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Thread: Did i make the right decision?

  1. #1

    Question Did i make the right decision?

    Evenin fellas,

    Out tonight sat in a highseat when out of the woods onto the crop come a Roe doe and her 2 kids, after about 10 seconds looking at them in the binos i noticed that the doe was limping very badly and carrying her left hind leg.

    My first insinct was to end her suffering, but with the crosshair rested on her engine room wasnt happy that the kids would make it through their first winter without her guidance.

    Then i thought maybe i could ease the burden for her through the winter by shooting one of the kids-but i couldnt be sure which one if either was a buck.

    I know i can shoot the kids if im about to orphan them but it would have been impossible to get 3 shots off at about 160 yards in failing light before they realised what was happening.

    In the end i did nothing-but dont feel entirely happy about it.

    Would the kids have survived the winter if i'd have shot the doe?

    The land is about as far south as you can get without getting wet, so the winters arent really harsh.

    Thanks in advance for any replies.


  2. #2
    I was in this position once with a fallow doe that had hung itself up on a barbed wire fence and was limping badly but had a young fawn at foot. It was a white doe and for this reason I decided to leave it for a while and was delighted to see it again a few weeks later moving much better and was glad that I'd left her.

  3. #3
    If you had of shot her then she definately would not have a chance to get better. At least with roe they generally frequent the same area so you ought to be able to keep an eye on her. If after a few weeks she gets worse then make the decision then.

  4. #4
    I am in total agreement with your actions. Had she not had kids at foot then I would have felt justified in taking the shot but with dependent young she deserves a chance to recover.
    Deer have remarkable powers of recovery and even severe injuries often remain free from what would seem certain infection.
    Good call mate!

  5. #5
    I have always followed this rule; In the event the deer is obviously distressed by the injury they are carrying e.g. emaciated, weak, not feeding, in poor condition, little movement etc then shooting is the No 1 choice. But, if the deer is injured and on close observation is feeding well and looks in reasonable condition then let it be. In this case with two young at foot they would not have survived the winter as the knowledge necessary to be passed from mother to young since end of may beginning of june [since their birth] to now is insufficient. You made the right call in my opinion at this time. As has already been said, keep an eye on it, they wont stray far and if her condition appears to worsen as winter sets in then you will need to rethink your options for all three of them. On my land I do not shoot the does with kids at foot before Jan. It seems to me, in my experience, they have enough knowledge to survive by this point if I then take the mother from them. To be clear, others do differently for all sorts of reasons and I am not criticising anyone and I am definately not saying what I do is right, it just works for me.

    The next paragraph is not aimed at anyone it is merely an observation:

    Too many people IMHO are too quick sometimes to shoot injured beasts without first studying what the effect the injury is or is not having on it. That is not too say you shouldn't cull if there is a clear reason to but just because a deer appears injured is not necessarily a good enough reason/justification to shoot it. A deer manager should consider the whole picture i.e. what the injury is, what impact it is having on the beast, its likelyhood of surviving the "said" injury if you can see it [by this I mean open wounds as opposed to breaks etc] and observe it and time of year etc. When all of these have been considered and the balance of probability is such that it is unlikely to survive then shooting is probably the right decision to make.

  6. #6


    Doe is still looking after, AND out of season.

    Doe is NOT a cull canidate.


  7. #7

    The Deer Act 1991 (As amended by statutory instrument 2007 No: 2183) defines closed seasons during which deer may not be shot except in certain restricted circumstances. The exceptions to the close season shooting prohibitation provided in the Act are numerous. One of these being "To prevent suffering"

    If someone considers a beast is suffering then it can be lawfully shot out of season.

  8. #8
    good call steve, as said, the kids would not survive the winter,and the doe appears to be looking after the twins , try and find her in a couple of weeks and take another look, she might be fine or maybe worse, if so make a call on what you see.

  9. #9

    back your choice 100%

    she as you say may be limping but my interpretation is that she was managing.
    i would also add if you felt strongly enough about it you should have taken her and i would still agree 100% with you.

    what i would now do is go up once a week or less if possible and see if you can observe her and see if she stabilises.

    all the best good call


  10. #10
    Account Suspended
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Didcot, Oxfordshire
    In the eyes of a complete novice, you did the right thing. The kids have a better chance with every moment they have to learn from their mother. Some times it seems to be better to watch nature take it's course without giving it a push. If you see her again, and her condition hasn't improved you'll be able to end her pain, and you'll have given the young will have been given a better chance.

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