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BuckTracker: Is Shooting a Locked Buck Ethical?

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December 19, 2007

BuckTracker: Is Shooting a Locked Buck Ethical?

By Scott Bestul

Exhibit B was sent to me this week by a reader/hunter who grew up in North Dakota, but now lives in Wyoming. According to the accompanying message, the ND hunter pictured spotted one of the bucks the day before the firearms season opener and realized it had locked horns with another whitetail. She took no action. The next morning she came back to the scene, shot one of the bucks, called a game warden, and received a special permit for the other deer.

Lock2

Obviously (the Internet being what it is) I have no way of knowing if the details of this particular hunt are entirely factual. But even if they’re not, this story—and the video—bring up an interesting dilemma: Assuming it’s legal to do so, is the shooting of one (or both) locked-up bucks an ethical act?

Lock1

I’d like to hear the thoughts of BuckTracker readers on this one. Though it’s stretching things to classify such a hunt as "fair chase" (locked-up bucks obviously cannot flee their pursuers, even if they are free-ranging deer), the case can surely be made that killing one or both bucks is not unethical.

Obviously, had someone not happened on the scene, Nature would have provided a much crueler fate for these animals than a bullet or an arrow. Also, consider the stress these fighters had already endured. Even if a "rescued" buck walks away, will he indeed survive…or is he little more than a dead-deer-walking? 

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from I'm in school right now wrote 5 years 30 weeks ago

its not ethical if they are still fighting. if they're just stuck, killind should be the absolute last resort.Nate

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from Sal wrote 5 years 30 weeks ago

With the economy as bad as it is.I would have saved the moeny on arrowes and clubed the the deer to death.With to money I saved I could go out to Wall-mart and buy some Chinese Junk.

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from Chris W wrote 5 years 30 weeks ago

We're going to judge nature? Everybody wants to feel good about themselves?...... Like I'm going to walk down to the rivers edge tell these 2 deer to be still while I seperate them. Are you people out of your minds? So they put the video in slow motion and put some scary music in the back ground and everyone starts feeling like Mother Theresa. After about a 1/2 hour or so (to see if they could break free) I would probably shoot both of their asses. Tag one with my tag and the other with somebody elses in the family. The meat would be a welcome addition and when I told the story it would go like this......"Well you see, I came upon these 2 guys locked up. And after about an hour of watching these 2 guys killing themselves I decided the best thing to do was put them both down. Now I know they were having a bad day all ready when I found them but I don't think they were really going to understand that I was there to help them get apart. Soooo the bad day they were all ready having just got a whole lot worse." End of story. Want to have some tenderloin?

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from darren wrote 5 years 30 weeks ago

Me beibg a young i still think what the guys did in that video was wrong. There would be no possible way for me to feel proud about taking a buck in that fashion. I just recently missed the biggest buck iv seen while bowhunting. I would feel more proud of missing that deer and learning from it than if i would have shot it in a situation when it didint have a chance and learned nothing.

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from chad wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

I would have shot the one in the worst shape and cut a horn of the other one why kill both of the animals when you could harvest one and let the other live. I would have atleast wanted one of these deer to pass on genetics. Both nice bucks where I come from.

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from Chaz wrote 5 years 50 weeks ago

Unless at least one of the deer is obviousley in bad shape you couldn't call yourself an ethical hunter and kill these or one of these deer.Chuck

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from Visitor wrote 6 years 2 weeks ago

Let me start off by saying I am not an animal rights activist. I am not a PETA supporter in any way, shape or form. I am a true hunter through and through. You can look at this situation from many angles. How could anyone say this is ethical in any way? It is ridiculous. I bet those people who shoot locked bucks feel like champs! Please! Don't throw in the line that these bucks may not have had much of a chance to live if they were set free. I bet that chance was better than it is now that someone put an arrow through it as if it were chained up on a one inch chain. That is not hunting! Watch the video again in an honest and open way and tell me those bucks were not strong enough to make it had they been set free!? They were obviously strong enough to both be standing. After the chip shot both deer put up tremendous fights! They were strong! I have seen two deer that were locked to the point where they couldn't stand...another compassionate hunter chainsawed one antler to set both deer free. The two bucks were seen later that season at full strength. Give the deer a chance! Be a true sportsman, and have some respect for the animal and yourself. Fair chase and honest! God has given us every opportunity and right to hunt! We should respect the wildlife that we do hunt and cherrish what it has to offer! Now get out there and chase those rope swingin' long beards! God bless and good luck! To God be all glory!

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from rusty whitcher wrote 6 years 2 weeks ago

Sorry, but if myself and one of my hunting companions happened upon this locked up pair I think the outcome would be much different. Most bowhunters carry rope or parachute cord along with a folding saw for clearing branches. I hold all whitetails in the highest reverence, and I can't believe anyone could draw down and whack two magnificent bucks without at least trying to tie them off to trees, and then lasoe their legs, hogtie them, andcut off their horns.(the other method of choice: a softball sized rock hurled with some serious musturd at close range in the middle of all that mass of tines as been known to brake em loose)Watching twoslammers run off without horns would leave a much better taste in my mouth than killing a couple monarchs that had no chance of escaping a "chip" shot.( or was that a cheapshot) When any hunter looks at past years horns on the walls the memory of each hunt is ingrained in our memory. The conditions, location, the events that took place, sometimes luck, sometimes skill, the weapon used to take the animal. It all comes back like it happened yesterday even though it may have been 30 years or more ago. The memory of this so called "mercy killing" would haunt this old hunter.

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from Randy wrote 6 years 3 weeks ago

It's stories like this that prove to all of the conservationists that they are right in the way they they think of us. As an ethical hunter, I would do all I could to free up the locked bucks. As a case in point, a few seasons ago I came across a yearling calf elk entangled in a downed barbwire fence. This youngster had three of his four feet hitched up tight. The harder he pulled, the worase it got for him. A short distance away, 4 cows waited for him to break free. While my hunting partner and I each had drawn cow tags for this area, shooting two of these cows less than a hundred yards away was the last thing we thought of. We very cautiously placed a jacket over his eyes and held his head down while the wire was cut and untangled from his legs. He leapt to his feet and returned to the awaiting cows who seemed to stare back a thank you for a minute before they slowly sauntered into the timber. Shooting one of those cows would not have been hunting, it would have only resembled a shooting. I would rather go without filling a tag than to feel I cheated to do it. In the event locked bucks, entangled calves, or whatever was at a point of suffering or mortally wounded, again I feel the ethical hunter would end the misery, but, not claim what he had done as an ethical harvest. To me, it would be like going to the store and buying a trophy for your 300 game if you've never bowled one. I live off the premise that The Lord looks to honor and bless those who work hard to do the right thing. Even if your hunt was ruined while you attempted to help out the animal in trouble, I believe a better reward is down the road waiting for you.

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from georgiahunter16 wrote 6 years 3 weeks ago

I may be young, but ive hunted since age four. Ive seen locked up deer in my years also. And i agree with the post by "whitetailgallery". Anyone whos dumb enough to even approach two wild bucks is a pure idiot. that deer's natural insticnt is to get away by any means necessary, wether that means goring, kicking or even killing YOU. Why do you think you approach a deer so ready to shoot? So to anyone STUPID enough to try to release a wild deer, you WILL get messed up.Yeah, sure its a nice gesture to try to save a deers life, but grow a pair or go hug a tree for Christ's sake.Tyler

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from Raymond wrote 6 years 14 weeks ago

Life can be cruel. We all know that. I see this the same as finding a dog (or deer) having been hit by a car and mortally wounded but dying a slow death. Do you allow nature to take it's course or dispatch the animal quickly and humanely? This is no different. I think you dispatch the animal(s) out of a somber sense of responsibility based on your particular situation. There is NO exact right answer to this. Only a duty to respect the animals and our wonderful sport. We have enough Non-Hunters judging us and our rights, let's not resort to namecalling and infighting amoung ourselves over hypothetical situations most of us will never encounter and that have no 'set in stone' answer.

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from NH Philosopher wrote 6 years 15 weeks ago

I would've killed them both. Clean, ethical shots...End of debate.

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from OhioHunter wrote 6 years 15 weeks ago

After spending more time than ever on a blog site reading about a particular topic, I must say the longest comment is the best comment. Sy, you must be a philosopher! (or a salesman :-)If you're reading this blog from the bottom up, just stop after Sy's message (unless your looking for entertainment.) The rest is just mindless chatter that isn't thought through and the necessary responses from folks that were actually involved.To guys like Charles, I pose the following question. If YOU were in a situation that would certainly result in a slow painful death, but were suddenly presented with a way out that would be quick and easy, what would you do? Would you consider the offering something from an "angel of mercy" or a "cold-blooded killer"? Unless you're a masochist, most would consider it merciful.

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from GregD wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

WOW.....Amen Brother!!If you live in Wisconsin - or ever visit there (especially in Oct or November) contact me at HuntTigerRidge.com. I would love to share a beer, or better yet a hunt and a campfire with you.Greg Duerrgduerr@HuntTigerRidge.com

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from Sy Lentze wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

Imagine a hunting party of Native Americans encountering exactly the same scene 400 years ago in exactly the same spot as the location of this video. Would these hunters, who hunted to survive and who lived in a culture where reverence of the natural world was woven intimately into their lives, have quibbled with each other like a bunch of big city lawyers about the ethical nuances of the situation like some have here? Or, would they perhaps have wrung their hands in indecision like a smartly bearded and soft-handed political science professor about whether or not the "chase" was fair to the deer or whether they were obligated to intervene in the certain death of the deer in this situation like others in this forum? No, they would have seen this same situation exactly as these hunters saw it: as extraordinarily good fortune or as a precious gift from God and certainly as a "once in a lifetime" opportunity. These experienced hunters would have decisively dispatched both deer in this "once in a lifetime" event as quickly and carefully as possible, just as these hunters did. These successful hunters of long ago would have then carried the double bounty of their hunt proudly back to all those under their provision who would have rejoiced with them in their hunt, marveled at the story of their unusual success and retold this story of the ever-changing bounty of nature with reverence and incredulity for generations. Great grandsons of these hunters would never walk past this spot again without a comment, a smile and an intent look into the forest. Today it might be them.Many hunters go years, some a lifetime, without seeing a deer like either of these two in the video in a position to make a proper shot and a sure kill. Every once in a while, a fortunate, diligent or persistent hunter is able to put himself or herself in the position of HUNTING animals like these. Sometimes getting into position requires hours of sitting in the cold and rain. It requires scouting and planning. Most of the time, when all goes right, all of this time, effort and attention presents the hunter with a scant few seconds of opportunity to make the shot...and the kill. The long preparation does not guarantee a thing: preparation does not CAUSE success. The true hunter can only prepare himself for the situation, but ultimately the hunter is always in the position of reacting to a myriad of potential situations. The true hunter hunts in the world of his quarry and to be successful must adapt himself to the ever changing events in that world. There is no script.True hunting is not about following some prepared script by some pseudo-expert, or just about reading a high fallutin' sports magazines for armchair sportsman who are never cold or tired or frustrated. True hunting is not memorizing the tactics of celebrity hunters in other situations. Rather, true hunting is about pitting yourself, one-on-one, against the animal, the environment and the situation in real time. True hunting is about improvisation, adapting and outthinking the prey. Every once in a great while a hunter or two will find themselves in the enviable situation of having nature present him with the hunting equivalent of a hole-in-one. Such is this situation and this video. Nothing more.For those of you who wrongly criticize this bit of good fortune, or more likely diligent hunting, for somehow being "unfair" to the deer: I seriously ask you to consider whether you actually understand how deer live, fight, breed, and die in the real world. In you, I hear a profound ignorance in the ways of the forest and in the competition for life that goes on there while you are home sitting on your couch. In some of you, I also hear a profound lack of understanding in the ways and mind of a true hunter. Please, if you cannot, after sober reflection, understand the true hunters proper and only response to this hunting situation, please do all of us predators a favor and opt out of further hunts. There are several very nice video games for sale these days that dutifully follow all the "rules' programmed into them and they will never confront you with this "ethical dilemma". Here you will be much more comfortable in a small and predicable world. Worst of all, in some of you I hear the discordant tones of jealously. True hunters do not heckle each other: hunters do not compete with each other, they compete with the prey alone. A true hunter will always rejoice in a successful hunt with any of his brethren, even when he himself has been beaten by the quarry that day. True hunters are always willing to share the joy of the hunt and the optimism of tomorrow.When I look at the video, I see two deer I would be proud to take. I see a perfectly placed shot. The kind of shot that is made by a person who has shot an arrow before many times in a heart pounding situation. A beautiful deer succumbs to a true hunter. Twice. Bravo.

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from joshd wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

i think the few posts from those who know the area/hunters involved explain the specific situation are excellent and should be applauded.for those of you still opposing the death of these animals by a human while they are locked, you really are the ones too far removed from the natural world.believe it or not, humans are part of the natural environment. so tell me why we can't be compared to the coyote. obviously we are not living in caves, scavenging, and eating raw meat, etc., but we were not put on this planet by aliens or something to live in cities and not interact with "wild" things.use your brains and really try to understand situations before spouting off with your irrationally harsh criticisms.

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from Jeff M wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

Greg D shared this video for what it is, two mature bucks locked together, not because they shot one of them. As for the video, it clearly shows two things. First, these two bucks were locked tight and were not going to get separated at a later time. Secondly, the hunter killed the buck with a perfect shot and it died within seconds of being shot. If not for being shot they would have surely died slowly, probably by drowning in the river. These were two mature whitetail bucks and getting close to them, even locked, would have been dangerous and unwise.I have been hunting the land were those two bucks were shot for 14 years, the last 2 under Tiger Ridge rules. I have hunted with some bad hunters and some good ones. These two are among the best that I have hunted with, they work extremely hard to ensure that every animal that is hunted gets the respect it deserves, before and after the shot. This was no different.

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from Paul wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

I have hunted with the guys who shot the vidio for years. Having heard the talks they give all of the young hunters regarding wounded deer, and making clean shots, I can attest to their ethical nature. They have been known to track a wounded deer for days. Most of the "ethical" hunters posting on this site can't hold a candle to either one of these hunters. As many other hunters have already mentioned how stupid it would be to try and free these animals I will not go down that line. If these guys thought it was the right thing to do I believe them, and whole heartedly agree.There have been comments, (in the lead paragraph) that referrs to the graphic vidio showing blood squrting from the deer. Some how this is seen as a bad thing. Well, hunters, that is what happens when there is a well placed shot. You want blood spraying out of the deer. The more the better. Graphic, yup, but that is the objective when you shot a deer. Lots of blood, quick kill.

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from Chad wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

What an awesome world we live in today that we get to see such amazing video such as this.It seems this group is split on this issue. Which to me is very suprising given it is posted on a hunting web site. I am surprised this blog would contain so many anti-hunting comments. Maybe there are a bunch of big talkers in the group that have no problem spouting off from the safety of their computer, but would not say boo in person.Deer in the wild are fair chase animals, and anyone that has hunted them would probably say it is not fair - the deer have the edge. Trying to draw a line for appropriate animals to shoot in the wild and non-apprporiate ones seems to take the issue too far. The argument should stop at the fact that these animals are in the wild, and that answers the quesiton of fair chase. Not to mention shooting the animals was the humane thing to do rather than let them struggle and eventually die a slow painful death.It did not seem right to me that the woman waited a day before acting. I am glad these guys did not let their animals suffer for a day before humanely shooting them.I would have done the same thing.

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from Kent wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

Was this the right thing to do? Under the circumstances it was the only thing to do. They swiftly killed two bucks that would have died a gruesome death. I can't remember seeing anything about the hunters being proud of what they did. They came upon an unusual situation and made a decision. Maybe they should have done an e-mail poll so they didn't offend anyone. Of course the bucks would have needlessly sufferred. Nature is cruel, much worse than the killing of these two bucks.

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from Jake wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

Ethical?? Of course this was ethical. That buck was dead in less than 10 seconds. I only wish every buck I shoot would die in 10 seconds. How long would it have taken for the two bucks to die, 1 day, 2 days, maybe longer. They were saved from a slow death. I can't believe anyone would think these two guys didn't do the right thing. I can honestly say that I would have done the same thing.

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from Craig wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

Some of you think they should have unlocked these two mature bucks. If you are a true hunter you know that this is not a viable option. Shoot a horn off someone wrote! I'm sure they looked around to see if John Wayne or Chuck Norris was near by to help. Not fair chase? These bucks weren't fenced in or eating out of your backyard bird feeder, they were in the the wild. Some say it wasn't an ethical kill. Would sitting there and watching them die locked together be ethical. I think NOT. They were saved from an agonizing death. From what I have read everything was legal about it and I would have done the same. You have nothing to apoligize for.

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from murph wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

The choice seems rather clear here. A slow, agonizing death for the deer involved or a quick merciful one? The hunters here wisely chose the ladder.For those who would try to free the bucks from their plight I do not question your cahones but I do question your wisdom.

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from charles wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

Let me tell you something, Greg...you and your buddy have done nothing to be proud of...and you should apologize to all of the ethical hunters that have had the unfortunate chance to view you and your friend's hunting skill !

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from GregD wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

I shot t his video, My friend Scott shot the buck. What we did was lawful, ethical and humane under the circumstances. We are not “lazy”. We work our tails off starting in April and all the way through till sept. Clearing land, plowing, planting, scouting and hanging stands – just like all of you. No one plans to go out and fill their tag like this. But sometimes life throws something in your lap and you have to deal with it. I have 4 kids, and Scott has two. Neither was willing to try and separate these bucks – unless we waited a day or so until they were so exhausted that it was safe – but then they would likely have died anyway.We are not "proud" of the hunt so to speak. We didn't do anything extraordinary. We just happened onto a rare situation, and we were able to record it. But neither are we ashamed of it. We know we did the right thing - and we also know that thousands and thousands of people have enjoyed the video. Not because they enjoyed seeing the animals suffer - but because it is rare, and unusual video footage. Even most "non-hunters" understand this, and the comments on other websites, both hunting related and non-hunting related, has been overwhelmingly positive.I am very proud of the ethics, and of the respect shown to the sport of hunting by all the hunters on TigerRidge.We apologize to no one, and as stated before - given the same situation - we would do the same thing again.Greg DuerrGDuerr@HuntTigerRidge.com

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from Ben wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

I'm not accusing the "I wouldn't shoot" group of people of being jerks, but I am somewhat amused at how some people are so determined to "give the deer a sporting chance" as they pursue it with their high-powered rifles. Maybe I'm really messed up, but I would hold no objections to reaping a little bonus venison from a buck that would have died of exhaustion anyways. There's just one rule-you've gotta be honest with how you acquired that heavy set of antlers.

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from Michael S. wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

That squirting of blood somewhat disturbed me. Also, even though it doesn't seem like fair chase, it was a more humane way for the deer to die than to let nature take its slow, agonizing toll.My two cents.

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from Visitor wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Did you see those deer react when the shot happened? They were still healthly deer. Being an avid sportman, i hunt, i kill animals. But only under a fair circumstance. I would risk my own safety to free these deer- and then hunt them the next day. But kick them while they are down, thats not what hunting is about. I all for shooting an unhealthy or dieing animal to humanely put it out of its misery, but these deer where not sickly.

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from Matt in VA wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Honestly guys, it's very easy sit here at a computer and say well, the hunter should have tried to free the bucks. Ethical or not, the safest option is to shoot one or both the deer. I know that if I were in that situation, I would not put my health and safety at risk to free the animals and would therefore take the animal(s) out of their misery.

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from john wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

i would of shot both of them because they would die anyway! if u shot one and tried to get the other one loose it could attack and kill you! so u made a good choice!

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from anotheralabamahunter wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Please. Anyone who approached those deer with ideas of getting lose would be running an enormous risk of being injured themselves.It's not hunting that we are talking about. It is killing, plain and simple; but, absolutely necessary when you consider the alternatives.How can you possibly criticize the guys that killed them. It needed to be done, they did it.How many of you holier than thou hunters have actually seen a coyote kill a deer?? All of you that have, jump right in and judge. The rest of you need to join us in the real world.By the way, post the video of trying to shoot one of the horns off. Pure genius. You hit the horn, or the deer or maybe even get lucky and the bullet richochet and hits you in the horn.

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from TBL wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Killing or slaughter? That's OK guys, I'll send you the video. Hmmm not one of you responded about the hunter coming back the next day to take her trophy and THEN calling the warden to get another tag. If she were so concerned about "putting them out of their misery" maybe she could have made the call the first day?

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from John wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

You can get yourself killt by trying to free two locked bucks. I would kill one or both, knowing both would die an agonizing death. Don't kid yourself about what we do or apologize for it – it is killing. We connect with God's big wild scheme and in the process make things go dead. Sometimes we get to witness rare events like two bucks locked up. Most likely, it's only going to end one way. If you hadn't seen them, it would definitely only end one way.

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from Bubba wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Do you folks remember a thread on here a month or so ago about the game ranger that used his side arm to shoot the antler off one of a set of locked bucks to free them both?If you can get that close, a .22LR will break the antler. If you are in an archery season only, you have a problem. If you don't have access to any type firearm, you have a problem.I can guarantee you one thing right now folks, as stressed and adrenaline charged as those two deer were, that venison ain't worth the time and trouble to butcher it!I would just have to take the chance on trying to shoot an antler loose or off!Bubba

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from Tommy wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Because if they were laughing or high fiving, or smiling like they had just won the lottery - I would like to see them slapped around.However, if they were calm and looked to have purpose and intent, and the event was lacking celebration - I would have to extend them the benefit of the doubt.But I don't want to watch it either way.

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from Tommy wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Kinda had another thought on this one. I didn't watch the video - didn't want to.Haven't ever put one of my dogs down either - probably couldn't do it; but at times, someone has to. So I have had a couple of bad trips to the vet over the years.The vet wouldn't use a bow, but if these guys used a gun, they could be tried for poaching.Maybe they were going for a trophy with no qualms, which would suck - maybe they were trying to do the right thing. I could not judge them or anyone in this case without being there or knowing their mind at the time.Was there any evidence on the video that would suggest either?

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from Ian wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

There is no sport or fair chase in taking those two locked bucks at the stream nor at the field. That is not called hunting, that is called shooting a defenseless animal that doesn't have the chance of getting away. Words can not describe how P. O ed I am right now after watching that video. They must be PROUD hunters to tell their story. Glad they worked (months of scouting, hanging multiple treestands) for those deer.

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from Tommy wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

And Mark, while tranquilizing seems a noble thought; not only would it be costly, many times experts that would do such a thing will not; for fear the animal is already to weak to "come back" after tranquilizing.

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from Tommy wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

I think it might actually be ethical to shoot them. If they were to die anyway. I agree - releasing two fghting bucks - even weakened, sounds like lunacy.I would not consider the antlers trophies though. And hopefully the meat would not be to pumped full of adrenaline to eat.

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from Mark Hansen wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

I feel if at all at all possible the deer should be freed.whether that mean tranquilizing, cutting horns or some way of freeing the animal(s). If the animal(s) need to be dipatched,do what we need to do. We do not need to post videos on the internet. That is extremely poor p.r. for hunters of all kinds,it makes us look pathetic.ark inichigan.

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from Agent 47 wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

The main issue for me is the suffering. My vote is to try to save the animal if safely possible. (Keep in mind that most animal get very aggressive when cornered and wounded so this is a tough call and most likely not possible) If that is not possible, then take them out and end their suffering. For me if I was hunting and came across ANY wounded animal that I couldn't safely help or save, I would take it out no matter what season was in or out. I know if it was me I wouldn't want to suffer or let nature take it's course so I would grant that same respect to the deer.

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from Lou wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Shoot the buck or bucks? Sure.I wish I could find a doe stuck in a fence that had a tree stump nearby. She would quickly become stump broke!

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from AdventureNorth wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

If this was in my area of Maine,I DEFINATELY know the game warden that hangs here would have shot one or both if need be if they had a big rack or were injured (he is a rack hunter),even though I called him to say there was a doe coming into my yard one winter who was missing half of her leg and she would leave a koolaid stain of blood on the snow.I wanted him to come put her down as my kids would get very sad seeing this.His response" I can't today,let nature take its course" As far as trying to seperate locked bucks..GOOD LUCK to those NOT Chicken Shit hunters,LOL !!You better pray you don't get gorged and please send us the video of your "BRAVERY";-)

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from MidnightBanjo wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

The video wouldn't play, but I think I've seen it or something like it before. I've seen 2 bucks hooking it up and I have to say - WOW! I wouldn't want to be in the middle of something like that. I am by no means a large guy and would have no business trying to separate two mature bucks. I'd just get hurt and they would still be in the same situation. Two live deer = no way would I try to step in; one live and one dead = Those I would separate, with one quick shot.

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from Zermoid wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

I may be a bastard for saying it but if it was in legal season I would shoot him too.I would still have to find him, and just because they did something incredibly stupid which put them in a disadvantage in what is still fair chase in my book I would not feel that hunting season is to be given a time out for stupidity. And what if you do separate them? At what point do they again become fair game in your book? when they have gone 10 yds apart? 50 yds? 100? Or do you give then a 30 second head start? What about the guy who happens to run into one of them 5 minutes after you've done your "Rescue" thing and shoots one of them dead, do you gripe at him too? Call him a horrible slob too? What's the difference? That he didn't know? Big Deal. It's only because us humans have removed the majority of predators who would have no problem taking advantage of an easy meal that deer in this predicament would survive long enough for us hunters to find. It's nature, deal with it or quit calling yourself hunters and go join Greenpeace.

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from Frank wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

I saw this video and it was disgusting that anyone would think of shooting a deer in that position.That is not hunting,the deer had no chance at all to escape.People like this give hunters a black eye.If the guy needs the meat or horns that bad he should pick up road kill and save himself some money.I've been hunting for 44 years and I would never think of doing what these guys did.

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from Mike O. wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Wow, there sure are a lot of chicken shit hunters out there. You guys are too afraid to at least try and release them and the ethical thing to do would be to let nature take its course and not shoot. And since when do we compare ourselves to coyotes. Paul maybe you have the brain of a coyote but I don't. What would a game warden do. Interfere with nature or kill them both, one of them? I would venture to say they would do their best to free them even though that might b not letting nature take its course.

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from Paul wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Some hunt for sport and some to put meat on the table. I didn't view the video, but two locked up deer who can't get apart would have died anyway. What would an ethical coyote have done if it came upon these two deer?

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from allabouthuntn wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Were the bucks in the wild? YES! It was a fair chase kill, too many people are quick to judge right from wrong. How many of you from Texas shoot at deer by a feeder? Sporting? I think not. As one comment stated, some of you shoot out of blinds that rival houses. Don't need much in the way of a sportsman there, it was either go out with a quick kill or days of starvation. I'll take the bullet, thanks.

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from Sammy wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

So,birddog, as a real sportsman if you would not shoot them what would a sportsman do in a case like that!

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from birddog wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

I hunt for the challenge, not to go out in the woods and kill anything. No I would not shoot a locked up buck. If anyone would, then I wouldn't call them a sportsman.

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from Sammy wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

The only humane thing to do in a case of two locked bucks is to shoot them both. Maybe it isn't as some of you put it ( fair-chase) but it would take a real idiot to try and free the two deer. And it surely would be better than leaving them to starve or die from exhaustion. Some of you people who are crying about fair chase are probably some of the same people who set in thier fancy box stands with windows and easy chairs overlooking a food plot, I suppose thats fair chase.

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from whitetailgallery wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

You guys that are suggesting to "release" 2 live locked up deer are nuts. Show me one person who has ever freed up 2 live bucks that were locked. Of the 2 deer in the one story, one was dead and the other was exhausted so he didn't fight the "nice guy" who freed him from the dead deer. I have approached wounded bucks before thinking I would finish them off with a knife cut to the throat. Yeah right. Even in a weakend state a buck will thrash at you with all he has. I'd like to see any one of you guys that thinks someone should walk up to these bucks and try to free them to do it yourself. It simply isn't going to happen until one of the deer finally dies and the other is just too exhausted to be able to do anything about a human working on him. PERIOD!

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from Mike O. wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

There is a dvd out there and I can't remember the name of it but on the dvd there is footage of a hunter going after elk in Colorado I believe. He comes across two awesome bulls fighting like mad. He got into position and waited for the perfect shot. As soon as he released that arrow both elk took as if a grizzly had just wandered into the fray. He drilled the elk with a good shot and had a beautiful trophy and story to tell.If the elk on that dvd were as vulnerable as the two deer in the link above then don't you think the deer both would have gotten the hell out of there as soon as they heard the hunters get off of their atvs? I think they would have and I know had the elk known that hunter was there on that dvd, they sure as anything would have stopped fighting and taken for cover before he could get a shot off. It is irresponsible and idiotic to think otherwise.

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from Mike O. wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

There is a huge difference between two rutting bucks or bulls that are fighting and two locked up animals. The difference is that the non locked up animals can and given the chance will flee a hunter that is standing 20 or 30 yards away broadside and in plain view. The to deer in the story obviously could not flee even though they knew the hunters were there. If you read the story written by the hunter to go along with the video then you will see and understand that the deer knew full well that the men were there but they had no chance of fleeing.

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from Mike O. wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

All you justifying idiots out there that think that because you are trying to kill an animal anyway, why not kill a deer that presents a less than fair opportunity at a shot. The bottom line is that anyone that would shoot a deer or any other animal for that matter, under anything less than total fair chase conditions is not a hunter, but a killer. I don't know about you guys but I like pitting my wits against animals that have all their available faculties at their disposal and not hopping out of a truck and shooting a deer that is utterly defenseless. And if you think that any deer or antlered animal is not defenseless when they are locked up, then you need to pull your head out of your ass and join the real world.

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from Mike O. wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Man I thought hunters were smarter than this. I am not an animal rights activist in the least, I hunt every opportunity I get and obviously the goal when I hunt is to kill an animal. But being the superior intelligent being that I am, as opposed to an animal, I have a responsibility to act ethically when hunting. It is not fair chase to kill an animal that is locked up. PERIOD!

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from joshd wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

very good post Bigdeerkiller, i must have been writing as you posted.

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from whitetailgallery wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

If given the opportunity to harvest a deer that was locked I would probably do so. I am not a "Trophy Hunter" but hunt for the enjoyment and for "meat in the freezer". If I saw a live buck locked to a dead one, I would almost suredly take the shot, but am not sure what I would do if they were both alive and I was by myself. Shooting 2 bucks is not an option where I hunt. If I shot one I would not have a way to free it from the other one. Now if I was out with a buddy we would probably both take one and would both have our "meat in the freezer. If they happened to be nice racks that would be a bonus, but that's not why me or my closest hunting friends hunt deer.

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from joshd wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

for the animal right's type folks making comments, wouldn't not hunting at all be the most humane thing to do. we are hunters, and we hunt and kill animals. obviously there are certain ethis and morals involved, but it's not a simple of a situation as you might think. know one knows how long the've been locked up. the buck(s) could be so worn down at that point that they may not surive either way. you would have to be there for every single one of these events in order to make that type of judgement call.would you sneak up on a pair of bucks while they are fighting and not "locked up"? is that fair? maybe we shouldn't be allowed to hunt bucks during the rut at all because they are too vulnerable.i would probably kill that buck that is still alive (unless of course they were on property i didn't have permission to hunt). it would be a cool story and experience, and i would not jeopardize that buck running off and eventually dying as a result.people do things and think they are doing wildlife favors all the time (i.e., picking up 'abandoned' fawns, feeding deer in the winter, etc.), when in fact they are doing the opposite.

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from Bigdeerkiller wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

In regards to 17yearolddeerhunter. I also think it is surprising that some hunters even think this is a question.The rules of conduct of a hunt dictate that if you are in the field, pursuing game with the purpose of hunting, and because of the hunt, the possibility of a kill is a reality, then the question of ethics becomes mute. A deer, killed in the closing minutes of the season after a grueling all day hike, or a deer killed on thirty minutes before sunrise on opening day following a doe in the heat of the rut, or a deer killed in the middle of a fight with locked horns are all following their proper conduct as dictated by their nature, and therefore, become part of the hunt,. The Spanish philosopher and poet, Ortega, says that in order for a hunt to exist, the possibility of a kill also must exist. Our ethical guidelines then are to follow the conduct for legality in hunting and our respect for the environment, not to sympathize with the prey species for following his conduct.

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from Dan wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

For a trophy? Or because the animals are at high risk of dying in that condition, and taking one is the more ethical thing to do... if so, pride may have little to do with it. The story behind the antlers may be worth more than the trophy.Now - here's a question: given a chance to tag a really good buck, would you be willing to pass on that one to take one of a pair of smaller deer that got locked up?Dan

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from Mike O. wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Man, what a terrible video. That was seriously disturbing. What the hell is wrong with some people? How could you ever possibly be proud of how you took that deer. I am an avid hunter and sportsman but that video truly made me cringe in disgust. Neither deer ever had a sporting chance and the two selfish assholes that shot those deer should be facing some sort of punishment. How could that ever be considered fair chase?! The right, ethical, morally correct thing to do would have been to try and release the deer from the tangle and try and harvest them when the deer stood a sporting chance later that season or in the future. Talk about giving hunters a bad name.

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from archer wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

It's not something to feel good about, but it was the right thing to do.

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from joe b wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

In the case of the Bolding's, they did exactly the right thing. One buck was locked up to a dead one, the correct choice was made to release the other. Should both bucks be alive and unable to free themselves, I believe it would be totally ethical to dispatch one for the sake of the other. It would be a much more humane death to the one, than to let them both slowly die.

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from TBL wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Just read an article yesterday in another magazine, something Ted Nugent wrote about ethics. Maybe he's wrong, maybe we don't talk about it ENOUGH. Save the deer if possible--at least give them a chance. Real skill spotting locked up bucks and coming back to shot one. Couldn't call the warden the day you found them?

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from piecemaker47 wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

NO it's rather disturbing even to think about it. Where would the sport be? Cutting it loose would be more humane.

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from Visitor wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

his agenda was taking an animal period.

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from jdawg wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

BS! What about fair chase?Did the hunter take the animal because it was ethical or was he a lazy greedy slob that puts a black eye on our sport? Even though the video is very graphic we have no way of knowing what the hunter's agenda was. Taking an arrow or starving...I'll take the arrow.

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from DEL wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

NO NO NO. THAT VIDEO IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE MOST DISTURBING THINGS I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY YEARS OF HUNTING. REASON BEING I HAVE ALWAYS THOUGHT THE ANIMALS SHOULD HAVE SPORTING CHANCE AND CLEARLY NEITHER OF THESE ANIMALS DID. IN MY PERSONAL OPINION ONE SHOULD DO WHAT THEY CAN TO TRY AND UNLOCK THEM IF YOU SHOULD HAPPEN TO COME ACROSS THIS SITUATION.

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from 17yearolddeerhunter wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

It is surprising to me that some hunters even think this is a question.The definition of ethics is the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.I would hope that any hunter would try and do whats best for the deer rather than himself. Imagine seeing the buck of a lifetime exhausted and about to starve to death tangled up on a dead buck. Would you honestly feel a sense of accomplishment shooting the deer. What a great story to tell your kids about the deer head you proudly display. I am in no away opposed to euthnization of a deer if said hunter feels thats whats best for the deer. To me though it would be immoral and unethical to shoot the deer if you thought you could save him. Who knows if you got him later it would be a great story to tell. you should always be honorable when hunting and be as ethical as you can. Especially sense our traditions are being scrutinized by some people in certain areas of the country. Dont do anything you might regretJust what I think

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from Sy Lentze wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

Imagine a hunting party of Native Americans encountering exactly the same scene 400 years ago in exactly the same spot as the location of this video. Would these hunters, who hunted to survive and who lived in a culture where reverence of the natural world was woven intimately into their lives, have quibbled with each other like a bunch of big city lawyers about the ethical nuances of the situation like some have here? Or, would they perhaps have wrung their hands in indecision like a smartly bearded and soft-handed political science professor about whether or not the "chase" was fair to the deer or whether they were obligated to intervene in the certain death of the deer in this situation like others in this forum? No, they would have seen this same situation exactly as these hunters saw it: as extraordinarily good fortune or as a precious gift from God and certainly as a "once in a lifetime" opportunity. These experienced hunters would have decisively dispatched both deer in this "once in a lifetime" event as quickly and carefully as possible, just as these hunters did. These successful hunters of long ago would have then carried the double bounty of their hunt proudly back to all those under their provision who would have rejoiced with them in their hunt, marveled at the story of their unusual success and retold this story of the ever-changing bounty of nature with reverence and incredulity for generations. Great grandsons of these hunters would never walk past this spot again without a comment, a smile and an intent look into the forest. Today it might be them.Many hunters go years, some a lifetime, without seeing a deer like either of these two in the video in a position to make a proper shot and a sure kill. Every once in a while, a fortunate, diligent or persistent hunter is able to put himself or herself in the position of HUNTING animals like these. Sometimes getting into position requires hours of sitting in the cold and rain. It requires scouting and planning. Most of the time, when all goes right, all of this time, effort and attention presents the hunter with a scant few seconds of opportunity to make the shot...and the kill. The long preparation does not guarantee a thing: preparation does not CAUSE success. The true hunter can only prepare himself for the situation, but ultimately the hunter is always in the position of reacting to a myriad of potential situations. The true hunter hunts in the world of his quarry and to be successful must adapt himself to the ever changing events in that world. There is no script.True hunting is not about following some prepared script by some pseudo-expert, or just about reading a high fallutin' sports magazines for armchair sportsman who are never cold or tired or frustrated. True hunting is not memorizing the tactics of celebrity hunters in other situations. Rather, true hunting is about pitting yourself, one-on-one, against the animal, the environment and the situation in real time. True hunting is about improvisation, adapting and outthinking the prey. Every once in a great while a hunter or two will find themselves in the enviable situation of having nature present him with the hunting equivalent of a hole-in-one. Such is this situation and this video. Nothing more.For those of you who wrongly criticize this bit of good fortune, or more likely diligent hunting, for somehow being "unfair" to the deer: I seriously ask you to consider whether you actually understand how deer live, fight, breed, and die in the real world. In you, I hear a profound ignorance in the ways of the forest and in the competition for life that goes on there while you are home sitting on your couch. In some of you, I also hear a profound lack of understanding in the ways and mind of a true hunter. Please, if you cannot, after sober reflection, understand the true hunters proper and only response to this hunting situation, please do all of us predators a favor and opt out of further hunts. There are several very nice video games for sale these days that dutifully follow all the "rules' programmed into them and they will never confront you with this "ethical dilemma". Here you will be much more comfortable in a small and predicable world. Worst of all, in some of you I hear the discordant tones of jealously. True hunters do not heckle each other: hunters do not compete with each other, they compete with the prey alone. A true hunter will always rejoice in a successful hunt with any of his brethren, even when he himself has been beaten by the quarry that day. True hunters are always willing to share the joy of the hunt and the optimism of tomorrow.When I look at the video, I see two deer I would be proud to take. I see a perfectly placed shot. The kind of shot that is made by a person who has shot an arrow before many times in a heart pounding situation. A beautiful deer succumbs to a true hunter. Twice. Bravo.

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from georgiahunter16 wrote 6 years 3 weeks ago

I may be young, but ive hunted since age four. Ive seen locked up deer in my years also. And i agree with the post by "whitetailgallery". Anyone whos dumb enough to even approach two wild bucks is a pure idiot. that deer's natural insticnt is to get away by any means necessary, wether that means goring, kicking or even killing YOU. Why do you think you approach a deer so ready to shoot? So to anyone STUPID enough to try to release a wild deer, you WILL get messed up.Yeah, sure its a nice gesture to try to save a deers life, but grow a pair or go hug a tree for Christ's sake.Tyler

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from OhioHunter wrote 6 years 15 weeks ago

After spending more time than ever on a blog site reading about a particular topic, I must say the longest comment is the best comment. Sy, you must be a philosopher! (or a salesman :-)If you're reading this blog from the bottom up, just stop after Sy's message (unless your looking for entertainment.) The rest is just mindless chatter that isn't thought through and the necessary responses from folks that were actually involved.To guys like Charles, I pose the following question. If YOU were in a situation that would certainly result in a slow painful death, but were suddenly presented with a way out that would be quick and easy, what would you do? Would you consider the offering something from an "angel of mercy" or a "cold-blooded killer"? Unless you're a masochist, most would consider it merciful.

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from I'm in school right now wrote 5 years 30 weeks ago

its not ethical if they are still fighting. if they're just stuck, killind should be the absolute last resort.Nate

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from Chris W wrote 5 years 30 weeks ago

We're going to judge nature? Everybody wants to feel good about themselves?...... Like I'm going to walk down to the rivers edge tell these 2 deer to be still while I seperate them. Are you people out of your minds? So they put the video in slow motion and put some scary music in the back ground and everyone starts feeling like Mother Theresa. After about a 1/2 hour or so (to see if they could break free) I would probably shoot both of their asses. Tag one with my tag and the other with somebody elses in the family. The meat would be a welcome addition and when I told the story it would go like this......"Well you see, I came upon these 2 guys locked up. And after about an hour of watching these 2 guys killing themselves I decided the best thing to do was put them both down. Now I know they were having a bad day all ready when I found them but I don't think they were really going to understand that I was there to help them get apart. Soooo the bad day they were all ready having just got a whole lot worse." End of story. Want to have some tenderloin?

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from darren wrote 5 years 30 weeks ago

Me beibg a young i still think what the guys did in that video was wrong. There would be no possible way for me to feel proud about taking a buck in that fashion. I just recently missed the biggest buck iv seen while bowhunting. I would feel more proud of missing that deer and learning from it than if i would have shot it in a situation when it didint have a chance and learned nothing.

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from chad wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

I would have shot the one in the worst shape and cut a horn of the other one why kill both of the animals when you could harvest one and let the other live. I would have atleast wanted one of these deer to pass on genetics. Both nice bucks where I come from.

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from Chaz wrote 5 years 50 weeks ago

Unless at least one of the deer is obviousley in bad shape you couldn't call yourself an ethical hunter and kill these or one of these deer.Chuck

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from Visitor wrote 6 years 2 weeks ago

Let me start off by saying I am not an animal rights activist. I am not a PETA supporter in any way, shape or form. I am a true hunter through and through. You can look at this situation from many angles. How could anyone say this is ethical in any way? It is ridiculous. I bet those people who shoot locked bucks feel like champs! Please! Don't throw in the line that these bucks may not have had much of a chance to live if they were set free. I bet that chance was better than it is now that someone put an arrow through it as if it were chained up on a one inch chain. That is not hunting! Watch the video again in an honest and open way and tell me those bucks were not strong enough to make it had they been set free!? They were obviously strong enough to both be standing. After the chip shot both deer put up tremendous fights! They were strong! I have seen two deer that were locked to the point where they couldn't stand...another compassionate hunter chainsawed one antler to set both deer free. The two bucks were seen later that season at full strength. Give the deer a chance! Be a true sportsman, and have some respect for the animal and yourself. Fair chase and honest! God has given us every opportunity and right to hunt! We should respect the wildlife that we do hunt and cherrish what it has to offer! Now get out there and chase those rope swingin' long beards! God bless and good luck! To God be all glory!

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from rusty whitcher wrote 6 years 2 weeks ago

Sorry, but if myself and one of my hunting companions happened upon this locked up pair I think the outcome would be much different. Most bowhunters carry rope or parachute cord along with a folding saw for clearing branches. I hold all whitetails in the highest reverence, and I can't believe anyone could draw down and whack two magnificent bucks without at least trying to tie them off to trees, and then lasoe their legs, hogtie them, andcut off their horns.(the other method of choice: a softball sized rock hurled with some serious musturd at close range in the middle of all that mass of tines as been known to brake em loose)Watching twoslammers run off without horns would leave a much better taste in my mouth than killing a couple monarchs that had no chance of escaping a "chip" shot.( or was that a cheapshot) When any hunter looks at past years horns on the walls the memory of each hunt is ingrained in our memory. The conditions, location, the events that took place, sometimes luck, sometimes skill, the weapon used to take the animal. It all comes back like it happened yesterday even though it may have been 30 years or more ago. The memory of this so called "mercy killing" would haunt this old hunter.

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from Randy wrote 6 years 3 weeks ago

It's stories like this that prove to all of the conservationists that they are right in the way they they think of us. As an ethical hunter, I would do all I could to free up the locked bucks. As a case in point, a few seasons ago I came across a yearling calf elk entangled in a downed barbwire fence. This youngster had three of his four feet hitched up tight. The harder he pulled, the worase it got for him. A short distance away, 4 cows waited for him to break free. While my hunting partner and I each had drawn cow tags for this area, shooting two of these cows less than a hundred yards away was the last thing we thought of. We very cautiously placed a jacket over his eyes and held his head down while the wire was cut and untangled from his legs. He leapt to his feet and returned to the awaiting cows who seemed to stare back a thank you for a minute before they slowly sauntered into the timber. Shooting one of those cows would not have been hunting, it would have only resembled a shooting. I would rather go without filling a tag than to feel I cheated to do it. In the event locked bucks, entangled calves, or whatever was at a point of suffering or mortally wounded, again I feel the ethical hunter would end the misery, but, not claim what he had done as an ethical harvest. To me, it would be like going to the store and buying a trophy for your 300 game if you've never bowled one. I live off the premise that The Lord looks to honor and bless those who work hard to do the right thing. Even if your hunt was ruined while you attempted to help out the animal in trouble, I believe a better reward is down the road waiting for you.

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from Raymond wrote 6 years 14 weeks ago

Life can be cruel. We all know that. I see this the same as finding a dog (or deer) having been hit by a car and mortally wounded but dying a slow death. Do you allow nature to take it's course or dispatch the animal quickly and humanely? This is no different. I think you dispatch the animal(s) out of a somber sense of responsibility based on your particular situation. There is NO exact right answer to this. Only a duty to respect the animals and our wonderful sport. We have enough Non-Hunters judging us and our rights, let's not resort to namecalling and infighting amoung ourselves over hypothetical situations most of us will never encounter and that have no 'set in stone' answer.

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from NH Philosopher wrote 6 years 15 weeks ago

I would've killed them both. Clean, ethical shots...End of debate.

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from GregD wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

WOW.....Amen Brother!!If you live in Wisconsin - or ever visit there (especially in Oct or November) contact me at HuntTigerRidge.com. I would love to share a beer, or better yet a hunt and a campfire with you.Greg Duerrgduerr@HuntTigerRidge.com

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from joshd wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

i think the few posts from those who know the area/hunters involved explain the specific situation are excellent and should be applauded.for those of you still opposing the death of these animals by a human while they are locked, you really are the ones too far removed from the natural world.believe it or not, humans are part of the natural environment. so tell me why we can't be compared to the coyote. obviously we are not living in caves, scavenging, and eating raw meat, etc., but we were not put on this planet by aliens or something to live in cities and not interact with "wild" things.use your brains and really try to understand situations before spouting off with your irrationally harsh criticisms.

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from Jeff M wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

Greg D shared this video for what it is, two mature bucks locked together, not because they shot one of them. As for the video, it clearly shows two things. First, these two bucks were locked tight and were not going to get separated at a later time. Secondly, the hunter killed the buck with a perfect shot and it died within seconds of being shot. If not for being shot they would have surely died slowly, probably by drowning in the river. These were two mature whitetail bucks and getting close to them, even locked, would have been dangerous and unwise.I have been hunting the land were those two bucks were shot for 14 years, the last 2 under Tiger Ridge rules. I have hunted with some bad hunters and some good ones. These two are among the best that I have hunted with, they work extremely hard to ensure that every animal that is hunted gets the respect it deserves, before and after the shot. This was no different.

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from Paul wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

I have hunted with the guys who shot the vidio for years. Having heard the talks they give all of the young hunters regarding wounded deer, and making clean shots, I can attest to their ethical nature. They have been known to track a wounded deer for days. Most of the "ethical" hunters posting on this site can't hold a candle to either one of these hunters. As many other hunters have already mentioned how stupid it would be to try and free these animals I will not go down that line. If these guys thought it was the right thing to do I believe them, and whole heartedly agree.There have been comments, (in the lead paragraph) that referrs to the graphic vidio showing blood squrting from the deer. Some how this is seen as a bad thing. Well, hunters, that is what happens when there is a well placed shot. You want blood spraying out of the deer. The more the better. Graphic, yup, but that is the objective when you shot a deer. Lots of blood, quick kill.

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from Chad wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

What an awesome world we live in today that we get to see such amazing video such as this.It seems this group is split on this issue. Which to me is very suprising given it is posted on a hunting web site. I am surprised this blog would contain so many anti-hunting comments. Maybe there are a bunch of big talkers in the group that have no problem spouting off from the safety of their computer, but would not say boo in person.Deer in the wild are fair chase animals, and anyone that has hunted them would probably say it is not fair - the deer have the edge. Trying to draw a line for appropriate animals to shoot in the wild and non-apprporiate ones seems to take the issue too far. The argument should stop at the fact that these animals are in the wild, and that answers the quesiton of fair chase. Not to mention shooting the animals was the humane thing to do rather than let them struggle and eventually die a slow painful death.It did not seem right to me that the woman waited a day before acting. I am glad these guys did not let their animals suffer for a day before humanely shooting them.I would have done the same thing.

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from Kent wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

Was this the right thing to do? Under the circumstances it was the only thing to do. They swiftly killed two bucks that would have died a gruesome death. I can't remember seeing anything about the hunters being proud of what they did. They came upon an unusual situation and made a decision. Maybe they should have done an e-mail poll so they didn't offend anyone. Of course the bucks would have needlessly sufferred. Nature is cruel, much worse than the killing of these two bucks.

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from Jake wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

Ethical?? Of course this was ethical. That buck was dead in less than 10 seconds. I only wish every buck I shoot would die in 10 seconds. How long would it have taken for the two bucks to die, 1 day, 2 days, maybe longer. They were saved from a slow death. I can't believe anyone would think these two guys didn't do the right thing. I can honestly say that I would have done the same thing.

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from Craig wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

Some of you think they should have unlocked these two mature bucks. If you are a true hunter you know that this is not a viable option. Shoot a horn off someone wrote! I'm sure they looked around to see if John Wayne or Chuck Norris was near by to help. Not fair chase? These bucks weren't fenced in or eating out of your backyard bird feeder, they were in the the wild. Some say it wasn't an ethical kill. Would sitting there and watching them die locked together be ethical. I think NOT. They were saved from an agonizing death. From what I have read everything was legal about it and I would have done the same. You have nothing to apoligize for.

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from murph wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

The choice seems rather clear here. A slow, agonizing death for the deer involved or a quick merciful one? The hunters here wisely chose the ladder.For those who would try to free the bucks from their plight I do not question your cahones but I do question your wisdom.

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from charles wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

Let me tell you something, Greg...you and your buddy have done nothing to be proud of...and you should apologize to all of the ethical hunters that have had the unfortunate chance to view you and your friend's hunting skill !

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from GregD wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

I shot t his video, My friend Scott shot the buck. What we did was lawful, ethical and humane under the circumstances. We are not “lazy”. We work our tails off starting in April and all the way through till sept. Clearing land, plowing, planting, scouting and hanging stands – just like all of you. No one plans to go out and fill their tag like this. But sometimes life throws something in your lap and you have to deal with it. I have 4 kids, and Scott has two. Neither was willing to try and separate these bucks – unless we waited a day or so until they were so exhausted that it was safe – but then they would likely have died anyway.We are not "proud" of the hunt so to speak. We didn't do anything extraordinary. We just happened onto a rare situation, and we were able to record it. But neither are we ashamed of it. We know we did the right thing - and we also know that thousands and thousands of people have enjoyed the video. Not because they enjoyed seeing the animals suffer - but because it is rare, and unusual video footage. Even most "non-hunters" understand this, and the comments on other websites, both hunting related and non-hunting related, has been overwhelmingly positive.I am very proud of the ethics, and of the respect shown to the sport of hunting by all the hunters on TigerRidge.We apologize to no one, and as stated before - given the same situation - we would do the same thing again.Greg DuerrGDuerr@HuntTigerRidge.com

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from Ben wrote 6 years 16 weeks ago

I'm not accusing the "I wouldn't shoot" group of people of being jerks, but I am somewhat amused at how some people are so determined to "give the deer a sporting chance" as they pursue it with their high-powered rifles. Maybe I'm really messed up, but I would hold no objections to reaping a little bonus venison from a buck that would have died of exhaustion anyways. There's just one rule-you've gotta be honest with how you acquired that heavy set of antlers.

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from Michael S. wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

That squirting of blood somewhat disturbed me. Also, even though it doesn't seem like fair chase, it was a more humane way for the deer to die than to let nature take its slow, agonizing toll.My two cents.

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from Visitor wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Did you see those deer react when the shot happened? They were still healthly deer. Being an avid sportman, i hunt, i kill animals. But only under a fair circumstance. I would risk my own safety to free these deer- and then hunt them the next day. But kick them while they are down, thats not what hunting is about. I all for shooting an unhealthy or dieing animal to humanely put it out of its misery, but these deer where not sickly.

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from Matt in VA wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Honestly guys, it's very easy sit here at a computer and say well, the hunter should have tried to free the bucks. Ethical or not, the safest option is to shoot one or both the deer. I know that if I were in that situation, I would not put my health and safety at risk to free the animals and would therefore take the animal(s) out of their misery.

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from john wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

i would of shot both of them because they would die anyway! if u shot one and tried to get the other one loose it could attack and kill you! so u made a good choice!

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from anotheralabamahunter wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Please. Anyone who approached those deer with ideas of getting lose would be running an enormous risk of being injured themselves.It's not hunting that we are talking about. It is killing, plain and simple; but, absolutely necessary when you consider the alternatives.How can you possibly criticize the guys that killed them. It needed to be done, they did it.How many of you holier than thou hunters have actually seen a coyote kill a deer?? All of you that have, jump right in and judge. The rest of you need to join us in the real world.By the way, post the video of trying to shoot one of the horns off. Pure genius. You hit the horn, or the deer or maybe even get lucky and the bullet richochet and hits you in the horn.

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from TBL wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Killing or slaughter? That's OK guys, I'll send you the video. Hmmm not one of you responded about the hunter coming back the next day to take her trophy and THEN calling the warden to get another tag. If she were so concerned about "putting them out of their misery" maybe she could have made the call the first day?

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from John wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

You can get yourself killt by trying to free two locked bucks. I would kill one or both, knowing both would die an agonizing death. Don't kid yourself about what we do or apologize for it – it is killing. We connect with God's big wild scheme and in the process make things go dead. Sometimes we get to witness rare events like two bucks locked up. Most likely, it's only going to end one way. If you hadn't seen them, it would definitely only end one way.

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from Bubba wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Do you folks remember a thread on here a month or so ago about the game ranger that used his side arm to shoot the antler off one of a set of locked bucks to free them both?If you can get that close, a .22LR will break the antler. If you are in an archery season only, you have a problem. If you don't have access to any type firearm, you have a problem.I can guarantee you one thing right now folks, as stressed and adrenaline charged as those two deer were, that venison ain't worth the time and trouble to butcher it!I would just have to take the chance on trying to shoot an antler loose or off!Bubba

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from Tommy wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Because if they were laughing or high fiving, or smiling like they had just won the lottery - I would like to see them slapped around.However, if they were calm and looked to have purpose and intent, and the event was lacking celebration - I would have to extend them the benefit of the doubt.But I don't want to watch it either way.

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from Tommy wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Kinda had another thought on this one. I didn't watch the video - didn't want to.Haven't ever put one of my dogs down either - probably couldn't do it; but at times, someone has to. So I have had a couple of bad trips to the vet over the years.The vet wouldn't use a bow, but if these guys used a gun, they could be tried for poaching.Maybe they were going for a trophy with no qualms, which would suck - maybe they were trying to do the right thing. I could not judge them or anyone in this case without being there or knowing their mind at the time.Was there any evidence on the video that would suggest either?

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from Ian wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

There is no sport or fair chase in taking those two locked bucks at the stream nor at the field. That is not called hunting, that is called shooting a defenseless animal that doesn't have the chance of getting away. Words can not describe how P. O ed I am right now after watching that video. They must be PROUD hunters to tell their story. Glad they worked (months of scouting, hanging multiple treestands) for those deer.

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from Tommy wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

And Mark, while tranquilizing seems a noble thought; not only would it be costly, many times experts that would do such a thing will not; for fear the animal is already to weak to "come back" after tranquilizing.

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from Tommy wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

I think it might actually be ethical to shoot them. If they were to die anyway. I agree - releasing two fghting bucks - even weakened, sounds like lunacy.I would not consider the antlers trophies though. And hopefully the meat would not be to pumped full of adrenaline to eat.

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from Mark Hansen wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

I feel if at all at all possible the deer should be freed.whether that mean tranquilizing, cutting horns or some way of freeing the animal(s). If the animal(s) need to be dipatched,do what we need to do. We do not need to post videos on the internet. That is extremely poor p.r. for hunters of all kinds,it makes us look pathetic.ark inichigan.

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from Agent 47 wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

The main issue for me is the suffering. My vote is to try to save the animal if safely possible. (Keep in mind that most animal get very aggressive when cornered and wounded so this is a tough call and most likely not possible) If that is not possible, then take them out and end their suffering. For me if I was hunting and came across ANY wounded animal that I couldn't safely help or save, I would take it out no matter what season was in or out. I know if it was me I wouldn't want to suffer or let nature take it's course so I would grant that same respect to the deer.

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from Lou wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Shoot the buck or bucks? Sure.I wish I could find a doe stuck in a fence that had a tree stump nearby. She would quickly become stump broke!

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from AdventureNorth wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

If this was in my area of Maine,I DEFINATELY know the game warden that hangs here would have shot one or both if need be if they had a big rack or were injured (he is a rack hunter),even though I called him to say there was a doe coming into my yard one winter who was missing half of her leg and she would leave a koolaid stain of blood on the snow.I wanted him to come put her down as my kids would get very sad seeing this.His response" I can't today,let nature take its course" As far as trying to seperate locked bucks..GOOD LUCK to those NOT Chicken Shit hunters,LOL !!You better pray you don't get gorged and please send us the video of your "BRAVERY";-)

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from MidnightBanjo wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

The video wouldn't play, but I think I've seen it or something like it before. I've seen 2 bucks hooking it up and I have to say - WOW! I wouldn't want to be in the middle of something like that. I am by no means a large guy and would have no business trying to separate two mature bucks. I'd just get hurt and they would still be in the same situation. Two live deer = no way would I try to step in; one live and one dead = Those I would separate, with one quick shot.

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from Zermoid wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

I may be a bastard for saying it but if it was in legal season I would shoot him too.I would still have to find him, and just because they did something incredibly stupid which put them in a disadvantage in what is still fair chase in my book I would not feel that hunting season is to be given a time out for stupidity. And what if you do separate them? At what point do they again become fair game in your book? when they have gone 10 yds apart? 50 yds? 100? Or do you give then a 30 second head start? What about the guy who happens to run into one of them 5 minutes after you've done your "Rescue" thing and shoots one of them dead, do you gripe at him too? Call him a horrible slob too? What's the difference? That he didn't know? Big Deal. It's only because us humans have removed the majority of predators who would have no problem taking advantage of an easy meal that deer in this predicament would survive long enough for us hunters to find. It's nature, deal with it or quit calling yourself hunters and go join Greenpeace.

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from Frank wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

I saw this video and it was disgusting that anyone would think of shooting a deer in that position.That is not hunting,the deer had no chance at all to escape.People like this give hunters a black eye.If the guy needs the meat or horns that bad he should pick up road kill and save himself some money.I've been hunting for 44 years and I would never think of doing what these guys did.

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from Mike O. wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Wow, there sure are a lot of chicken shit hunters out there. You guys are too afraid to at least try and release them and the ethical thing to do would be to let nature take its course and not shoot. And since when do we compare ourselves to coyotes. Paul maybe you have the brain of a coyote but I don't. What would a game warden do. Interfere with nature or kill them both, one of them? I would venture to say they would do their best to free them even though that might b not letting nature take its course.

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from Paul wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Some hunt for sport and some to put meat on the table. I didn't view the video, but two locked up deer who can't get apart would have died anyway. What would an ethical coyote have done if it came upon these two deer?

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from allabouthuntn wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Were the bucks in the wild? YES! It was a fair chase kill, too many people are quick to judge right from wrong. How many of you from Texas shoot at deer by a feeder? Sporting? I think not. As one comment stated, some of you shoot out of blinds that rival houses. Don't need much in the way of a sportsman there, it was either go out with a quick kill or days of starvation. I'll take the bullet, thanks.

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from Sammy wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

So,birddog, as a real sportsman if you would not shoot them what would a sportsman do in a case like that!

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from birddog wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

I hunt for the challenge, not to go out in the woods and kill anything. No I would not shoot a locked up buck. If anyone would, then I wouldn't call them a sportsman.

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from Sammy wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

The only humane thing to do in a case of two locked bucks is to shoot them both. Maybe it isn't as some of you put it ( fair-chase) but it would take a real idiot to try and free the two deer. And it surely would be better than leaving them to starve or die from exhaustion. Some of you people who are crying about fair chase are probably some of the same people who set in thier fancy box stands with windows and easy chairs overlooking a food plot, I suppose thats fair chase.

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from whitetailgallery wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

You guys that are suggesting to "release" 2 live locked up deer are nuts. Show me one person who has ever freed up 2 live bucks that were locked. Of the 2 deer in the one story, one was dead and the other was exhausted so he didn't fight the "nice guy" who freed him from the dead deer. I have approached wounded bucks before thinking I would finish them off with a knife cut to the throat. Yeah right. Even in a weakend state a buck will thrash at you with all he has. I'd like to see any one of you guys that thinks someone should walk up to these bucks and try to free them to do it yourself. It simply isn't going to happen until one of the deer finally dies and the other is just too exhausted to be able to do anything about a human working on him. PERIOD!

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from Mike O. wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

There is a dvd out there and I can't remember the name of it but on the dvd there is footage of a hunter going after elk in Colorado I believe. He comes across two awesome bulls fighting like mad. He got into position and waited for the perfect shot. As soon as he released that arrow both elk took as if a grizzly had just wandered into the fray. He drilled the elk with a good shot and had a beautiful trophy and story to tell.If the elk on that dvd were as vulnerable as the two deer in the link above then don't you think the deer both would have gotten the hell out of there as soon as they heard the hunters get off of their atvs? I think they would have and I know had the elk known that hunter was there on that dvd, they sure as anything would have stopped fighting and taken for cover before he could get a shot off. It is irresponsible and idiotic to think otherwise.

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from Mike O. wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

There is a huge difference between two rutting bucks or bulls that are fighting and two locked up animals. The difference is that the non locked up animals can and given the chance will flee a hunter that is standing 20 or 30 yards away broadside and in plain view. The to deer in the story obviously could not flee even though they knew the hunters were there. If you read the story written by the hunter to go along with the video then you will see and understand that the deer knew full well that the men were there but they had no chance of fleeing.

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from Mike O. wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

All you justifying idiots out there that think that because you are trying to kill an animal anyway, why not kill a deer that presents a less than fair opportunity at a shot. The bottom line is that anyone that would shoot a deer or any other animal for that matter, under anything less than total fair chase conditions is not a hunter, but a killer. I don't know about you guys but I like pitting my wits against animals that have all their available faculties at their disposal and not hopping out of a truck and shooting a deer that is utterly defenseless. And if you think that any deer or antlered animal is not defenseless when they are locked up, then you need to pull your head out of your ass and join the real world.

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from Mike O. wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Man I thought hunters were smarter than this. I am not an animal rights activist in the least, I hunt every opportunity I get and obviously the goal when I hunt is to kill an animal. But being the superior intelligent being that I am, as opposed to an animal, I have a responsibility to act ethically when hunting. It is not fair chase to kill an animal that is locked up. PERIOD!

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from joshd wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

very good post Bigdeerkiller, i must have been writing as you posted.

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from whitetailgallery wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

If given the opportunity to harvest a deer that was locked I would probably do so. I am not a "Trophy Hunter" but hunt for the enjoyment and for "meat in the freezer". If I saw a live buck locked to a dead one, I would almost suredly take the shot, but am not sure what I would do if they were both alive and I was by myself. Shooting 2 bucks is not an option where I hunt. If I shot one I would not have a way to free it from the other one. Now if I was out with a buddy we would probably both take one and would both have our "meat in the freezer. If they happened to be nice racks that would be a bonus, but that's not why me or my closest hunting friends hunt deer.

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from joshd wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

for the animal right's type folks making comments, wouldn't not hunting at all be the most humane thing to do. we are hunters, and we hunt and kill animals. obviously there are certain ethis and morals involved, but it's not a simple of a situation as you might think. know one knows how long the've been locked up. the buck(s) could be so worn down at that point that they may not surive either way. you would have to be there for every single one of these events in order to make that type of judgement call.would you sneak up on a pair of bucks while they are fighting and not "locked up"? is that fair? maybe we shouldn't be allowed to hunt bucks during the rut at all because they are too vulnerable.i would probably kill that buck that is still alive (unless of course they were on property i didn't have permission to hunt). it would be a cool story and experience, and i would not jeopardize that buck running off and eventually dying as a result.people do things and think they are doing wildlife favors all the time (i.e., picking up 'abandoned' fawns, feeding deer in the winter, etc.), when in fact they are doing the opposite.

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from Bigdeerkiller wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

In regards to 17yearolddeerhunter. I also think it is surprising that some hunters even think this is a question.The rules of conduct of a hunt dictate that if you are in the field, pursuing game with the purpose of hunting, and because of the hunt, the possibility of a kill is a reality, then the question of ethics becomes mute. A deer, killed in the closing minutes of the season after a grueling all day hike, or a deer killed on thirty minutes before sunrise on opening day following a doe in the heat of the rut, or a deer killed in the middle of a fight with locked horns are all following their proper conduct as dictated by their nature, and therefore, become part of the hunt,. The Spanish philosopher and poet, Ortega, says that in order for a hunt to exist, the possibility of a kill also must exist. Our ethical guidelines then are to follow the conduct for legality in hunting and our respect for the environment, not to sympathize with the prey species for following his conduct.

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from Dan wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

For a trophy? Or because the animals are at high risk of dying in that condition, and taking one is the more ethical thing to do... if so, pride may have little to do with it. The story behind the antlers may be worth more than the trophy.Now - here's a question: given a chance to tag a really good buck, would you be willing to pass on that one to take one of a pair of smaller deer that got locked up?Dan

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from Mike O. wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Man, what a terrible video. That was seriously disturbing. What the hell is wrong with some people? How could you ever possibly be proud of how you took that deer. I am an avid hunter and sportsman but that video truly made me cringe in disgust. Neither deer ever had a sporting chance and the two selfish assholes that shot those deer should be facing some sort of punishment. How could that ever be considered fair chase?! The right, ethical, morally correct thing to do would have been to try and release the deer from the tangle and try and harvest them when the deer stood a sporting chance later that season or in the future. Talk about giving hunters a bad name.

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from archer wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

It's not something to feel good about, but it was the right thing to do.

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from joe b wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

In the case of the Bolding's, they did exactly the right thing. One buck was locked up to a dead one, the correct choice was made to release the other. Should both bucks be alive and unable to free themselves, I believe it would be totally ethical to dispatch one for the sake of the other. It would be a much more humane death to the one, than to let them both slowly die.

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from TBL wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

Just read an article yesterday in another magazine, something Ted Nugent wrote about ethics. Maybe he's wrong, maybe we don't talk about it ENOUGH. Save the deer if possible--at least give them a chance. Real skill spotting locked up bucks and coming back to shot one. Couldn't call the warden the day you found them?

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from piecemaker47 wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

NO it's rather disturbing even to think about it. Where would the sport be? Cutting it loose would be more humane.

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from Visitor wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

his agenda was taking an animal period.

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from jdawg wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

BS! What about fair chase?Did the hunter take the animal because it was ethical or was he a lazy greedy slob that puts a black eye on our sport? Even though the video is very graphic we have no way of knowing what the hunter's agenda was. Taking an arrow or starving...I'll take the arrow.

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from DEL wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

NO NO NO. THAT VIDEO IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE MOST DISTURBING THINGS I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY YEARS OF HUNTING. REASON BEING I HAVE ALWAYS THOUGHT THE ANIMALS SHOULD HAVE SPORTING CHANCE AND CLEARLY NEITHER OF THESE ANIMALS DID. IN MY PERSONAL OPINION ONE SHOULD DO WHAT THEY CAN TO TRY AND UNLOCK THEM IF YOU SHOULD HAPPEN TO COME ACROSS THIS SITUATION.

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from Sal wrote 5 years 30 weeks ago

With the economy as bad as it is.I would have saved the moeny on arrowes and clubed the the deer to death.With to money I saved I could go out to Wall-mart and buy some Chinese Junk.

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from 17yearolddeerhunter wrote 6 years 17 weeks ago

It is surprising to me that some hunters even think this is a question.The definition of ethics is the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.I would hope that any hunter would try and do whats best for the deer rather than himself. Imagine seeing the buck of a lifetime exhausted and about to starve to death tangled up on a dead buck. Would you honestly feel a sense of accomplishment shooting the deer. What a great story to tell your kids about the deer head you proudly display. I am in no away opposed to euthnization of a deer if said hunter feels thats whats best for the deer. To me though it would be immoral and unethical to shoot the deer if you thought you could save him. Who knows if you got him later it would be a great story to tell. you should always be honorable when hunting and be as ethical as you can. Especially sense our traditions are being scrutinized by some people in certain areas of the country. Dont do anything you might regretJust what I think

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