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Thread: Harrowing experience with a whitetail fawn in Canada.

  1. #1

    Harrowing experience with a whitetail fawn in Canada.

    Last week, I was with family and friends by Sandy Lake, near Buckhorn, Ontario. During our sojourn, our main mode of transport was the canoe, and one evening, with Young Pine Marten in bed, Mrs PM and I went for an exploratory paddle. As we were heading back across the lake, I saw what looked like a large bird some distance away, perhaps a cormorant or loon sunning its' wings I thought, although I've not seen them do that resting on water before. But this was Canada, their birds may be different. As we approached, I thought it just didn't look like a cormorant, and then it struck me. "My God", I said, "it's a deer swimming". So we headed towards it to see if we could take a picture. Then the full horror struck me: it became clear that this was quite a young fawn, completely disorientated and swimming around blindly. Only it was clear to me that I couldn't bring it on board. Even if I managed to, it would kick around and capsize the canoe. Even if it didn't, what would I do with it? There was no telling where it had come from and where its' mother was.

    Then it started bleating at us as we were clearly the only thing it could see, and we paddled away with lumps in our throats. I kept reasuring Mrs PM that it would find its' way to the bank, but as I looked back once in a while, it seemed to just be weaving around. I told my friend when we returned, and he immediately set off in a larger more stable boat to see what he could do. I told him that if he must attempt this, his best bet was to get it to follow him to the edge. But he came back with an ashen-looking face, as all that happened was that he came alongside it in time to see it run out of steam and go under.

    I had quite a lot of trouble going to sleep that evening, even though I knew that there was no chance of that lost fawn surviving. It wasn't the water, it was the fact that it was alone. But it's still not easy to accept. I must be a pretty soppy deerstalker.

    Attachment 44072Attachment 44073
    Last edited by Pine Marten; 02-07-2014 at 21:05.

  2. #2
    Survival of the fittest, mate. Don't worry about it, it's natures way.

  3. #3
    Don't feel soppy I can totally relate to your reaction. It is horrendous to see a wonderful creature struggle in vain, especially when with a bit of orientation it could have perhaps made it, but I can understand why you didn't take any risks with Mrs PM on board.

  4. #4
    Nope, I can feel where you are coming from mate. However it is ultimately nature and only the strongest and wisest survive.

    It is still no way for an animal to go, but lets be honest, if you had got it to the side, what where the chances of it surviving on it's own, also very slim I would imagine. None the less it's still very upsetting mate to see something like that and probably something you'll never forget unfortunately.

    I think deep down we are all like that are we not? I for one am!

    Also wish I didn't look at those pictures then.... The poor ****er, looks petrified!
    Last edited by pezz69; 02-07-2014 at 21:03.

  5. #5
    I know you said your Young Pine Marten was in bed, and you was with Mrs PM

    Did the rest of the martens sleep

    It was bleating at you as you paddled away with lumps in your throats.

    You told your friend what to do, in an effort to help him in a larger more stable boat.

    A sad thing for the Martens to witness

    A harrowing tale indeed The countryside is a cruel place !!

    What more could a marten have done
    Last edited by Trufflehunting; 03-07-2014 at 01:42.
    Humans are pre wired with fight or flight response
    Great Grandad fought, Grandad fought.
    For the sake of my Grandchild I wish for Less Flight responses entering Europe

  6. #6
    Would have made a wonderful bank-side barbeque for a pack of Pine Martens.


  7. #7
    SD Regular Mr. Gain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klenchblaize View Post
    Would have made a wonderful bank-side barbeque for a pack of Pine Martens.

    Some people can be absolutely relied upon to wear a loud kipper tie to a funeral!
    "Docendo discimus" - Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC – 65 AD)
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  8. #8
    Good stalkers care about deer and wildlife. Bad stalkers do not.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Gain View Post
    Some people can be absolutely relied upon to wear a loud kipper tie to a funeral!
    With a theme though:


  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Klenchblaize View Post
    Would have made a wonderful bank-side barbeque for a pack of Pine Martens.

    I did consider that, obviously, but I don't think that an animal that had suffered an extremely stressful demise and is pumped full of adrenaline would make a great barbecue. I'm also pretty sure that I would have fallen foul of local wildlife rules: they don't joke around with stuff like that in Canada. It would have made for a pretty grim event I think. I prefer to think that it's been turned into huge muskellunge, which I failed to catch. My ambition to catch a fish as big as YPM was thwarted: it just wasn't that sort of lake. But I do have some good fishing stories that I'll share subsequently.

    Everyone else, thanks for your concern, but I'm over it, it's not the worst thing I've witnessed after all. I agree that having compassion for wildlife is a good thing. From a purely immediate practical perspective, it helps us to focus on minimising suffering. It's why there's that sense of relief when a deer or other beast drops stone dead instantly.

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