle range and sat on my tailgate with an rather large Ar 30 300 Winmag. He later thanked me for the backup. He figured out what had happened with the deer and kinda scolded me in front of the woman. We went back to the car to " run my plates" and me and that trooper had a pretty good laugh while in his car out of the womans earshy. It was prety durn funny, and pretty typical of good ole boy cops round here.
Yes , I broke the law, but, under the circumstances, it was the correct thing to do.

Needless to say, there is one Democrat woman that probably wont make her way back to Texas in the foreseeable future.

December 21, 2008, 12:48 AM
I would truly like to read what any Game Wardens might have to say about this dilemna.
As I see it,sometimes right and wrong do not perfectly line up with legal and illegal.
Once,antelope hunting many years ago,,all tags were filled.
We did it right.
Traveling toward home,we saw a buck,and glassed him.He was dragging a trail of intestines on the ground.

If the motive is greed or thrill ,meat or trophy,its wrong to shoot.

Honest mercy,to end suffering,isn't wrong.We ended it,and took nothing.

If I'd have had to,thats what I would have told the judge.

I could be wrong,but I suspect,as long as evidence backed up the story,like your pictures,most wildlife officers ,if you called and reported it,would not give you any trouble.

December 21, 2008, 01:33 AM
Easy for me - I'd put it out of its misery. With an injury like that and the weather, the best that poor creature could hope for would be to fall prey to a cougar (more likely a coyote). The more probable and worse case - a slow, and painful death.

What if the Game Warder said to just leave it - I wouldn't want try to go to sleep at night just to be kept awake thinking that I didn't do what I knew was right. I'd rather pay the fine if that were the case.

Besides, it's easier to get forgiveness than permission. Think a jury of your 'peers' would find fault if you put the deer down?????

December 21, 2008, 01:43 AM
call the local wardens or police. i'm not sure if my township police would or could do anything in a situation like that. never had it happen while i was a witness.

a few days ago while driving my 5 yr. old to school i saw a squirrel trying to drag itself with its front legs off the pavement. it made it to the shoulder. i pulled over to see what happened,its back legs were busted hanging by skin. no cars in sight, that may have hit it. nothing i could do but leave it be. i had no guns or even my pocketknife on me. and a house was right across the street. i thought about kicking it in the head to finish it off,rather than let it suffer. but i didn't do it.

my luck some treehugging puddinghead would've seen me do it and try charging me with animal cruelty,or killing an animal illegally.

December 21, 2008, 02:18 AM
I should have be more succint - DO THE RIGHT THING.

If your let others dictate your behavior rather than your own moral code what does that say? What lessons do you pass along?

December 21, 2008, 03:54 AM
What I would do now is call the Game Warden and explain the situation and do what I was told.

What I would have done when I was a WCO was to tell you to wait there and I would have come out to your location and checked the matter out.

You have to understand that Game Wardens hear EVERY story in the book and if they are doing their job, they have to check things out.

No game officer I ever meet or worked with would have let that deer suffer any longer than absolutely necessary.

December 21, 2008, 04:41 AM
I would have called the County sherrifs office. Around here the Game Wardens are covered up in chasing poachers(they just got 14 more) The county has to deal with deer incidents daily. If they could not get a hold of the property owner, they would tell you to put it down(if no officers close) and they would get a hold of the owner and let him know what happened. But if they were close they would dispatch the animal and give you a free tag for the deer.

Unfortunately while hunting I have seen 3 deer in the past few years that had a swinging leg. I gambled on wasting my tag, I took all 3 and tagged. I gave up a 1/4 on all 3. I got lucky and the wounds were recent(bad shots) But my mind was eased. I hate seeing them suffer.


December 21, 2008, 10:01 AM
Personally i'd have put the poor little fella down, laws be da..ed.

I've put many animals down that people left lying after they'd hit them.

In Cherokee county N.C., an indian reservation, i saw a pit bull with a broken back lying on the rdge of the road. I knocked on 6 or 7 doors but no one would come to the door. I went back to the dog and popped him with a glock .40.{no houses right where he was}..every door popped open and native americans started coming from every direction. No kidding, within a minute there was 20 indians either staring and pointing or openly bitching at me. Within 3 minutes, after trying to explain why i'd done what i did, I was arrested by tribal police, who showed almost immediately. No handguns on tribal land, unless your an indian. Uhoh. Shouldnt have fired at the roadside either. Uhoh, i knew that one. He told my wife to follow us, drove me about 5 miles down the mountain, ran the numbers on my piece and told me to get the hell out of cherokee. Dropped me off with my gun and left.

Another time i saw a canadian goose that was on the edge of the road obviously dying. When i stopped it had maggots all over its tail....areas. I dispatched it with a tire iron just as neighborhood security pulled it behind me. He started giving me hell about not calling animal control and that they were an ENDANGERED species:) lol

I ask him if he was going to call the police and when he said no, i walked to my truck got it and left. Would do it again. Can't stand seeing anything suffer..J.R.

December 21, 2008, 10:38 AM
In my situation, I have the numbers of a couple of wardens always with me. I always have my camera as well. I would have given one of the wardens a call with the location and situation. I would have been told to put it down. Out in the middle of know where I would have just put it down. I carry a .22 mag pistol in the truck for that chore. With all the PC folks running around these days it makes it tough sometimes to do the right thing. Someone passing in a vehicle, not knowing the situation, cell call to law and then in for a potential grilling by them. Sometimes ya just can't win. One thing to be real careful of in Texas is removing an animal from the road. It is against the law to pick up road kill or whack off the horns or any other part of a game animal or bird of prey, and to have feathers from the bird of prey in your mitts.

December 21, 2008, 11:23 AM
I too would call our County's DRN officer and report the situation. He just happens to be a freind of mine and know that he would tell me to put it down. This same situation happened to me a few year back, on another road hit critter. I seriously doubt that any DNR officer would suggest that I walk away but if he did, I wold not. You've got the pictures and witnesses and later, I woud get with that officer's face. I have found that most DRN officers I know, are pretty good judge of people. They may just be Carp-Cops but they know B.S. when they hear or see it. By the way, one time we shot a three legged buck and he could still run pretty well. He had healed from the previous year and the stump looked kind of knobby but had healed okay. Waiting to hear what you did aand inticipate that it was the right choice.

Be Safe !!!

December 21, 2008, 03:46 PM
yeah what did you do?? I hope you didnt leave him be!

December 21, 2008, 03:50 PM
Cut the deer loose and call the warden. I have seen a couple of three legged deer looking very healthy and doing quite well on their own in the wild.

December 21, 2008, 03:56 PM
Me personally. I would have put him down and taken him with me. If I got caught that would be bad but I couldn't leave him like that and I wouldn't let the meat go to waste by leaving him lay.

December 21, 2008, 04:00 PM
we certainly dont "put down" our soldiers who are pretty mangled up....why wouldnt you give this creature the same chance?

December 21, 2008, 04:16 PM
Shoot it, throw it in the truck, enjoy the extra steaks :D

December 21, 2008, 04:29 PM
we certainly dont "put down" our soldiers who are pretty mangled up....why wouldnt you give this creature the same chance?

Stirring the pot?

I don't think Walter Reed accepts deer...

I don't eat our soldiers....

I don't put animals and people on the same level.....

They don't make prosthetics for wild animals....

Need more?

December 21, 2008, 04:29 PM
we certainly dont "put down" our soldiers who are pretty mangled up....why wouldnt you give this creature the same chance?

And thank God for that !! WHY?? Because we have the talent and resources to mend our troops but try to get someone to fix a wild animal. As stated, a few years back, I picked up a wounded Badger along a roadway. Got him home tried to make him comfortable and phoned three area Vets. All said that they would not touch is for love or money. Finally called my DNR freind and he advised that I put him down as he had not resources to fix it. I watched this poor creature suffer for about six hours while trying to give him a chance. I would ask you; Just how long woud you wait and how well can you live with yourself. Now, if you can't make a distinction between a human being and wild animal, then you have a problem. :barf:

Be Safe !!!

December 21, 2008, 04:30 PM
id call the Game Warden and put him down, no need for him to suffer.

December 21, 2008, 05:03 PM
Animals are tougher and more resistant to pain than you think. That little button buck could outlast most of us in sheer will and determination to live given the same circumstances...even on three legs.

I would let it live. Humans have interfered in its life enough.

December 21, 2008, 06:05 PM
Thanks for all your answers, I think all responses could be justified.

While this scenario has legal and ethical components, it's unfortunate most state game agency's place the burden of innocence on the hunter....in other words, you're guilty till proven otherwise. To have an untagged animal in your possession would be a crap shoot, some officers might let it go, others may not....loosing hunting privileges for a couple of years for illegally taken game charge is not worth that risk. (CYA, "cover your arse"...that's why I snapped a photo before taking action)

I left a call into the game warden over a week ago regarding a different incident, still hasn't returned my call. Waiting for the proper authorities to respond could take hours if not days. I didn't consider that a viable option. We had other time commitments and hanging around wouldn't work. The location was over a mile from any roads and not easily accessible for LEO's and authorities.

Didn't want to cut the fence, (it is on my property) no tools on hand to make the repairs. Injuries were not life threatening, no major blood loss and the deer appeared healthy. We spread the wire strands apart with a stick and released the buck. He quickly sprinted off and jumped two more fences. Doubt his leg will heal to full recovery, but he should survive. Missing a front leg would be far more difficult than the use of a hind leg.....I think he'll be fine.

December 21, 2008, 06:17 PM
I could live with that:) Probably the best choice..JR.

December 21, 2008, 06:26 PM
I had a doe hanging on my fence the other day. I cut her out and she fell to the ground and never got up. Nothing was broken, but I think she had internal injuries, no telling how long she had been there. I came back later that afternoon and she still had not gotten up so I shot her in the head. It's a curiosity of human nature how much trouble you will take to kill one, and then how much trouble you will take to save one.

December 21, 2008, 06:26 PM
I agree with Creature.

Dr. Strangelove
December 21, 2008, 06:51 PM
id call the Game Warden and put him down, no need for him to suffer.

Wow - here in GA it's against the law to put down game wardens....

Whoops - forgot to answer the question. I would have shot it, given the situation you describe, releasing it was even better, but personally, I wouldn't have risked being kicked.

December 21, 2008, 10:50 PM
Good job, Rembrandt. Your act of kindness and mercy will be rewarded.

Art Eatman
December 22, 2008, 11:21 AM
Odds are that there are a lot of pulled muscles from the initial struggles. A panic-stricken deer will just about tear itself apart in trying to get loose. So, what you're looking at is coyote bait, if you manage to free it from the fence.

So, if I were out on a ranch somewhere, I'd shoot it and butcher it out; no point in wasting good meat. If I were someplace where I risked exposure to a game warden, I'd just shoot it, maybe get it loose from the fence and leave it for the coyotes and go on--avoiding hassle.

December 22, 2008, 02:07 PM
You did the best you could.Rest easy.

There is no perfect right answer,as the problem is,the deer has a fate.You did no harm,and the deer will live his fate.Wild animals do not typically pass away comfortably in their sleep.
What I am about to describe is not intended as criticism.It is just information.

The photos appear to show a girdling injury.Nerves and blood and muscle and skin cut all the way around the leg,to the bone.I am not a doctor,but likely the leg below the upper part of the injury is getting no oxygen from blood.That part of the leg was likely dead as you were there.Amputation removes the dead part of the body.Had the leg been shot off,a 3 legged deer might heal.Dead leg attached,anaerobic bacterial begin to consume it.They produce toxins which kill living tissue.Gangrene.
That is why there are predators.
I hope there will be coyotes to conduct my funeral,and magpies.I hope they sing me a song for the meal.

December 22, 2008, 04:13 PM
I would have killed it. Deer are not vermin and do not deserve to suffer.

December 22, 2008, 05:32 PM
We had a buck on the farm that had a broken leg from being hit by a car I assume. He seemed to get along pretty well for a couple of years until one of the boys nailed him. He had a big callous on the front of the ankle joint where he rested on it. I suspect if you asked him whether or not he wanted out of his misery he would just as soon be left alone. He could get through the woods amazingly well. You never know.