I saw some of you all talking about the "view to a kill" article in the October's DDH issue, but I hadnt gotten mine yet, and so hadnt read the article. But I finally got mine and found that article to read, i was curious what all the discussion was about. I wanted to add on to that post, but I cant find it, so I'll just make a new one.
anyway, after reading that article, I could go either way on whether to go put the deer down or not. Had i been the one out in the woods that day, however, I probably would have done the same thing he did. What would make a difference for me is how far away that deer is. He said the deer was 125 or 150 yards away. if the deer walks right under my stand i would shoot it. in fact, i did just that last year. i filled my buck tag on opening day last year on a deer that was hit by a car. it was hard to do, he was not even close to the caliber buck i had been dreaming of all summer, and there were plenty of much bigger bucks available later that fall that i had to pass. and i knew that would happen, but he did come under my stand, so i went ahead and shot him. in that case i saw him get hit, so i would have tracked him down even if he hadnt come under my stand.
if the deer doesnt come within range of the stand while im in the stand, i might hunt and then go check it out when i was done hunting, at least under the circumstances described in the article i would have hunted first. in the article, he didnt have any way of knowing how badly the deer was hurt. he could have gone over there right away, and that deer could have just kept running ahead of him, never giving him a chance to even shoot her. i get the ethics of it, a guy should at least try to go help the animal out and put it out of its misery if you can. but nature is a cruel place, and this stuff happens to animals all the time. and how far are we supposed to go to help out?
I watch those shows on the discovery channel of the lions and gazelle hanging out in africa. those camera people find baby animals all the time who are orphaned because their mom was eaten, and now that baby is doomed to starve or be eaten. it breaks a person's heart that they dont just scoop those babies up and help them out, but they don't, and shouldnt. its nature, there are times when it needs to run its course.
if the doe had been obviously shot, or hit by a car, or obviously injured by a human in some way, i would go more out of my way to finish it off. we caused the problem, we should finish it then. but animals get hurt all on their own all the time, and its rough, and there is a lot of good reason to always go finish off a wounded animal, but its also nature, and its going to happen whether we are there to watch it or not. i dont think there is always something wrong with just watching. this particular article really falls in a gray area, i could personally argue for either side of the issue, but today i think I'll just say i probably would have done what he did. every situation is different, and im not saying i would always let the wounded animal die on its own, but from what i got from this article, i think i would have handled it the way he did.