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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

London police did excellent job putting injured deer down

A deer was struck recently by a vehicle in London, Ontario. It was left severely injured. It's limbs smashed; Its antlers broken. When police arrived, the fatally injured animal was suffering in a parking lot, unable to walk.

It was a tough situation but the London police made the right call by ending the animal's misery quickly. But many didn't view it that way, and many people did view the shooting of the deer. A Londoner captured the incident on his cell phone and posted the video on YouTube. It has had more than 15,500 viewings.

Deer are common in the city and collisions with vehicles all too frequent.

The London Free Press quotes a police constable: "We have to consider the surroundings. If we used a round that penetrated through the deer, we would have to be prepared for ricochet." The officer used a 12-gauge shotgun to put the injured deer away with three shots in less than half a minute.

The truth is dying is tough. It is not often immediate. I did some research and found what hunters themselves have to say about their kills.

"I shot one whitetail doe there [behind the shoulder, in the heart/lung area] and she ran at least 60 yards before dropping. I shot a fallow doe last Sunday and the shot went through the lungs and out the other side of the deer. She hobbled down off the little hill she was standing on, then down a draw about 150 yards from me. By the time I got to her she was giving up the ghost, but she had lived for a minute or two."

Another hunter listed his kills, saying:

  • '05 Shot a big bodied buck, 50cal muzzle loader, thru the heart. Ran 100 yards decent blood trail.
  • '07 bigger bodied buck, 7RM ballistic tip center of the shoulder. Dropped dead, three men could not find a bullet hole. NO blood.
  • '08 .50 cal thru the center of one shoulder, exit 4" behind other. minimal blood hard tracking approx 100 yards.

I don't hunt but I did once work for the Ministry of Natural Resources. I used to hear the hunters with whom I worked chatting. I learned a quick kill did not mean immediate death. The London police officer was armed with a good weapon for discharging in a built-up urban area. His weapon was less than ideal for killing a deer. He did a good job, weighing his options, and carrying out a difficult duty.

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