Every year at the nature preserve, during the 3 months of deer hunting season, we can always count on a certain number of wounded deer coming over our border. In most of these cases these animals are tracked but never found. They may die of their injuries in a few hours, or they may linger for months and die during the course of the long winter. Undoubtedly, some survive beyond that and may even recover to some degree, but in my opinion, it all comes down to large amount of unnecessary suffering.
We are currently in the midst of the archery season, and deer hunters armed with bow and arrows are busy on all sides of our preserve, trying their best to take down their hoofed prey. Two days ago, I came across one of the casualties of this "sport"; it involved a very young deer that was born just this past spring. She had a deep wound on her shoulder where evidently, an arrow had struck and then fell out. The wound wasn't bleeding anymore, but the area around it looked to be infected. The fawn herself appeared very sick and weak. She was laying down on a small island in one of our beaver ponds. I surmised that she was probably chased by predators and sought refuge in the pond. Once she reached the island, she likely just collapsed from exhaustion.
|The wounded doe stands on a small island in the beaver pond|
|Another Doe heads down the trail towards me|
|Deer communicate with each other with gestures like this one that mimics grooming|
|Sometimes deer survive their wounds only to die during the course of the winter|