To the Editor:
On Jan. 4, we were out walking our dogs. At the end of our property there is a vacant lot that has a wild animal path, well used by deer, coyote, turkey and pheasant, mostly, and also the very occasional bear and cougar. Karlee, our dog, diverted down this path into the woods and was not returning to my call.
I knew something really had her attention so I followed her and saw a trail of blood. I thought that something must have been hunted down or wounded and had either been dragged along or was bleeding from its wounds. We went up one trail, then Karlee corrected us, backtracked and went down another trail.
There, lying under a bush, was a beautiful buck deer, dead but not stiff as yet. The saddest part was that it was shot through one side of the stomach and right out the other side. The deer had gone as far as it could and lay down to recuperate.
Of course, Karlee went nuts and thought that this was the best thing ever. She yelped and fussed for hours after we took her away — physically.
Art hooked the deer up to the ATV and dragged it up to the road where the conservation officer picked it up within 10 minutes. He observed that the deer was shot right through, and probably by someone not far from here. That is called poaching. It’s so sad, though, that the thing had to suffer at the hands of someone who let it run off wounded and would not even be using the meat.
Something that really struck both Art and I was on Jan. 5, when three deer cautiously ambled down the hill in front of our house, crossed our road and then went right to the spot where we had lain the deer carcass to be picked up. They each took turns sniffing the area, lingering a bit before moving on. We can’t help but wonder if it was their buddy, mate or sibling. It looked that way, as we watched until they moved off down to our back woods.