The Friday edition of The Times-Gazette (Jan.11, 2013) had an article entitled "'Baby Girl' disappears" on the front page along with a picture of a young hunter titled "Big Buck Bagged" on page 7. I was going to let it pass - but I couldn't. My brain wouldn't let it go, and so here I am.
This is such a typical example of the hunter vs. animal lover theme that has been repeated time and time again. The fact is - most hunters are animal lovers, and I plan to discuss this in an upcoming blog. Today I want to focus on the issues surrounding the "Baby Girl" article.
Let me make myself clear - I despise the actions of pet owners who allow their pets to roam. It is irresponsible and in many cases illegal. These actions do nothing good for pets and I feel they are neglectful, cruel and even dangerous. (I'm not opinionated, either.)
But, in my opinion, someone should have alerted TWRA so that this particular deer could have been humanely euthanized (shot).
My reasoning - if the deer sustained a physical injury that caused the symptoms described - the animal would have been in pain. If the injury were old, the animal would certainly have osteoarthritic issues. The weight of the animal and the type of running/leaping that these animals do would result in tremendous pain.
The symptoms described could certainly be neurological in nature and could be caused by a disease that might be contagious and affect many deer.
Regardless of the injury, the deer lived a highly stressful life. The inability to escape from predators, the inability to find food successfully, and a weakened immune system would result in a very poor quality of life.
Sometimes our human nature of nurturing keeps us from seeing below the surface - this surface being "oh, poor deer, she's so cute and is trying so hard, etc.) We were charged by God in Genesis to oversee the animal kingdom. Often our oversight is clouded by our feelings - either well-intentioned or not.