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While bow hunting this morning, I had a shooter buck come by out of range, and while trying to cross a fence, he got caught in t

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  • While bow hunting this morning, I had a shooter buck come by out of range, and while trying to cross a fence, he got caught in t

    While bow hunting this morning, I had a shooter buck come by out of range, and while trying to cross a fence, he got caught in the wire. He was only stuck briefly, before getting free and leaving hastily. But it brought an interesting question to mind; would it be ethical to walk up to a deer caught in that manner and shoot it? What would you do in that hypothetical situation? Shoot it? Leave it to let things work themselves out however they may? Or try to free it? And would what kind of deer it was (buck or doe, big or small, etc.) matter? All thoughts are welcome.

  • #2
    -Where I hunt we are allowed unlimited doe tags(which I hate), so if it was a doe stuck in the fence I would probably shoot it and turn it into long-term foods like sausage and jerky and share it with friends and family during the holidays.
    -Due to only being allowed one buck tag I would first attempt to set it free. I do not think my heart would "let things work themselves out," so if I were unable to free it I would kill it even if it was the first day of the season.

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    • #3
      I suspect I would shoot it if it didn't look like it would get free on its own. If it was a deer I wouldn't ordinarily shoot, I might try to free it, if it looked possible with risking my life and limb.
      I'm with you though, if it looked like it was really stuck I couldn't just leave it, under any circumstances.

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      • #4
        If I couldn't get it loose I would rather shoot it than let it die that way. I helped free a doe from a fence a number of years ago. It took three of us to hold her down while a DNR officer untangled the barb wire. Be careful if you ever try this because you don't realize how strong a deer really is. You could end up with a caved in skull.

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        • #5
          I'm kind of with JM, though I'm happy with my special regs area unlimited doe tags. If it was a doe I might take it for the freezer depending on size. If I generally would have let it walk, I'd try to free it first. If it was a buck, I'd tend toward freeing it if possible. There's always that 'story' aspect of taking a buck, particularly a good one, and I don't want my story to be it was stuck, so I took advantage of it. In any case, I can't imagine letting the animal remain stuck in the fence. If it was not a legal animal, I'd probably call the PGC and ask for their assistance or permission(which they wouldn't give). This does pose another question, as I almost always have a multi-tool. Where are you on snipping a fence wire that doesn't belong to you in that situation? Does the friendly neighboring owner vs a non-friendly owner impact your decision or likelihood to contact for repair? I'm going to work on the assumption you have permission to hunt the ground you're standing on.

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          • #6
            I'm kind of with JM, though I'm happy with my special regs area unlimited doe tags. If it was a doe I might take it for the freezer depending on size. If I generally would have let it walk, I'd try to free it first. If it was a buck, I'd tend toward freeing it if possible. There's always that 'story' aspect of taking a buck, particularly a good one, and I don't want my story to be it was stuck, so I took advantage of it. In any case, I can't imagine letting the animal remain stuck in the fence. If it was not a legal animal, I'd probably call the PGC and ask for their assistance or permission(which they wouldn't give). This does pose another question, as I almost always have a multi-tool. Where are you on snipping a fence wire that doesn't belong to you in that situation? Does the friendly neighboring owner vs a non-friendly owner impact your decision or likelihood to contact for repair? I'm going to work on the assumption you have permission to hunt the ground you're standing on.

            Comment


            • #7
              I agree with you jcarlin on the aspect of the story of shooting a buck. I honestly don't think I would want to shoot a buck of any size that couldn't get away for whatever reason (unless it was injured or something), because it wouldn't seem fair.
              You bring up an interesting point about the fence, and in this case I was hunting on public (county) land, where it is illegal to destroy anything, fences included I'm sure, so I would be hesitant to do anything without contacting the authorities. If I was on private land, I probably would try to contact at least one of the landowners, since in Iowa each landowner is responsible for 50% of the fence, so it doesn't really belong to one or the other individually. In a perfect world, how I acted wouldn't matter whether I liked the neighbor or not, but in reality I've hunted on a few properties where I didn't want to get within shouting distance of the neighbor, so I would be more likely to just repair the fence on my own in that case.

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              • #8
                huntfishtrap,

                I didn't mean to imply whether I liked the neighbor or not, I'm pretty easy going, but their attitude towards hunters in general. I'm in SE PA. Even when I'm on public land, even dedicated game lands, you're hard pressed to get more than 400 yards away from some other property line. You'd be amazed at the number of people who buy properties bordering such places then get upset by the knowledge that there are hunters on the adjacent properties. It was the matter of having to deal with those personalities that I was asking if you'd avoid. Part of me looks at all of my interactions with non-hunters as being an opportunity, but "Hey, I just cut your fence to free a deer can go either way." Some might be impressed that you took the time and aren't a bloodthirsty barbarian. Some would be right pissed and outraged. I guess it gets back to the general rule in all things. Do what you think is right and own up to it, you can't predict the opinions of others and you don't look at them in the mirror every morning.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JM View Post
                  -Where I hunt we are allowed unlimited doe tags(which I hate), so if it was a doe stuck in the fence I would probably shoot it and turn it into long-term foods like sausage and jerky and share it with friends and family during the holidays.
                  -Due to only being allowed one buck tag I would first attempt to set it free. I do not think my heart would "let things work themselves out," so if I were unable to free it I would kill it even if it was the first day of the season.
                  Yes indeed. There is no excuse for letting an animal suffer needlessly.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jcarlin View Post
                    I'm kind of with JM, though I'm happy with my special regs area unlimited doe tags. If it was a doe I might take it for the freezer depending on size. If I generally would have let it walk, I'd try to free it first. If it was a buck, I'd tend toward freeing it if possible. There's always that 'story' aspect of taking a buck, particularly a good one, and I don't want my story to be it was stuck, so I took advantage of it. In any case, I can't imagine letting the animal remain stuck in the fence. If it was not a legal animal, I'd probably call the PGC and ask for their assistance or permission(which they wouldn't give). This does pose another question, as I almost always have a multi-tool. Where are you on snipping a fence wire that doesn't belong to you in that situation? Does the friendly neighboring owner vs a non-friendly owner impact your decision or likelihood to contact for repair? I'm going to work on the assumption you have permission to hunt the ground you're standing on.
                    Good point about the fence - didn't think of that

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jcarlin View Post
                      I'm kind of with JM, though I'm happy with my special regs area unlimited doe tags. If it was a doe I might take it for the freezer depending on size. If I generally would have let it walk, I'd try to free it first. If it was a buck, I'd tend toward freeing it if possible. There's always that 'story' aspect of taking a buck, particularly a good one, and I don't want my story to be it was stuck, so I took advantage of it. In any case, I can't imagine letting the animal remain stuck in the fence. If it was not a legal animal, I'd probably call the PGC and ask for their assistance or permission(which they wouldn't give). This does pose another question, as I almost always have a multi-tool. Where are you on snipping a fence wire that doesn't belong to you in that situation? Does the friendly neighboring owner vs a non-friendly owner impact your decision or likelihood to contact for repair? I'm going to work on the assumption you have permission to hunt the ground you're standing on.
                      Good point about the fence - didn't think of that

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        For a legal deer, I have no problem shooting it if it's caught in a fence.

                        Deer have a swift kick and a buck can gore you with his antlers. Most times, it would be foolish to try and free the animal on your own.

                        Comment

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