Regret not taking the shot - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-24-2019, 07:55 AM Thread Starter
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Regret not taking the shot

This has been bothering me for probably 20 years or so and I just wanted to put it out there as a lesson learned.

Was hunting deer with a few friends in Berks County when we heard a rifle shot probably a couple hundred yards out to our front and over a good rise in a heavily wooded area. We were taking a break and were in a line of 4 guys standing stationary on the downhill side of a hill - just standing and listening.
Then suddenly we saw several deer, maybe 4 or 5, come over that far hill (100 yards or so out) running diagonally form left to right in front of us and we all got ready.
It became evident that they were all doe and as I was the guy on the far right they passed right in front of me at maybe 25 yards and again they were on a diagonal path left to right.
Then I saw that one of the doe had a bloody right shoulder and that leg was spinning around like a windmill - and I let her go by because I did not have a doe license.
I should have shot that deer and put her out of her misery and taken whatever penalty or punishment was to come my way but I did not and I regret it to this day and still think about it from time to time. At the time the only thing that crossed my mind was that the deer had been shot by another hunter and I did not have the proper license to shoot it again and end it for her.
Would not do the same thing ever again licensed or not.

Good night Chesty, wherever you are......
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-24-2019, 12:23 PM
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That's a tough situation to suddenly find yourself in, especially if you respect game laws. I agree with you in that if an animal is suffering a life threatening wound, I'd rather put it down and face the fine etc. However, animals are so tough that it's often impossible to tell how serious it is. If I hear and understand your story correctly, that injured deer you saw still ran several hundred yards after shot, on 3 legs, while keeping up with the other deer. She wouldn't be the first 3 legged deer to survive. My taxidermist even knows of a 3 legged buck that hung out with a 3 legged doe! Thanks for sharring.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-24-2019, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by NiteSniper View Post
That's a tough situation to suddenly find yourself in, especially if you respect game laws. I agree with you in that if an animal is suffering a life threatening wound, I'd rather put it down and face the fine etc. However, animals are so tough that it's often impossible to tell how serious it is. If I hear and understand your story correctly, that injured deer you saw still ran several hundred yards after shot, on 3 legs, while keeping up with the other deer. She wouldn't be the first 3 legged deer to survive. My taxidermist even knows of a 3 legged buck that hung out with a 3 legged doe! Thanks for sharring.
I killed a doe back in the late 80s on a game lands that only had 3 legs, was missing one front leg from the knee down and the hide had healed over the stump and looked like leather. I never knew the deer only has 3 legs when I shot he and she was walking at the time. A person't feelings do not over ride the law and unless you have advanced permission from a game officer you should not take it upon yourself to kill an animal you do not have a license to kill.

Last edited by Woods walker; 11-24-2019 at 01:06 PM.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-24-2019, 12:40 PM
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I had a three legged doe at my place a few years back that got around pretty good. In fact that three legged doe had twins for three seasons before she disappeared.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-24-2019, 12:45 PM
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They often survive just fine on three legs. Animals are a lot tougher than we can ever begin fathom.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-24-2019, 12:47 PM
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Back in the 90's we had a 3 legged doe that hung around our camp, for 5 years we saw her every summer with her twin fawns, we even seen her in Buck season, but never seen her come doe season. She never had a problem getting around.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-24-2019, 12:59 PM
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A deer shot in the leg stands a good chance of survival. One shot in the actual shoulder, a much lesser chance. Sure, she could live, but more than likely won't make it.

I've seen several 3 legged deer over the years. All appeared to get along ok.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-24-2019, 06:00 PM
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I saw two three legged deer this year archery hunting. I have seen the doe for three years and the buck for two years. Both were healed over and the deer appeared to be doing well with good body shape. What we think is a fatal wound may not always be. I feel you dilemma though. Even though we hunt, which involves killing, we don't want any animal to die a lingering death.

If a deer comes by with its guts hanging out or lower jaw blown off, sometimes it may be best to do what needs to be done, even though it may not be legal.

In the situation you described, I think you made the right call at the time. Hopefully you feel better just from hearing from others here.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-24-2019, 06:18 PM
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It's definitely a judgement call, and one where worrying about what the letter of the law is should not play a roll. Just my opinion, but what is just is not always legal. If an animal is going to suffer, I'm going to dispatch it.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-25-2019, 08:38 AM
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Breaking the law is not the "right thing to do". If you do find yourself in that situation again I can only hope that if you do shoot, you "do the right thing" and turn yourself in !
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“Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?” Douglas Adams
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