mercy killing of 3 legged doe

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Offroad Gary

Well-Known Member
on the last day of the pheasant season i spotted a roe doe in my ground with a front leg broken at the knee cap. i only had a shotgun with me so i left her and took a detour on the way home when i spotted her again, with a group, laying in some stubble. some footpath walkers disturbed them and the others moved off, but she layed down, obviously in some discomfort. i tried for her the next morning but could only get her on the skyline. seen her twice since, and now she is back. bottom of leg is off, she is barran but apart from that looks pretty healthy, apart from the obvious limp.

questions are,

does a 3 legged deer qualify/justify an out of season mercy killing?

do you think her injury prevented her from concieving, or is it just a coincedence?

cheers in advance.


Well-Known Member
Mercy killing of three legged doe

Hi Bucksden,
Where my brother moved as a keeper (we didn't have the stalking) there was a roe doe with a back leg missing.
We spoke to the stalker who said that she had been about for a couple of years and didn't want to shoot her. We saw her frequently, she seemed to cope well and had twin kids the next two years before she disapeared.
As for mercy killing, I can only say that I would probably take out any animal if I thought they were suffering.

The Mole

Well-Known Member
Wouldn't hesitate to take any 3 legged deer as part of the cull, whether in season or not. Definitely OK within the law as far as I'm aware.

Deer with 3 legs seem to get about pretty well and breed. Theres a bit in the latest BDS magazine about it.


Well-Known Member
I'd take it out mate, its may get brought down by dogs or end up caught in a fence. I know that the same thing could happen to any deer but the odds are greater for a three legged beast surely? :confused:


I did the same this weekend. Shot a buck with the bone sticking out of the skin in two places. Looked horrible and it was useless. My assumption is that it happened jumping the stock fence which is all around my place. I know that there is a thread somewhere about wire and I believe it takes a significant toll.


Well-Known Member
i hav shot quite a few 3 legged beasts on my ground over the last few years but the most surprising of all was my last one
a muntjac doe we nicked named here tripod
she was very heavily pregnant and missing a hind leg from the knuckle down , closer inspection showed the leg that was left was actualy broken and swinging in the breeze but more surprising when skinned was the amount of lead shot found all along her back possibly from a back end shot, like i said she was about to calf but had no fat reserves and no milk only one conclusion for the calf 'death'
this was one pregnant doe i was happy to cull,
but going back to the original post , if knew i was close enough for a killing shot then i probaly would of taken it, but the injury would definately be the reason why she will be barren this year as the injury would of led to a miscarry next year things will be different if she is still healthy and capable of breeding , but the risk of infection may get the better of her
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