Yesterday, while walking with the dogs, I heard a loud commotion in the undergrowth and the dogs took off barking. After a few minutes of their intensifying racket, I went to investigate. I found a 4 point buck who was down and appeared unable to use his back legs efficiently for standing or running off.
The dogs were going nuts. What a prize! The more it thrashed about and tried to stand, the more animated and vocal they became. They started making lunges at him to get a bite. I grew increasingly angry, at the dogs and the situation.
Upon closer observation, I saw a wound in his left thigh consistent with an arrow wound. It is bow hunting season here. It appeared that he was partially paralyzed in the rear. Likely, the tip of the arrow was in his spine.
I called my brother-in-law, who called a neighbor, who came in a 4 wheeler with a rifle and the buck was put down with a single shot. Out of pain and terror.
For me, relief and anger. I know of the positive values associated with hunting. I am saddened by the knowledge of animals that have been and will be maimed and left to die in pain. Doc
7 pm update: This afternoon I tried to be an undertaker for our wronged friend. However, a queasy stomach (thank you trintellix), a dense system of subsurface roots, and my damned back conspired to prevent it. My reasons were selfish. His body lies along the creek and a favorite stretch of woods. His smell is going to be big and will last a while. And you know how dogs love to anoint themselves with nastiness. I had to hold a fallen, ripe paw paw fruit under my nose to get past him today. But he will feed many creatures in the weeks and months to come, so I will just have to learn to deal.