Can I legally shoot a suffering/dying animal?

This is a discussion on Can I legally shoot a suffering/dying animal? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Originally Posted by DeathRales Don't waste a bullet, slit it's throat. I'm not going to get anywhere near an injured animal. A deers hoofs are ...

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Thread: Can I legally shoot a suffering/dying animal?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeathRales View Post
    Don't waste a bullet, slit it's throat.
    I'm not going to get anywhere near an injured animal. A deers hoofs are lethal weapons.
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  3. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by kb2wji View Post
    I hate watching an animal suffer, but its still a better idea to just call the local wildlife agency, or a LEO.
    Call the police and tell them where it is. If you want, let them know you have the means to dispatch it if they have no objections to you doing it.
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  4. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBuckwheat View Post
    ...But also I am concerned about the lack of training/experiance from the deputy and question if he would be capable of protecting me or my family. What good are a bunch of cops who can only write speeding tickets and accident reports?
    Cops are trained to protect lives and property, not to dispatch wounded animals. If the deer were trying to kill you I'm sure he would have been just fine. What would you have them do, spend 3 months of academy time shooting animals in a slaughterhouse for the experience? I think it speaks well of the officer that it bothered him to have to destroy an innocent creature for no good reason. Its not like someone was going to get to eat because of it. l Besides, we know that statistically any LEO won't be there for you and yours until after the fact; that's why we all carry.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeathRales View Post
    Don't waste a bullet, slit it's throat.

    ^^^^^^^^I wouldn't do that to a big-un^^^^^^^^^^

    You might THINK that its incapacitated.
    You might THINK that its just about breathed its last.
    And just about the time you get the folder out,kneel down next to it, it just might decide your head is gonna look better with its hoof prints in it.

    Tough decision.
    Where I live, or along a desolate highway, I might go bang?
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    Check the "game laws" and animal related laws in Okla.... in Kansas it is legal unless it's a deer, then it's legal... BUT ... better be on the phone with 911, as local law enforcement or the Hwy Patrol have to be informed (due to the tag requirements on deer). Can't shoot inside the city limits of a city.

    Call ... your Hwy Patrol or Game Commission, and I'm sure they can tell you .... that's the best 2 sources. Don't know if you have any issues there if it's on tribal lands, that could be an issue unto itself.
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  7. #36
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    It largely depends on the laws in the state where you are located. Several years ago I struck a deer that came running from the side of the road in Albemarle County, Virginia. The County police were called due to the damage and the fact that the deer was still alive. The officer took all my information for his report then went to ease the deer. They were carrying 40 S&W caliber pistols at the time. He had fired 4 shots by the time I left the scene and I'm not sure if he fired any more. The 40 may not be good for deer or the officer was a very poor shot. My guess is he was a poor shot.

  8. #37
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    Sadly I've dispatched quite a few injured/sick animals. I do hate to see them suffer; however I have rescued, healed and released those that I could save as well.

    I had a thread going here awhile back about an owl trapped in my fireplace. Before I rescued him, I called the local game warden and told him what was going on and my intentions to release him if uninjured. He said fine and call him back if I had any problems.

    A few years ago I had a big buck run out in front of me one night, I braked as hard as I could but still hit him broadside with a Pathfinder at about 30 mph. He hit the pavement and slid forever, while my wife was screaming forever. At the moment, I felt he'd be very injured and I remember thinking I won't let him suffer until someone got there, I'd do it myself. That big buck jumped up and ran off like nothing happened. So you never know. BTW some local guys happened to tell me about a somewhat crippled buck they recently killed. From their description/location I'm pretty sure that was the buck that ran off.

    Shooting a dying animal is a pretty broad question. Does the dying animal belong to you, is it a game animal, or does it belong to someone else? What's the legalities about shooting on or near the highway, or within so many feet of a residence? Could "euthanizing by gun" be seen as animal cruelty to a pet in your state? I'd say there are definitely pitfalls that could haunt you in the aftermath, much depends on the LEO and the prosecutor.

    I helped out at a local wreck on a bridge one night. While we were waiting around for a wrecker, we happened to look down at the creek bank and there lay a good-sized mocassin. Once all the activity died down I went to my house and got a .410 and asked the deputy if he wanted me to kill the snake. Although it is illegal here to shoot on the highway, he said it would be fine and to go ahead. We had all realized that had the car gone a bit farther we could have easily encountered that very snake while dealing with the vehicle.

    The law is the law, and it varies state to state, and the circumstances around all of this has a big variation. I'm not suggesting doing anything illegal whatsoever, but I do feel sorry for a suffering animal.
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  9. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    Shoot it, dress it,throw it in the truck,butcher it and eat it.

    Fixed.


    You dont need to call an LEO unless you want an accident report.



    edited: dont try to slit the throat of a wounded deer. It's messy and you could get hurt.
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  10. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Knight View Post
    It largely depends on the laws in the state where you are located. Several years ago I struck a deer that came running from the side of the road in Albemarle County, Virginia. The County police were called due to the damage and the fact that the deer was still alive. The officer took all my information for his report then went to ease the deer. They were carrying 40 S&W caliber pistols at the time. He had fired 4 shots by the time I left the scene and I'm not sure if he fired any more. The 40 may not be good for deer or the officer was a very poor shot. My guess is he was a poor shot.
    I know the deer I took care of recently was done with a single shot to the head with a .40 I'm guessing you're right.
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  11. #40
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    This was one of the first questions I asked in PCW class... The answer was If you have called 911 and the sheriff en route is too far away he may allow it... stay there once you've done it... And state DNR would frown on it...

    I asked because I'd hit one, broke both it's back legs and had to drag it off the road... If I'd even had my knife, it was small enough I could have slit it's throat... I had to let it die of its internal injuries... Wasn't happy about it...
    It could be worse.
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  12. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoganbeg View Post
    Cops are trained to protect lives and property, not to dispatch wounded animals. If the deer were trying to kill you I'm sure he would have been just fine. What would you have them do, spend 3 months of academy time shooting animals in a slaughterhouse for the experience? I think it speaks well of the officer that it bothered him to have to destroy an innocent creature for no good reason. Its not like someone was going to get to eat because of it. l Besides, we know that statistically any LEO won't be there for you and yours until after the fact; that's why we all carry.
    The officer tagged it for me and I gutted it on the spot took it home. Carved up the good meat and was tasty. I got rid of the rest. I was just saying that poor fawn had to suffer for 30-40 minutes after I hit it. I would not shoot in a resdential area. At 11:30 at night it was really loud. I think it was a 40 I could not find the brass in the dark. I don't think any deputies in this area would say any thing if you had to shoot it. As long as you were up front with them. If you tried to hide the fact that you shot it then may be a different story.

  13. #42
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    This question asked by the OP cannot be answered in a satisfactory manner because what is acceptable in one place, may not be in another.

    Where I live, hardly a day passes by that we do not see dead deer on the road. The road that turns off to my house, (a 1/2 mile long dead end road) is a major deer crossing area. The road there stays bloody. As a Deputy it is quite common for me to count at least 20 deer on a shift in city limits. Our city sees several deer a week killed on the roadway.

    Lately, I have been using a suppressed .22 to put them down. I too hate to see any animal suffer. It is common for us to do deer/collision reports for the incidents that take place, some are required by Insurance companies. Much property damage as well as personal injury occurs because of deer. One episode involved a 4 wheel drive truck with large tires hitting a pretty good buck. That buck came through the windshield at around 65 MPH and hit the driver square in the face. He spent over a year in the hospital and underwent many surgeries to reconstruct his face. To those of us that knew him, he looked very different when it was over, almost unrecognizable in fact.

    We get enough calls that if the dispatchers asks us if they affected party can put the deer down, we almost always let them do it. I just tell the dispatcher to make sure that they have a good backstop. Out town is fairly rural, so its not usually an issue. As for the Game and Fish, they would rather have you do it than to bother them.

    The thing is, its common. It happens almost every day. We can predict the "RUT" due the increase of deer vs. vehicle collisions, when the bucks go berserk and show themselves during the day.

    But...
    what happens here in my hometown in Arkansas and passes for the norm, may not somewhere else. It may be that you are required to call the law, or that you cannot discharge a weapon from a highway with out fear of getting written up by some Yahoo with a badge and no common sense.

    Its different every where you go, so the advice of those on the forum is for the most part worthless. I'm as guilty as anyone else of giving advice when I forget that my world is not the same as everyones else's.

    The only thing that matters is the LAW were you are located and it has been stated many times on this forum that ignorance of the law is no excuse.

    To the OP, yeah...we are fortunate to live where such things like dispatching a wounded animal is minor in the big scheme of things. Out side of Springdale city limits you should be good to go, but there is always an exception to the rule. You might get spotted by the one idiot on the force that wants to make an issue of it.

    On the other hand, you must do what is right. I'll not stand around and watch a deer, or any other animal for that matter suffer. You have to do the right thing.

    I would have likely shot it in the head with my .40 after making sure there was no traffic coming in either direction that would see the gunfire. Would this have been illegal and/or stupid?
    Illegal? Probably not, but I cannot say with any certainty because I don't know the law in Springdale. Stupid? Only if you put others in jeopardy. Since no traffic was coming in either direction...I'd say go for it.
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  14. #43
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    Reminds me of that old joke:

    "911, what's your emergency?"
    "I just killed a jogger with my truck!"
    "Sir, are you sure he's dead?"
    "Hang on..."
    *bang*bang*bang*
    "Yep. He's dead."

  15. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by raytracer View Post
    Reminds me of that old joke:

    "911, what's your emergency?"
    "I just killed a jogger with my truck!"
    "Sir, are you sure he's dead?"
    "Hang on..."
    *bang*bang*bang*
    "Yep. He's dead."
    I've heard a slight variation on this one...

    911, what's your emergency?"
    "My husband just collapsed! I think he's dead!"
    "Dead? Are you sure?"
    "I'm pretty sure."
    "Ma'am, I need you to make sure he's not still breathing."
    "Okay. Hang on..."
    *bang*bang*bang*
    "Okay. He's not breathing."
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  16. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    This question asked by the OP cannot be answered in a satisfactory manner because what is acceptable in one place, may not be in another.
    Sorry, I should have specified. I was in Northeast Oklahoma on Highway 412, headed east, about 10 miles west of the toll booth. You're right, though. For clarity's sake, I should have titled this thread "Can I legally shoot a suffering/dying animal in Oklahoma?"


    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    To the OP, yeah...we are fortunate to live where such things like dispatching a wounded animal is minor in the big scheme of things. Out side of Springdale city limits you should be good to go, but there is always an exception to the rule. You might get spotted by the one idiot on the force that wants to make an issue of it.

    On the other hand, you must do what is right. I'll not stand around and watch a deer, or any other animal for that matter suffer. You have to do the right thing...
    I was definitely outside any city limits, but I had the same thought you did about running into a by-the-book officer. While my hope would be that an LEO would understanding, I'm not sure I would bet my CHL and/or freedom from jail on hope. That's why I would wait until there was no traffic visible, then make sure I had a safe backdrop (the ground in this case). Thanks for the input HotGuns.
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