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Troutfisher

Hunting Question - Curious For Responses

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Hey guys,

I heard this question on a local message board and thought it would be interesting to see what you guys would do.

If this year when squirrel season opens you go into the woods and would happen to see a wounded deer, bear, turkey (if not eaten all ready) or any other animal that is not in season and it is hurt to the point you feel it will die, would you put it out of it misery? Or would you call a game warden?  Keep in mind the animal would be suffering.  This has not happened to me, just a hypothetical question.

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Hey guys,

I heard this question on a local message board and thought it would be interesting to see what you guys would do.

If this year when squirrel season opens you go into the woods and would happen to see a wounded deer, bear, turkey (if not eaten all ready) or any other animal that is not in season and it is hurt to the point you feel it will die, would you put it out of it misery? Or would you call a game warden?

Dude, you answered your own question, it 's not in season so you are not allowed to shoot it, that 's it.

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Hey guys,

I heard this question on a local message board and thought it would be interesting to see what you guys would do.

If this year when squirrel season opens you go into the woods and would happen to see a wounded deer, bear, turkey (if not eaten all ready) or any other animal that is not in season and it is hurt to the point you feel it will die, would you put it out of it misery? Or would you call a game warden?

Dude, you answered your own question, it 's not in season so you are not allowed to shoot it, that 's it.

Exactly.  Calling a game warden is the only option.

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Call it in. Your not a vet and if you shoot it, your poaching.

Animals get wounded in the wild all the time and some of them are in miserable pain for the rest of their (probably short) lives.  It may sound cold-hearted, but its nature.

Vic

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Bass-Brat,

I am with you on this one.  Legal or not, I am putting it down.   I have been an avid outdoorsman all my life, usually the game wardens are so overwhelmed they would not even respond.  I have in the past, and will do so in the future, put seriously wounded animals down.  Whether hit by a car or wounded in some other way.

I guess this is where ethics and legality cross swords, because I feel it is the ethical thing to do.  Just my opinion of course.

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Posted by: fishbear Posted on: Today at 4:41pm

Bass-Brat,

I am with you on this one.  Legal or not, I am putting it down.   I have been an avid outdoorsman all my life, usually the game wardens are so overwhelmed they would not even respond.  I have in the past, and will do so in the future, put seriously wounded animals down.  Whether hit by a car or wounded in some other way.

I guess this is where ethics and legality cross swords, because I feel it is the ethical thing to do.  Just my opinion of course.  

X2   Very well said

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This brings on another phase of the hypothetical situation:

What do you do with the animal after you put it down?  Leave it?  Take the meat home?  Call the warden?

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In Oklahoma, if you hit a deer with your vehicle and it is dead or wounded mortally, then you are to contact the local warden. He will come and do all the necessary paperwork, etc. (put the deer down first of course if it hasn't already expired) and then you are free to take the deer as your own. I even know a guy who hit a 10 point and had it mounted. He said if it was gonna cost him as much as it did for car repairs then he was gonna add the extra cost to have it mounted and have a good story to tell when someone asked.

I said all that to say this, I don't see where this scenario is much different. Call the warden, wait till he comes out to your location, then shoot the deer and have some fresh backstrap for supper.

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This brings on another phase of the hypothetical situation:

What do you do with the animal after you put it down? Leave it? Take the meat home? Call the warden?

I wouldn't eat an injured, wounded, or sick animal if I didn't know how it got that way.  If I hit one with a bullet or a vehicle then I'll eat it.  Otherwise, no.  I'm all for eating what you kill, but I'd rather not take the chance of eating tainted meat.

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Some states allow you to take the meat home as long as you get WRITTEN permission from the local authorities, whether it be the Sheriff or game warden.  Most states do not, due to the way the poaching laws are written, have any leeway for a mercy killing.

As for taking the meat home, if legal yes, if not legal then, no, the animal will feed the local scavengers and predators.  Probably a day or week sooner than if I had not put it down.

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Fishbear, you took the words out of my mouth. I agree 100%.

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Following the laws and being ethical aren't neccesarily the same thing.

I found an elk that was too small to be legal  (must be at least a 4X4).I was about 7 miles from the nearest road. Now legally I am supposed  to report this to the DOW. Best case scenario, another 8 hours of suffering for the animal and at least one lost day of hunting. its right rear leg was blown off at the knee. It was too weakened to get up and you could SMELL the leg. When I got close it made the most miserable sound and tried desperately to get up.

Legally I couldnt put it down, but ethically I couldnt let it suffer.

An easy choice.

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This has happend a couple of times to me with deer. I always want to take the meat home with me so I make the phone call and talk to my warden. He usually gives permission over the phone to put the animal down but he won't let me clean and process it untill he meets me somewhere to fill out the paperwork and inspect the deer. He said that if he suspects someone of doing something illegal then he will have them take him to the spot and do an investigation.

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Where I live it is encouraged to call the local Law Enforcement agency prior to shooting the animal. However I have killed a few deer that walk around limping and suffering. I manage a 1500 acre farm, If I see an injured deer I will put it down then I will call it in. I have been doing this since I was 15 when I started managing the herds. I have a great relationship with our game warden and everytime he talks to me he doesn't mind that I did what I did. If the animal is injured to where I didn't know what happened to it I will feed it to my deer dogs. I personally will not eat any deer meat that I didn't know how or why it died/ or suffering.

-Nitroman ;)

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This brings on another phase of the hypothetical situation:

What do you do with the animal after you put it down? Leave it? Take the meat home? Call the warden?

Leave it and let nature take its course.

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How could anyone argue you putting it down..?

The problem is that "being in pain" or "being in misery" is very subjective.  At what point do you say that a deer or animal is in pain to a point where its better to shoot it.  

Is it where an animal is limping?  Well how do you know that it wouldnt recover?  

Is it to where he has a visible wound and limping?  Again how do you know it wont recover?  

Is it where the animal is bleeding out and stumbling?  Or is it when the animal is lying down yelling in pain?

It doesn't take much to follow the laws and to call the authorities and ask.  If the animal is truly wounded to the point where a hunter thinks it should be put down,  It probably wont be that hard to follow/track the animal if it can even move.  

I once saw a three legged deer in the wild.  I saw a few others with bad limps and healed gunshot wounds.  Whats to stop someone from shooting one of these out of season and saying "it was in pain".  

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I do not hunt, well yet anyway. If I were in that situation, and I have been camping I would let nature and the scavangers take their course. I do not disagree with someone else's decision to put it down.

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I agree with Raul.  

This is an ethics/legal question.  The two never combine.  If its against the law I will not do it.  I would call it in to the warden.  

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Following the laws and being ethical aren't neccesarily the same thing.

I found an elk that was too small to be legal (must be at least a 4X4).I was about 7 miles from the nearest road. Now legally I am supposed to report this to the DOW. Best case scenario, another 8 hours of suffering for the animal and at least one lost day of hunting. its right rear leg was blown off at the knee. It was too weakened to get up and you could SMELL the leg. When I got close it made the most miserable sound and tried desperately to get up.

Legally I couldnt put it down, but ethically I couldnt let it suffer.

An easy choice.

I'm with Fourbizz on this one.  I don't like to see animals of any kind suffer.  I would have done the same, legal or not.  At least I could fall asleep that night not wondering about the animal.

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Laws in Texas require you to report it.

 Most cases would involve a deer being hit by passing car along a PUBLIC highway.   I'd think this one would be the most popular scenerio of them all.

  First and foremost, shooting from or on a public road in Texas is illegal as well.

  If I found this animal on my hunting lease, I'd put it down plain and simple.      When in public or on public roads, I'd report it and let the professionals do their job.    

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I've done both, one was a dog onetime, I came across a beagle that was very hurt, went to try and carry it out and it already had been shot sometime ago, at least thats what the wound looked like  

I'm not going to say I follow the law to a tee,even in hunting.  But, I sometimes for moral or ethical reasons have to decide at the momment.

How about it being a doe injured and the fawn is ok?? Huh now watcha gonna do :-?

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Laws are meant to be followed, it 's not a matter of which ones you choose to follow because you think or feel are right and which ones don 't because you think or feel they are wrong.

If it 's a matter of ethics then killing an animal without permission from the warden is a violation of the law ( poaching ) and therefore unethical. Call the warden first, if he/she gives you permission to kill the animal then it 's alright, if not don 't do anything.

What if you can 't reach the warden ? You shoot the animal and you get caught by the warden, can you proove without a reason of a doubt you were not poaching and therfore breaking the law which is unethical ?

Being a law abiding citizen is to do what the law says when nobody is watching.

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Laws are meant to be followed, it 's not a matter of which ones you choose to follow because you think or feel are right and which ones don 't because you think or feel they are wrong.

If it 's a matter of ethics then killing an animal without permission from the warden is a violation of the law ( poaching ) and therefore unethical. Call the warden first, if he/she gives you permission to kill the animal then it 's alright, if not don 't do anything.

What if you can 't reach the warden ? You shoot the animal and you get caught by the warden, can you proove without a reason of a doubt you were not poaching and therfore breaking the law which is unethical ?

Being a law abiding citizen is to do what the law says when nobody is watching.

That doesn't really make sense. I'm not saying put the animal down or not, I don't really hunt and don't know the answer to the original question.

But saying that laws are always ethical is historically untrue. Laws are designed to cover most situations. The law is an adaptable creation that is always changing.

According to your thinking Rosa Parks was unethical for not sitting in the back of the bus because it was illegal.

Ethics by definition are the conceptual structures which are supposed to be used to define the law. The law is the attempt at the application of ethics to real world situations for the good of a society. Unfortunately laws are not always used this way and are not always ethical.

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