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EYES101

Ethical Question?

24 posts in this topic

You are out deer hunting and you only have a buck tag left. A doe walks up to your stand and its bottom jaw is completly shot off. Do you shoot the deer to save it from misery? and then do you take the deer with you, try to find someone who has a tag for it, or leave it lie. OR Let it go because you don't have a tag and it would be illegal?

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I originally responded "shoot the deer no question"...but I re-read your post and noticed that the situation was that you did not have a valid license to shoot a doe. That makes this situation a lot tougher. If you are party hunting and you know someone has an anterless tag then I say shoot it and use that tag. However, if you are hunting alone or do not have an anterless tag within your party then that is a much tougher question. I think I would still shoot the deer with no jaw and call the c.o. and explain it to him. If he fined me for that...then so be it...at least I'd know I did the the right thing and I would fight the fine in court. Tough situation...but that's life...you have to do what you think is right. I'm sure others will have different view points but that's what I think. I would take satisfaction in putting it's meat to use and ending its misery. With that said, I respect a person's stand not to shoot the doe because it would be against the law. Interesting situation, I look forward to the responses.

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If you don't have a tag and you are not party hunting you let the doe walk. Thats the law.

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Very tough call on that one. I'd think about back tracking the deer where it came from and find the hunter that took such a poor shot at the deer and cut his tree down with a chainsaw. It gets pretty old walking though the woods after deer season finding dead deer from hunters that just can't pass deer up if they don't have a quality kill shot. I've seen pleanty of dead deer in my time from poor shot placement or people that give up tracking a wounded animal too soon or for other personal reasons, or the groups of deer-drive hunters that all of a sudden a deer jumps up in front of multiple hunters and they swiss cheese the thing to death, Yep-that's sure hunting isn't it?

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Boom, then figure out who's going to tag it. You know a CO would shoot that deer. Now if it comes along with a flesh wound or limiting leg injury, that's not fatal, you let it go. A deer with it's jaw half shot off is going to starve to death, that's a horrible death.

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I can't let good meat go to waste. I'd shoot it and try to figure out a way to get it home. Illegal I know but ethically I can't let it go.

Bob

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I wrote an article that dealth with ethics for Outdoor News a couple years backs and I mentioned this situation. The problem lies herein; where do you draw the line? A missing jaw is a fairly easy diagnosis, but others are murkier. Blood on the chest? A broken leg? Everyone has to make their own decision and if you decide to shoot the doe, you must also be prepared for the consequences. What I tell people is that you have to weigh your conscience vs the consequences. You had better be prepared for the fine if you shoot it.

I had a CO say that he would not like the person to shoot it as it opened up all types of interpretation. My response is that you have your own set of ethics and you need to adhere to those and if you are willing to face the consequences, then it is your choice.

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Well said Cody Dawg.

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I had this exact thing happen a few years ago, I seen it sitting on stand, when I left stand we tracked it, kicked it up and put her out of her misory. None of my group had a tag, but we knew of others that had one. We discussed this very topic amongst our group, we decided we had to do it!

On a different time, our group didnt have any doe permits left and I shot 3 times and got 4 deer, 3 bucks and a doe! No one had an extra permit, I called the game warden, he said to either leave it lay, or come in and purchase another license, we bought the extra license. He also said dont let it happen again!

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Though I don't want to encourage it, our party has shot a deer we didn't have a tag for before. The hunter (not me) who shot it called #TIP on himself. Ended up with no fine, just had to gut the deer and the CO took it to be processed then donated to a food shelf. We would of been O.K. with a fine, but really didn't want to have our trucks and guns taken away if we would have tried to get away with it.

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A few years ago I shot a small spike that I would have never thought of shooting....I was walking to my stand and saw him about 50 yards away and could see the bone on almost the entire side of his jaw where someone grazed him during the first season. So he had been walking around like that for up to 7 days, he was right on the river bank, I can only assume he was trying to drink, didn't even see me coming. Not a legal matter but still I felt like I had to put that poor guy down.

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There is no-way I could let this deer go. After my fine and but chewin from the CO I would do it again. If someone wants to lay awake at nite knowing there is an animal out there suffering and going to die and they could have done something about and didn't so be it, But it won't be me.

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shoot it.

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Quote:

There is no-way I could let this deer go. After my fine and but chewin from the CO I would do it again. If someone wants to lay awake at nite knowing there is an animal out there suffering and going to die and they could have done something about and didn't so be it, But it won't be me.


Or me either!!! I had a sleepless night just like that...

I used to go down to the Canby area with a group of guys that turned out to be absolute HACKS when it came to hunting ethics. When our group was small (4-6) we all took deer with one, possibly two shots with ZERO lost deer. My last season hunting with this group, we numbered close to 20!! blush.gif

During a drive, they popped up a small doe and opened up. I had been trying to keep my distance from the pack, and when I heard all the shooting came to investigate. Well, they had hit the doe, but had not put her down. They all decided to "come back later and get her. She's hit good and can't go very far". They had heard of a "big buck" on a neighbors property so they all took off. I stayed behind and picked up the trail of the wounded deer and tracked her until dark. Early the next morning I (alone) went back to where I was tracking this animal and eventually found her, about a mile from where I had left off the day before, bedded down in a patch of tall switch grass. One blast from the 1100 sealed the deal.

When I checked the deer in at the local reg. station, the C.O. was there and asked me about the harvest. I told him the story and was commended for my actions. We talked for a while, shook hands and parted company. At that time, I did have a tag to use. However, in talking with the C.O., I got the feeling that even if I did not have an appropriate tag, I did the right thing.

As I drove home, I wrote that season off as a learning experience and have never hunted with that party since.

So for me... I'll take that shot, put the wounded animal down. Tag it if I have an appropriate tag. If not, I'll contact a C.O. and deal with the heat. I love to hunt. However I just can't stand to see needless suffering.

Sorry for the long post...

BTW... I know at least one member of that group frequents these forums. And a if you read this... here's a little F.Y.I. for there ya buddy... Wally has been informed and he WILL be watching!! mad.gif

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I agree, I think there is only so much the law can regulate. When it comes to how I feel as a person, and what I think the rite thing to do is, I do it. I would feel great paying a fine knowing that I did something to correct what another bad hunter did. The most important thing is that the deer is down and not suffering! Not only that, but I really think that most CO's would want the deer to be put down too!

H4L

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Some years ago a member of my hunting party had a fawn walk under his stand. From a distance he could see something was not right. When it finally got right up to him, he could see that it's hind quarters had been eaten away. Dogs or coyotes was the guess.

The fawn could hardly stand up let alone walk. When he looked closer, he saw that the wound wasn't fresh and was infected and full of puss. He shot that fawn.

We talked about what to do with it. But, with the infection, there's no way anyone was going to eat that meat. So, we left it for the coyotes to finish off.

We talked about calling the co. But, decided against that too. In my book there's NO logical way a person should even take a chance on getting a fine for doing the right thing. On the other hand, had a CO spotted that and found out about it, the guy said he was willing to accept a fine simply because he knew he did the right thing.

My take on it is to shoot the doe, let it revert back to nature via coyotes and buzzards. Remember, nothing is wasted in Nature. But, know before you shoot that you may get a fine.

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I am not following the take on the fine comments, sure the CO can give you a citation but in the end it is the judge that decides.

In this circumstance in my area in front of our judges I would plead my case...if you did not kill the animal then there would be an argument for wanton waste. So do the right thing in your opinion and stand up and defend your actions as long as you did what you felt was right.

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Yes but for some of us, getting the ticket is going to cost us regardless. If I had to drive to the court house, take a day off work, to argue my point to a judge, and still maybe be found guilty. It would be smarter financially to pay the $100 fine! Or whatever the fine maybe.

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I just want to mention again, be careful what you are self-diagnosing as 'clearly fatal'. The examples so far appear to have been cut and dried, but more likely than not, when it becomes your turn, it will not be so easy.

When I teach the ethics portion of FSC, I stongly encourage the students to talk with their group about these type of situations. And also talk with your deer hunting groups about neighboring properties...where can you follow deer, where you need to ask, where you cannot go.

I find it interesting that Moose Hunter knows of someone that frequents this forum that isn't perfect ethics-wise. From reading all the posts both on this topic and others, I thought everyone on this site was perfect... wink.gifgrin.gif

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Most Cos are human and even the dinks have what I feel is the right interperitaion of the law. Shoot!. Pay the fine if need be but I think most Co's will agree with your choices from what I have seen.

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I would shoot without question. If you take a hit for it, you do, but you did the right thing. If a CO actually busts you for it I would be surprised, especially if you call it in right away. I had a similar situation with a deer that got hit by a car. It was struggling on the side of the road. My buddy and I jumped out of the car and ended it with a knife. It had gotten hit in the neck and front side and was bleeding profusely. It wasn't going to make it and the CO felt the same upon arrival. He gave us a tag and we had back straps for dinner. When you are doing the right thing, the CO will most likely understand. They also know when to call B S and write you up.

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I was hoping to get lcorne's opinion or a more legal opinion, I want to see what the authority thinks?

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It is the courts jurisdiction for interpretation. It is the DNR's to put it into implementation and enforcement.

To many times CO's are placed into this type of choice of do I or don't I cite for this, and what happens if I do or don't.

Granted you might have to take time off from work or what ever, but with out a legal challenge the CO's have no choice but to enforce a law as it indicates. Only by establshing a precedence and a challenge to interpretation are things clarified. Other wise things go business as usual right or wrong.

JMO

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I did shoot the doe. I actually went back to town and bought a tag for it. I don't think I had any other options. I do agree on the fatal versus non-fatal debate, at least that there is definetly some gray area there. I have had some deer come by that had a leg injury and one that walked through almost like it had leg problems(almost like it was drunk). I never did figure out what was up with that deer. I'm assuming it was probably hit by a car and didn't heal right. It seems that most people would have done the same thing. I was pretty releived and surprised to read some of the comments. I didn't think that most people would readily call the DNR on themselves. I have and had the same experience. Friendly and for the most part understanding and fair.

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