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Discussion Starter #1
I ask this question because last year, I saw two deer (both very respectable 8 pointers) hit by cars, and they survived. One was alive for more than an hour - hobbling around with two busted up rear legs - until the local police shot it. The other died not too long after the crash. A state trooper had arrived at that one and I asked him to put the deer down. He was going to, but the deer expired before he got clearance to discharge his weapon.

I asked both officers if a person who is LTC can put the deer down. The local said not to, that he knew a guy that did that and got in trouble by the wardens. The trooper said he wasn't sure if you could by the law, but he said if you are legal to carry, a citizen might as well do it, otherwise he would have to, anyway. I got this excerpt from the PA Hunting and Trapping Digest (pg 16 of the printed version)...

Roadkilled Deer/Possessing Wildlife: It is unlawful at any time to possess live wildlife, except foxes for which a permit has been issued, or animals, or parts of animals, killed on highways. Pennsylvania residents may possess deer or turkeys killed by a motor vehicle for personal consumption only if they secure a permit number from the Game Commission within 24 hours after taking the deer; call the appropriate region office. It is not legal to kill “put it out of its misery” any injured wildlife; again, call the region office.

Are there any WCO here that can explain why a deer can't be dispatched if done safely, off the roadway, to limit the animal's suffering? I'm guessing it's because one's definition of "safely" will vary from another?

What is the penalty for doing this? I did not have my weapon on either of these incidents, but I'd have to weigh my options of a fine vs doing the humane thing. I'm not a rebel looking for trouble - just somebody with an interest in not seeing an animal suffer.
 

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I always have a knife and on more than one occasion used it to speed up the process. I guess I did not find it necessary to contact the PGC to do what obviously needed done. However, if the animal is still on hoof then that is a different story.

timber
 

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The fact that what some people consider safe may not be safe, if the season is closed on deer you would be killing it during the closed season and there are many cases where a deer tha is hit by a vehicle could survive if not hastily killed. The law is specific about who cay kill an injured animal, you have no obligation to do so, legal or moral unless you are one of those people. The PGC may give permission under certain circumstances.
 

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It's not hard to get permission. Several years ago I hit one, and only broke it's spine. It was perfectly healthy otherwise. I called the police, and they instruted me to call the PGC. I talked to someone that told me not to shoot it, but to wait by it until someone could come. I asked when they would be coming, and they didn't know. I told him if they weren't coming right then I was shooting it. He finally said OK. It was a yearling that may have went 45# on the hoof. It got a 22lr between the eyes.

This particular instance was on the edge of state forest near my house, and would have been totally legal to hunt there (I still do).

Now I would be very leary of letting just any Tom, Dick or Harry touching off a 45 next to peoples houses.
 

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there are many reasons... first off we have gotten people who shoot the deer standing in a field for the meat (poaching) and then call it in as a injured deer.

secondly, I was sent to put a deer down one night at about 11pm i get to the location and there are two guys standing over the deer, one with his foot on the deers neck holding it down while the other guy was trying to take aim on the very upset deer with a 40 cal.

those are only two reasons but I am sure you get the picture.
 

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PGC dispatchers won't tell you to go ahead and put down a deer because they don't know the situation, who you are and if the deer must be destroyed or not. Imagine the guy who ricochets a bullet into a home and says that the PGC told him to do it.
 

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sad as it is, im sure the law is there to help curb poaching...

there are people that would try to hit deer on purpose...and many that would poach and say "oh i hit it with the truck and that bullet hole was from me putting it out of its misery...i was just about to call you guys"

kinda [censored] to see...but most of the time they either die pretty quickly or they are fine...

i seen one buck hit and flopping like a fish on the side of the road as i was coming home from archery hunting...by the time i could decide what to do, he was dead. regional office was close and i decided not to use the knife, pistol, or bow and was going to make the call..but he died before i could do anything...i wouldnt bothered calling but he was a traffic hazzard as i almost hit him as he was flip floppin around...the vehicle that hit him was long gone...amazing you can blast a deer and not stop or turn around or anything....and i turned around in the nearest parking lot..they werent there either...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
All valid points - especially about the poaching. Thanks for the input.
 

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You may get the green light a little easier these days since the WCO force has dwindled. A couple years ago my dogs found a fawn with a broken leg along an old orchard fence. (Apparently, the little guy was crossing through a hole in the fence and snapped one of his rear wheels.) He was malnourished and weak, but very much alive. A phone call to the PGC revealed the only WCO in the area was too far away, and busy so I was granted permission to euthanize.

Had it occurred on or near a busy highway, I'm sure the instruction would have been different.
 

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yea i think mauser got it, same situatiion happened to me on the way home from college the other day, i was a buck laying on the side of the road but looked fine but when i shined my car lights on it it tried to get up and both front legs were broken....poor guy, i hate seein that, i galled the PGC and told them and the next morning on the way to class he was still there...that kinda [censored] me off...
 

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The simple fact is that WAY too many people don’t use good judgment on if the deer REAL needs dispatched or how to do it safely.

I have seen a lot of deer that did not need to be dispatched that someone wanted to kill simply because it had a broken leg. I broken leg is NOT a serious injury to a deer and certainly not justification for dispatching one.

There are also a lot of people that don’t have a clue about safe gun handling, where it is safe or unsafe to shoot without the risk of a bullet pass through and ricochet of a bullet in a dangerous situation or setting. Many people also have no idea where to shoot an animal to dispatch it quickly and humanely so all they end up doing is causing even more injury and suffering for the deer then if they just left it alone until someone that knows what they are doing arrives.

I will NEVER authorize a citizen to dispatch any injured wildlife because I have enough years experience to know just how poor some people are at using good judgment and I simply don’t want to be responsible for telling them to do something they shouldn’t have done if they end up with a bad situation due to their poor judgment. Granted most people could probably do it safely and correctly but all it takes is one time of authoring the wrong time for something bad to happen and you end up being named in a law suit. If people decide to take it upon themselves to act outside the law and something goes wrong it ALL falls back on them to explain to the courts why they did what they did.

Dick Bodenhorn
 

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As you know, deer are fairly hardy critters and can survive some serious injuries just fine. Two legs broken, probably not gonna make it. One? Most often not much of a problem, barring other internal injuries.

Several years ago we had a big doe with a missing lower half of a front leg, make it thru several seasons up where my camp is. Obviously many had a chance to take her in subsequent years, but apparently no one wanted to? She actually got around pretty well on three legs.

Two years ago here at home, had a doe show up under our apple trees with a broken rear leg. Puffed-up about the size of a cantalope at the "knee" joint and she could barely walk for several weeks (she put no weight on that leg for a very long time). By mid-winter, the joint was down to the size of a softball and by March, she was walking/running on it again.
 

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Yep. My widdle doe buddy came wandering out of the woods this morning, while I was down at the end of the yard loading firewood on the tractor carrier. She stood there about 30' away, pining for some apples. So I had to go shake some from the tree for the poor thing and roll 'em out where she was.

She stood there about 20' from the running tractor eating apples, while I threw wood onto the carrier. When she shows up out back, I go outside, yap at her a bit and she comes running for a treat.

Neighbor babe asked me how I could shoot something that beautiful? Told her the ones up north are uglier, wilder and downright dangerous.

 

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DennyF said:
Yep. My widdle doe buddy came wandering out of the woods this morning, while I was down at the end of the yard loading firewood on the tractor carrier. She stood there about 30' away, pining for some apples. So I had to go shake some from the tree for the poor thing and roll 'em out where she was.

She stood there about 20' from the running tractor eating apples, while I threw wood onto the carrier. When she shows up out back, I go outside, yap at her a bit and she comes running for a treat.

Neighbor babe asked me how I could shoot something that beautiful? Told her the ones up north are uglier, wilder and downright dangerous.

I hate those ugly attack deer!
 

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If I came upon a deer with an obvious mortal injury, or an injury that I knew would not allow said animal to live a normal pain free life(ie-a leg dangling from mere cartiledge, etc), then I am going to dispatch that animal. I will not feel the slightest bit obligated to call the PGC and wait for the Beaurocracy to make the decision. The deer will have died and suffered alot more than it should have by then. No sir, if I deem the animal to require a humane end, then I am making the decision then and there, bullet in the animal's head, and I'm on my way. Say you illegal, I do not care in that case. Sometimes the moral/humane decision should trump the one that's written in the lawbooks.

Now, on the other side of the coin, if I see a deer that's simply limping or has a minor flesh wound and is bleeding a little, that's another story. Its obvious then that this animal will survive to lead a normal life.
 

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I might be tempted to put an obviously mortally-injured deer "out of its misery", but it'd still be illegal. One broken leg is not necessarily a death sentence for a deer, though.

If someone witnessed you or I shooting an injured deer and reported it, then we'd have to face the consequences of doing something we already knew was not legal?

I have on several occasions finished-off a wounded deer for someone else during deer season, but in most circumstances, knew it would be claimed/tagged in short order, by the original shooter.
 

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i watched an 8pt buck get hit right out in front of where i hunt one year. the guy broke the deers back and it was trying to crawl in circles around the road. i "finished" that deer off at 16 years old cause the driver wouldnt do it. some other guy loaded it up, took it home. i didnt have a clue it was illegal i just wasnt about to watch that buck drag himself around. id do that again in a minute. i might be a hunter but i dont want anything to suffer.
 

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I have watch many a cops shoot hit deer. Even watched one miss a deer twice at point blank range LOL she will never live that one down. I think she missed because she felt bad for it.
 
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