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Law question- discharge of wounded deer after dark

IowaBowHunter1983

Super Moderator
Staff member
Buddy just called me... said doe is in front of him not moving but alive. Asked of he could legally shoot it. I assumed not but don't really know. What say y'all?
 

Nrharris

Well-Known Member
I don't know whether legal or not, but I would dispatch it. I would feel responsible for the animal suffering and would try to end it as soon as possible. I would think a warden would be understanding of that, but maybe I am naive.
 

Habitat1

PMA Member
Outside of the suffering argument of what is morally right/wrong, shooting hours apply even to a wounded animal.
 

Daver

PMA Member
I don't know whether legal or not, but I would dispatch it. I would feel responsible for the animal suffering and would try to end it as soon as possible. I would think a warden would be understanding of that, but maybe I am naive.
Agreed. ^^ I would take my chances with a situation like above. I know of a few cases where someone walked up on a very hurt deer and didn't finish it with a "late" shot and the end result was the deer escaping and never being found while still salvageable.
 

CurtisWalker

Moderator
I had this happen a couple years ago, contacted the DNR said there’s nothing I could do. Even he agreed it was crappy.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

northcedar

Active Member
My dad was afraid to shoot after hours once. He brought out the crow bar. I was young and the memory of that I think has us both trying to be as humane as possible forever more. He's farmed animals and fought hard in Nam and seen way more that I hopefully ever will, so I don't judge.
 

Windlooker

Well-Known Member
How about we apply what common sense dictates and what the right thing is . Legislation, or the letter of the law, can’t dictate every set of circumstances. The spirit of this law doesn’t apply here, ie poaching after dark, which this clearly isn’t. What Daver said, do what’s right and ethical for the animal.
 

meyeri

PMA Member
My advice, keep calling game wardens, you might get the answer you want.

I am usually a stickler for the law, but if an animal is mortally wounded and or cannot get up and move, then I'm gonna do the ethical thing in my mind and deal with the repercussions should they come. LE has more discretion than they let on sometimes; a lot of laws are somewhat vague, so they are left to interpretation and any officer that enforces a stupid law to the letter, needs to question why he's doing what he's doing. What was the intent and scope of the law? Obviously for poaching, so clearly there should be an exception. Sometimes guys get denied salvage tags, call a different game warden and get one. Shows you they have more discretion then they let on.
 

bigbuckhunter88

PMA Member
I know this has been talked about before. The one instance that sticks out to me is when Winke laid out in the woods all night waiting for one to take its last breath and keep the coyotes away. I thought in that instance instance officer said he wished he would have called to either give Bill permission to dispatch or he would've come out and done it.
Either way I would apply moral code and end the suffering. Because you Either lay out all night waiting for it to did (not me, don't need to hear that and have kids at home id rather be laying with) or run the risk of having the coyotes beat ya to it
 

newfarmer

Active Member
I guess whats any difference when an archery hunter lets one lay over night? I get it, he found it and its wounded- I would want to put it out of its misery. But the law is the law and a buddy of mine got ticketed in MN for the exact same thing. It was 2 hours after dark and they were blood trailing, shot the deer cause it couldnt get up. By the time they got back to the truck a warden was there.
In my opinion, if you have a blood trail leading to the deer and shoot it, I think MOST would look the other way... But I would also for sure expect a visit from a warden and have to tell your story.
I know what I would do, and I wouldnt post it on Social Media :)
 

Daver

PMA Member
I know this has been talked about before. The one instance that sticks out to me is when Winke laid out in the woods all night waiting for one to take its last breath and keep the coyotes away. I thought in that instance instance officer said he wished he would have called to either give Bill permission to dispatch or he would've come out and done it.
Either way I would apply moral code and end the suffering. Because you Either lay out all night waiting for it to did (not me, don't need to hear that and have kids at home id rather be laying with) or run the risk of having the coyotes beat ya to it
I think you might be thinking of Jake H on The Hunting Public, not Winke. Or, it is possible that Bill had a situation like this too and I don't remember it. But, no matter who it was, it is better to end it early than to let the animal hang on for hours just so to be in compliance...IMO.
 

bigbuckhunter88

PMA Member
I think you might be thinking of Jake H on The Hunting Public, not Winke. Or, it is possible that Bill had a situation like this too and I don't remember it. But, no matter who it was, it is better to end it early than to let the animal hang on for hours just so to be in compliance...IMO.
I know Jake had am instance but I know Winke did as well. I'll see if I can dig up Winkes post about it
 

ElkFever2

Member
If the animal can’t get up, make a slow approach, calmly grab an ear or antler tight in one hand, grasp a sturdy knife tightly in the other hand, and cut down the throat. I’ve done it a few times. The deer doesn’t panic until the knife pierces. Yes, you could get kicked, or stabbed by an antler, but IMO this is part of the responsibility we take on when shooting an animal at last light.
 

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