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Hebrew Battle Rifle
December 09, 2005, 04:27
...gone back in time just a few minutes and stopped myself from shooting that doe.

I saw her come out for the woods about 50 yards from my stand. She was a big doe ( for here anyway) and she presented a very easy shot. I took careful aim and placed the bullet exactly where I wanted it. I was shooting an F A L with 150 gr Winchester silver tips that I had loaded into PORT cases. I had pulled the FMJs out and reseated the WST bullets.
The bullet entered her upper back just above her shoulder and severed her spine. She dropped instantly, but to my surprise, she wasn't dead. Every other deer that I have shot like this has dropped dead in their tracks. She began to thrash around and claw with her front legs. As I was attempting to shoot her again, she stopped moving. I thought that she had finally died, but that was not the case.
She raised her head and held it very still. I took aim again and this time I severed her spine halfway between her head and shoulder. Her head dropped and I again thought that she was dead.
I immediately left my stand and hurried over to her. As I approached she began to grunt as if she were in extreme pain and I could see by the look in her eye that she was terrified. She watched me approach and as I got closer, her grunting grew in intenisty. It was more of a throated scream than a grunt.
I drew my 1911 and placed the muzzle about an inch from her head and between her eye and ear. I quickly fired in an attempt to alieviate that poor animals suffering. Once again I was surprised when her screaming didn't stop. I put the muzzle of my pistol into her ear and fired again. This time her screaming stopped and I thought that she was finally through suffering.
I watched as her neck and head quivered and waited for it to stop. I felt of her neck and again I was surprised. Actually I was shocked to find that she still had a pulse. I placed my hand over her mouth and nose and felt her breath. She was till breathing. Again I drew my pistol and this time I placed the shot between her ears and to our mutual relief, she finally died.
As I appoached that deer lying on the ground in such agony, I wanted desperately to take those shots back. To heal her instead of kill her. Those three shots from my pistol were simultaneously difficult and easy. Difficult because I wanted to help that animal live, and easy because I knew that I couldn't and that the only thing that I could do for her was to take her life.

I have been thinking of that deer and that event quite a bit since last Saturday morning. I am not sure that I have the heart for hunting anymore.



BTW, Winchester Silver Tip bullets mushroom like an atomic bomb.

Clyde the Pointer
December 09, 2005, 06:47
Wow HBR I have read a lot of your posts and this one is truly from your heart. Interesting enough are the two articles from the NYT last Sunday about the lack of hunters and proliferation of deer. The declining numbers of hunters (gee, wonder what causes that)? and the fewer new hunters being indoctrinated by old timers.

The number of car-deer collisions are on the rise, and fatalities from such as well. In OH there are 29k such incidents and 50 or so fatalities. Ouch. You met a tough doe for sure and although her suffering was apparent because of your close proximity, with the shots you describe it seems she would have died soon enough.

I agree it's a terrible sound to hear an animal suffering in pain. The roads here in spring and fall are littered with deer from collisions, and those animals are wasted, not used like I'm sure yours was.

Keep hunting HBR and know in your heart you are doing the right thing. Imagine what it will be like when you take that nephew hunting with that Henry!

gordo63
December 09, 2005, 07:07
I have no real love for the deer and kill several a year. However, I DO NOT enjoy "killing" things either.

Your feelings just prove that you're human - not, at all, a bad thing.

Da Nerd
December 09, 2005, 08:03
I just hope her meat is not as tough as her will to live.
This may sound heartless to some, but I have had a similar situation and instead of shooting three times with a pistol, (I don't carry one)
I just cut her throat and she bled to death quickly.

Vulcan
December 09, 2005, 08:37
I had a hunting experience on Dec. 30, 1985 that changed me. While hunting ducks along the Trinity river north of Ft. Worth with a buddy of mine. We were walking along the edge about 30 to 40 feet above the water surface when we jumped a pair of mallards. The female hauled ass along the rivers edge and about a foot over the surface, the male "helicoptered" up and stopped right in front of us at eye level and hovered there until his mate made it around the bend of the river. That took several seconds and all the while the drake was looking at us over his shoulder as if to say "go ahead, you cant miss". He stayed there hovering in place until his mate escaped around the bend and then took off after her. Neither Bruce or myself ever even lifted our shotguns to the shoulder....He looked at me and asked "why didnt you shoot?"...I replied "why didnt you?" Nothing else was said about it. Before that day I got the hunting fever every year and couldnt wait for the season to start, but I have not had any desire to hunt since.

I know the deer need to be hunted but I'll leave that to you guys.

dk8019
December 09, 2005, 11:47
Vulcan,

That is too weird, as I have had a very similar experience, and like you it change me too for some reason. I don't know if the animals involved actually were trying to protect each other, or it was simply an accident and I interpreted as a human trait, I guess I'll never know. I still hunt deer here in Ohio when given the chance, but more to do my part to keep them from starving or getting hit by cars, and have so far been lucky to never have one survive the first shot. Not to say they haven't ran, but CNS shots on animals have never been my favorite shot, a simple chest shot that takes the lungs and heart does the trick, and they seem to die without much pain, just running like they are meant too when they drop from blood loss and pass out. CNS shots leave the chance that I will only cripple it and not actually end its life. To be quite honest I don't know if I have it in me to kill one like HBR did, but if the chance arose, I entirely understand the conflicted emotions, and hope that I could do what needed to be done. I suppose that's what makes us human.

Randall
December 09, 2005, 12:57
HBR,
It is difficult taking a life like that. Not every kill is clean. Give praise for the bounty that you receive each time you partake from that or any animal. For she has given you everything she had to give.
Randy

Windustsearch
December 09, 2005, 16:02
I don't hunt much anymore either. The last few years that I did I felt like shit everytime I killed something. Eventually I guess the feeling like shit was taking all the fun/sport or whatever out of it. I'll still go if I get pestered enough by someone, but I am not near as quick to throw up the shotgun anymore.

PowderDriver
December 09, 2005, 18:48
I'm glad that no one has been critical of HBR and anyone who wouldn't have any emotion over watching a doe die a miserable death must have a stone cold heart.


I am going coyote hunting this weekend and part of me says "great fun!" and another part tells me I'm killing Fido the family dog.

I did things with BB guns when I was a kid that still get to me and I don't talk about it.

Vulcan
December 09, 2005, 19:11
Originally posted by PowderDriver
I'm glad that no one has been critical of HBR and anyone who wouldn't have any emotion over watching a doe die a miserable death must have a stone cold heart.


I am going coyote hunting this weekend and part of me says "great fun!" and another part tells me I'm killing Fido the family dog.

I did things with BB guns when I was a kid that still get to me and I don't talk about it.

PowderDriver,
I killed thousands of lil critters when I was between the ages of 10 and 18 that make me cringe with guilt every time I think about it.....I know what ya mean.

HBR, youre a good man with a good heart, you did what you could. Dont let that meat go to waste or it will haunt you.

Trooper894
December 09, 2005, 19:48
HBR, I agree with "gordo63", The fact that this bothers you shows your humanity, it also reflects your desire to be an ethical hunter, which is very commendable. From your description, I'm sure it seemed like it took forever for her to finally die but it probably didn't take as long as it seems. That bleat is a sound that kind of goes straight to your soul.
Due to my job I have to destroy numerous deer every year that have been struck by vehicles but not killed and I don't enjoy it, but I can't stand to watch them suffer. I also have had them bleat in pain & terror but I've also had them look me right in the eye with a look that says please put me out of my misery!

Jon Frum
December 09, 2005, 20:22
The deer that I killed last year took two shots and the first was a textbook chest shot. I like them to drop like they never knew what happened.The deer looked at me. I make it a point to eat it all so the animal is not wasted.

PowderDriver
December 09, 2005, 21:13
Originally posted by Trooper894
HBR, I agree with "gordo63", The fact that this bothers you shows your humanity, it also reflects your desire to be an ethical hunter, which is very commendable. From your description, I'm sure it seemed like it took forever for her to finally die but it probably didn't take as long as it seems. That bleat is a sound that kind of goes straight to your soul.
Due to my job I have to destroy numerous deer every year that have been struck by vehicles but not killed and I don't enjoy it, but I can't stand to watch them suffer. I also have had them bleat in pain & terror but I've also had them look me right in the eye with a look that says please put me out of my misery!

I hit a doe last year with an 80,000 pound semi going 75mph on I44 in Oklahoma and it was a heck'uv a mess.

FTW2012
December 10, 2005, 03:31
Slopy shots = nasty meat
That animal will be sour and tough
Your best bet is to turn it all into sausage or ground burger
definatly marinade it in wine or vinigar for a couple days before cooking it

My cousin shot up a doe like that a few years ago
He is still not allowed on hunt our trips.
When he asked when he can come again we told him when he can
proove that he can shoot again.
To this day he still can't score a bullseye on a paper target 1:10 shots
All we asked was a 1:5 sucess rate

I hope your aim is better than that under most circumstances

MTS
December 10, 2005, 15:03
Sad, but still far better than the death of being gnawed on by coyotes or by disease.

I always feel a little remourse but it fades when you consider the great sceme of things and the animals place in it.

In my limited hunting experience, I've had success with the traditional chest shot, but I know that sooner or later I might have a bad experience.

I did do a quick follow-up shot once from the stand with my rifle. I'd do that rather than approach on foot.

Pluribus
December 10, 2005, 16:10
Having been in a similar situation, I understand your anguish. I did the same thing as Da Nerd did though and used my blade which, was very quick.

Revel in the will to survive of this animal and the strength from Above given to you and, this deer.

Good strength, Good will and, Good courage.

Doug

SteelonSteel
December 10, 2005, 20:48
HBR,

I'm sorry you had an unfortunate experience.
Your soul and mind must be in balance for that to have bothered you, take solace in that. I would much prefer to hunt with a hunter with a conscience than a killing machine and a score keeper.

Head and neck shots work but aren't the lightswitch everyone says they are. I've seen many a car hit deer flop and flounder. They are harder to put down than a hunting shot as they have already had their adrenaline dump and are fighting to stay alive. Sometimes it takes me awhile to reach a car accident to put a deer down and I wonder at the life force of the animal that fights to stay alive so hard. I've had deer reported 24 hours after the accident and found them to be still alive and not wanting to go yet. With those it is pretty similar to your spinally damaged deer not wanting to die. More than once I've had to put several .40 cal bullets into the heads to put them down. It's not always perfect or pretty, just like the rest of life.

We do the best we can and drive on.

Pax

SoS

Snakeshot
December 10, 2005, 22:15
May her fawns be great deer.


HBR,
I have seen similar, not by me, but equally heartbreaking.
You did right, think about how it was done in the old days.
I haven't hunted in years, but I do plan to get back into it.
Your post causes me to seriously consider the taking of life and all that goes with it.
Best, Snake.

newfalguy101
December 10, 2005, 23:30
Originally posted by FTW2012
Slopy shots = nasty meat
That animal will be sour and tough
Your best bet is to turn it all into sausage or ground burger
definatly marinade it in wine or vinigar for a couple days before cooking it

My cousin shot up a doe like that a few years ago
He is still not allowed on hunt our trips.
When he asked when he can come again we told him when he can
proove that he can shoot again.
To this day he still can't score a bullseye on a paper target 1:10 shots
All we asked was a 1:5 sucess rate

I hope your aim is better than that under most circumstances

I dont think I would consider the hit HBR put on that deer to be a bad hit, she did drop and didnt run. I would suspect he hit no more than an inch or two higher than a hit that would have turned the lights out pronto.

Every year when I kill a deer, I feel grateful that God has allowed me to take one of his critters, I feel bad if I dont get a good clean kill and I as a matter of course put a second round into the head to make sure they are down and not suffering. I dont revel in making a kill, I dont feel good about killing, but I do feel good about providing for my families winter meat supply.

Non instant kills happen to everyone who hunts much and only a cold-hearted son of a gun would NOT feel sad/bad/regretful.

And finally HBR if faced with the same situation again, may I be so bold as to suggest just behind the ear as a means of coupe de'grace.

13th Warrior
December 11, 2005, 00:13
Even the best of us experience that same thing. If you didnt feel any remorse then you are not right in the head. I practice the mentality that I owe it to the deer and to me to be the best shot I can be. Oddly enough I have less trouble finding a deer I shoot with a bow. Ive shot them through the lungs while they were still chewing their cud so to speak. A couple of leaps and they're dead as a door nail.

Keep hunting and keep your heart pure like it sounds like it is.


Regards

whirlibird
December 11, 2005, 03:17
A few years back two friends and I were up in the Mtns after Deer and Elk. We were walking along a path and ended up 60Y from a amall herd of Elk. I didn't have a shot but both of them shot at the same bull. Linda's shot was true and the bull only made it 50' before piling up. We didn't know where Bob's shot had gone until the next morning. His BAR had a wood swelling problem I had worked on the previous evening that had affected the functioning of the weapon and made it a single shot. He forgot to check zero before going out again.
His shot went something like 4' high and 6' right of the point of aim and spine hit a yearling antlerless bull. It was alive and I ended up finishing it off with my .41.
Looking at the tracks around the bull the local coyote's had been harassing it all night, forcing it to drag itself 100+ yards with it's forelegs only.
I could see the look in it's eyes as I lined up my pistol, that look of "aim straight a**ho**!"
Still the hardest shot I've made.

cthulhu138
January 05, 2006, 00:00
I went down to the farm to hunt this year, and sat up in my tree stand. I usually will take the first deer to cross my path, as I dont care to trophy hunt, just meat hunt.

A good sized doe ran across the food plot, then turned back and walked out into the path and looked around for a while. I stayed stone still, and she settled down. I watched her for a while, and then whistled at her and waved. She took off like a bat out of hell, and I took off my headnet and drank a Dr. Pepper. It never did occur to me to take a shot. Y'all enjoy yourselves out there, I'm done. Just match shooting and hiking for me from now on.

fastfreddy
January 05, 2006, 00:26
Thank God for the meat..... and for a compassionate soul.

I don't have anything against hunting but as long as I can zip over to the store for some meat I'm just not motivated. One of my sons enjoys keeping some venison in the freezer from the woods out back. He even shares if I help him butcher it :D .

If your heart's not in it, why not just enjoy a hike?

perdurabo
January 05, 2006, 14:50
During the late season when I've already got one or two deer in the freezer, I live to go out stalk hunting to "count coup" and see just how close I cant jump something up. I'll bring a rifle with me just in case I come across Muy Grande, but if I manage to stalk up on something, I'll pull my rifle up to my shoulder, take aim, but I'll keep my finger off the trigger and just say "BANG!" as loud as I can. You get great satisfaction that you've stalked up a deer, but no messy cleaning and skinning involved.

BTW, stalk hunting, while the standard out in the huge swaths of public land out in the west, is damned near impossible in places like the Texas hill country. The land is relatively flat here and its easy for critters to see you coming... plus the land parcels one hunts on are generally relatively small and once you spook a deer while stalking, its very likely it will be over the fence into someone else's property within minutes unlike the west where you can generally figure out where theyve gone and work back to them. Many people find hunting from stands/blinds to be "not sporting", but it really is the only option for most of the country. Successful stalk hunting requires a certain type of terrain and is generally exceedingly challenging in flatter, more open areas on small land parcels.

Powderfinger
January 05, 2006, 18:46
HBR,
It seems to be an anomaly. Any one of those shots could have been a humane kill. Don't blame yourself. No true sportsman gloats over the kill and your heart is in the right place.

ABNROCK
January 05, 2006, 23:12
HBR I know how it feels, Several years ago I unknowingly ran over a rabbit hole while mowing a thick patch of grass. The rabbit survived, 3 out of four limbs didn't. It was the first and most painful (for me) coup de grace I ever delivered from my PPK . .. :sad:

Stay Safe

Rocker

Powderfinger
January 08, 2006, 13:39
Originally posted by Vulcan
I had a hunting experience on Dec. 30, 1985 that changed me. While hunting ducks along the Trinity river north of Ft. Worth with a buddy of mine. We were walking along the edge about 30 to 40 feet above the water surface when we jumped a pair of mallards. The female hauled ass along the rivers edge and about a foot over the surface, the male "helicoptered" up and stopped right in front of us at eye level and hovered there until his mate made it around the bend of the river. That took several seconds and all the while the drake was looking at us over his shoulder as if to say "go ahead, you cant miss". He stayed there hovering in place until his mate escaped around the bend and then took off after her. Neither Bruce or myself ever even lifted our shotguns to the shoulder....He looked at me and asked "why didnt you shoot?"...I replied "why didnt you?" Nothing else was said about it. Before that day I got the hunting fever every year and couldnt wait for the season to start, but I have not had any desire to hunt since.

I know the deer need to be hunted but I'll leave that to you guys.


I witnessed a form of "protection" in the animal world. While fishing in the blue water off the coast of Washington for albacore tuna, dolphins swam a criss-cross pattern just abve the tuna as they were reeled up the last 10' feet or so to the surface. They zig-zagged back and forth at what must be their top speed. One broke the waters surface, and hovered there and gave us a vocal dressing down. We were fishing on my step-dads charter boat and he had seen this a few times through the years.

Windustsearch
January 08, 2006, 15:24
Mallards sometimes mate for life. One of them gets downed and the other will wander around like it is lost, screaming it's head off.

Charles Bobinis
January 08, 2006, 20:44
Animals kill and eat each other all the time, all the way up and down the food chain. It isn't limited to animals, either. Other forms of life kill to eat. Some animals are just natural food for other animals. With eyes in the front of our heads, humans are natural born predators on pretty much the rest of creation. Little viruses, paracites and germs prey on us. Its the natural order on this planet, at least.

We're different too, because we have capacities no other animals or life forms have. We today live in a time and place when men no longer face the necessity of killing animals like wild deer, to nourish themselves. We simply choose to.

Most choose to for reasons directly related to themselves: because they enjoy venison, or the "trophy," or the challange of the hunt, or the outdoors, or the companionship of camp, or because it can be inexpensive meat. I think we've all seen different aims pursued by different people in different ways. Once you clear necessity, it raises issues of values. Should I be killing these animals?

Traditionally, hunting was the only practical way to control imbalances in animal populations, which we have ourselves caused by killing predators, altering habitats, etc.. It has been reasonable and prudent for men to do this, and many hunters I know (the ones I want to hunt with), have a heart for the animals, and spend a lot of time, money and energy to make sure as much as humanly possible, that an animal as beautiful and admirable as a deer is spared unnecessary suffering. Nevertheless, suffering sometimes occurs.

With evolving technology today it is becoming more technologically possible to reduce or even eliminate hunting as a method of animal control. The question is, does hunting as an activity have value greater than the suffering it causes? I think the answer can be yes.

All that lives, dies. Living and dying both involve suffering. If avoiding all suffering were the highest value, we would simply eliminate life on earth.

The "guilt" or reluctance we feel when we encounter suffering we cause in the field is nothing more than our conscience asking us, "Did you make an ethically responsible decision to terminate this animal's life, and did you exercise the appropriate level of care in execution?" Sounds to me that you did. Whether you continue to hunt is a decision that you will have to make.

The Native Americans viewed taking an animal's life as an act having a "relgious dimension." I suspect, as men, that this was their way of recognizing the depth of the issue.

Unfortunately, with political and social developments, one has to wonder how loss of our hunting tradition would affect survival of our Second Amendment rights, and other freedoms.

With the great diminution of deer numbers in the area around my camp, in the last couple years, I haven't decided whether I will hunt again next year. I may just spend time in the woods, and focus on improving my shooting, until the herd in Pennsylvania recovers. Thanks HBR for raising a complex issue I'm sure has gone through many of our minds.

STGThndr
January 22, 2006, 04:33
I quit hunting many years ago and will not kill unless I must. Still enjoy my guns and shooting them, just looked too many critters in the eyes to kill for "sport". Yes I will eat them if need be and have killed many times. Animals are innocent beings and have as much right to survuive as we do. Sometimes wonder if I care more for animal life than for some human lives- as in New Orleans or in the Border War with Mexico.

thunderchicken
January 24, 2006, 22:34
“Every good hunter is uneasy in the depth of his conscience when faced with the death he is about to inflict on the enchanted animal. He does not have the final and firm conviction that his conduct is correct. But neither, it should be understood, is he certain of the opposite.” Jose Ortega y Gasset, Meditations on Hunting.

rob1
January 25, 2006, 23:32
I understand as well. About 15 yrs ago I was deer hunting and had just gotten into the woods while it was still dark. Was in a ground level blind on the border of a field, with little ambient light but as the light got slightly better I could make out the shape of a big fat doe, and since I had an either sex permit and was more looking for meat instead of a wall hanger decided to take the shot. What I couldn't make out in the light in front of the doe was the year old fawn. Hit it in its rear quarter and it made a sound that I've never heard a deer make, I swear it sounded like a scream! It was dead when I got up to it (thankfully). I gave the meat from that one away, and havent been deer hunting since. I have shot a number of them since then that have been hit on the road, and that doesnt bother me but I just dont care to hunt them anymore. Also reiterated the importance of knowing your target, whats behind it and infront of it.