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Friday, Sep. 19, 2014

Deer - a Paradox

Posted Monday, January 14, 2013, at 10:13 AM

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.


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Be aware for you never know when you are entertaining Angels.Who said they had to be in human form?

-- Posted by kings11 on Sun, Jan 20, 2013, at 4:55 PM

I can imagine it would be a heart tugging battle. Last night I saw some kittens in a parking lot and worried about them not having anything to eat on a cold night. I went to a local grocery store and bought some kitten food to put out for them.

A fellow in the store said I should just leave them to live or die and I understood but responded that they might be killed tomorrow, but they won't starve to death in the cold on my "watch".

He asked if he hung out in a parking lot, would I feed him. I joked that as long as he ate kitten food, we were good, but yes, I have taken a number of persons asking for donations on a city street into a local restaurant and bought them a meal.

If they won't do that, then I question how destitute they really are and move on without a concern. Hmmm, I think I will go to see if the kitten food is gone. :-)

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 9:32 AM

Thanks, Steve. When I created Walden's and shaped its mission and growth, it took a long time to emotionally separate from what is "natural" and what isn't!

-- Posted by wildwoman on Wed, Jan 16, 2013, at 4:42 PM

That protection extends to deer as well. For some reason they graze my front yard and even walk through the gardens but do not stop to eat. As long as that continues, we are good.

If it changes, I would think about protective barriers but killing would be the absolute last option and only if my garden was our major source of food. In that case, venison would sound good anyway.

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jan 16, 2013, at 9:53 AM

I like your comment about the snake wildwoman. There is not much that we do not catch, remove and release, except fleas, ticks and cockroaches of course.

We try to avoid anything on the road, including snakes and coyotes. It would not be unusual to see us shooing a snapping turtle off the road or any other creature that needs a little encouragement and help to cross the road.

That does not include animals we think are rabid. We don't hit them but we do not get out to help them either. If it is that obvious that they are impaired, they are not long for life anyway.

If rabid skunks, coons, etc. are around our house, I dispatch them, then burn or bury (deep). That is about the only reason I would do it unless they are in the process of attacking one of our animals. Then, their bubble of protection from me is burst. :-)

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jan 16, 2013, at 9:50 AM

I see your point, quietmike.

But, for example, in this area the natural predator for deer would be wolves. Way back when, humans hunted and trapped wolves almost to the point of extinction in the south. We took away the natural predator and now the deer population is out of control.

How about when someone shoots a bald eagle?

Or someone shoots a mother bird for the fun of it and there are orphan babies left behind?

I believe that when God created us it was well-balanced - animals, nature, habitats, etc. I can't see the balance when animals are killed or injured by cars, or BB guns. I don't think the intention was for baby rabbits to be run over by lawnmowers.

A snake made its way into one of our songbird pre-release flight pens. It killed a couple of birds and was discovered with a cardinal which was partially eaten. The volunteers were all mad at the snake and wanted to kill it. It is natural for snakes to do this, and the snake was freed. We did a better job with our pens after that!

In terms of Mother Nature smacking us around - I agree. But the difference to me is that the storms, floods, hurricanes, etc. are natural events and not created by humans.

This is definitely an interesting topic and I hope to hear more on the subject!

-- Posted by wildwoman on Wed, Jan 16, 2013, at 9:08 AM

Since humans are part of nature, I don't see our actions as interference, just part of the system. Mother nature has smacked us around from time to time over the years.

-- Posted by quietmike on Wed, Jan 16, 2013, at 4:20 AM

Hi, kings11.

I absolutely agree with you. Nature does take care of itself - except when we humans or our actions interfere.

-- Posted by wildwoman on Tue, Jan 15, 2013, at 7:57 AM

Always remember nature will take care of itself,and hunting keeps the game population in check.

-- Posted by kings11 on Mon, Jan 14, 2013, at 5:41 PM


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Vicky Carder is a Shelbyville native. In 1991 she founded Walden's Puddle Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Nashville. There she served as Executive Director for more than 12 years. The Center is the largest wildlife hospital in Middle Tennessee. She has published in wildlife national and international journals. Now she wants to share her knowledge of native wildlife and some of the experiences she had while working with wildlife.
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