First Day of Deer Season with Rifles - Do I Lay Low?

fifidanonNovember 27, 2006

Hello all,

I am a regular poster on the "Building a Home" and "Buying and Selling Homes" Forums, as we have just moved into a new construction home two months ago. But I have a problem, or a concern, and these forums are always so helpful and full of really good, caring people who always come through for me, so here I am venturing over here:

Tomorrow is the first day of deer hunting season with rifles here in PA. It is such a big deal where I live that they actually close the schools this same Monday each year. When I first moved up here 5-1/2 years ago, I thought it was just a nice extra day for Thanksgiving holiday, little did I know!

Here is my issue: My daughters are scheduled to have their Christmas picture taken tomorrow at the Steamtown Mall in Scranton, which requires me to get on Route 80 West from the Pocono area. I swore I wasn't going to schedule on this day anymore, after noticing last year or the year before that there were actual hunters crossing the highway, guns and all, (trucks and jeeps parked all along the highway) to hunt in areas off of the interstate.

I made a comment to my dh that we were lucky we didn't get hit by some stupid hunter's stray bullet. A day later there was a report on the news that a woman north of Allentown had been shot in the leg by a hunter's stray bullet while driving home from work. Also in PA, a seventh-months-pregnant woman was shot in the head by a hunter's stray bullet while sitting in her car in her driveway - fortunately it did not penetrate her skull and she did not lose her baby. Again in PA, in Nazareth I believe, a man was shot by a stray bullet while sitting eating pizza in a pizzeria, a bullet later determined to have been fired from a mile away.

So, I told my dh I was afraid to go tomorrow, especially since it is the first day of the rifle season, and all these hepped-up hunters, - experienced and amateur, careful and idiots alike - will be out there, and there will be close to one million of them across the state. ONE MILLION. I kid you not.

My dh says stop worrying, stop scaring the children, nothing will happen. My daughters are 9 and 7 - they saw the hunters all over the highway first-hand - they are old enough to get it and my 7-year-old is scared. My dh told her everything was going to be fine, I PROMISED her everything would be fine. I know statistics show we are 99.99999% going to be fine - but yet I am truly, really scared!

Can anyone tell me if I am being ridiculously paranoid, or should I just call and postpone the picture and stay home all day (I am not kidding about staying home), at least for the first day of the season, and let the overly-excited first-day'ers get it out of their system?

I've no idea what anyone out there can tell me, I just know it is 1:00 am and I am here on the computer typing and worrying instead of peacefully sleeping in my bed!

Thanks in advance for any feedback, advice, support, anything!

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I think I should add a comment here - I am not trying to turn this into a hunting debate. Hunting is not for me, not my choice, not something I believe in - especially not with rifles - but I am not posting here to condemn hunting or hunters. I am concerned about the "stupid" hunters, as I said in my post, who would be the kind of hunter responsible for shooting haphazardly and unsafely.

Also, why schedule on this day in the first place, you might ask? Because a month or more ago when I made the appointment, I forgot about the first day of rifle season, and it's an otherwise perfect day to go since my daughters are off of school and we're back from Thanksgiving travel! I was only reminded looking at today's paper that tomorrow is indeed, the fateful day.

Thanks for listening!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 1:20AM
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I don't think you are unreasonable for feeling the way you do. Did that pregnant girl who was shot while getting into her car last year in PA know before hand that she would be shot in the head? No. If she had a premonition, should she have paid attention to it, or listened to her boyfriend, who said, come on, you're being irrational.

That said, you have to live your life. Take as many precautions as you can, perhaps a different route. If you are uncomfortable, ask a friend with a Santa suit to come to your home and photograph your children at home where you feel comfortable. If you are a wreck with worry, it won't be a fun outing for anyone.

I also disagree that your children should be sheltered from what's going on in your area. They could be shot as well. Happens all the time.

Deer season starts December 1st here and I am not looking forward to it at all. I like you, don't want to hunt and don't want to prevent those who do. What I do want is for the hunters to stay off my property which they can't seem to do. I was sick with worry when my daughter was a toddler. I didn't take her outside to play during deer season and the dogs went out only to go, not to play. I didn't hang laundry during hunting season.. My dad and brother are avid responsible deer hunters. They bow hunt and do it in the wooded hunting areas in our state - far from any residential areas.

As for the statistics, I am one of those people who had a child that was born with a disease that only 50,000 worldwide suffer from. Something so strange and devastating that it took more than a day in NICU of a University Hospital to figure out what was going on. So yes, I can understand how you feel. It may not happen to you, but then again, it is possible. I don't know if it is probable.

The only thing I will say finally is you have intutition for a reason. Pay close attention to it.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 6:48AM
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I DO advocate hunting, and I ALSO don't think you're being unreasonable. Morons are everywhere, unfortunately. it's pretty sad when you have to be careful stepping out your door, and your pets need to be kept in. But it's the same up here in Maine.

About 5-6 years ago, we had an incident where an out of state hunter actually shot and killed a woman in her back yard, hanging laundry. He was arrested on manslaughter charges, and when it went to trial, he claimed HE THOUGHT SHE WAS A DEER!! That's not even the worst of it. The court exonerated him BECAUSE SHE WAS NOT WEARING HUNTER ORANGE!! He didn't even get so much as a slap on the wrist.

The only thing I will say finally is you have intutition for a reason. Pay close attention to it.

I'd say that's about the best advice I've ever heard.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 8:39AM
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I live in a state where hunting is big, but nowhere near as big as what you are describing. when I was 12 I was riding my Tennesse Walker (a fairly tall horse mind you) down our dirt roads, and I got shot at, wasn't even the first day but more like the week was winding down, scared the daylights out of me, I ran her back to the farm, and the hunters followed me, I closed the gate and as I was padlocking it (wasn't quite sure why they was following me, maybe to finish the job?) they pulled up, it had scared them too, they apologized all over the place, swore she looked like a deer, they couldn't of gotten a real good look at her before they shot. I keep my kids in during rifle season, it is only one week, worth it to me, there isn't suppose to be any hunters hunting in the woods behind my house but I have heard them, so I know they are there, we have even heard them at night when it is illegal to take a deer, I am overy paranoid though so just trust your gut feelings and go with that, they are right most of the time, plus as labmamma said, you are not going to enjoy yourself if you are worried about this problem.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 9:00AM
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No, it makes perfect sense to stay indoors and away from windows when there are a million armed hillbillies outside. Just go tomorrow. Make the picture taking tradtion an extra day later from now on.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 9:17AM
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Hello supportive posters,

There are two reasons I was hesitant to see if anyone replied to my post. First reason: I was afraid that people would ridicule me for being overly paranoid, and I would feel a little foolish. Second reason: I was afraid people wouldn't think I was being overly paranoid - and agree with me!

I decided when I woke up this morning, I would heed whatever my gut told me as I awoke. My gut told me to go through with it. However, now that I have corroboration that I am not being unreasonable, I'm not so sure.

I called my dh and read him my thread. He told me he heard gunfire as he was leaving for work early this morning. He also saw a pickup truck parked in a field not more than 1/8 mile from my daughters' bus stop, where my girls will be tomorrow morning at 8 am. (He's assuming he's a hunter; he never saw the truck parked there before.) Yet he still told me he thought it would be okay to go. Of course he then said don't go if I really feel that strongly about it.

I can't decide if I'm just as vulnerable staying home as getting in the car. At least in the car, on Interstate 80, we're a pretty fast-moving target at 70 miles an hour. Our house is in a new construction development of about 20 homes, built on pasture, wood, and farmland. Naturally, we must have met half a dozen or more people who used to hunt rabbit right where we now live. We're pretty rural here, so I've no doubt hunters are in the near vicinity. I've also no idea how long rifle season lasts.

I'm feeling a little bit like, "nowhere to run, nowhere to hide." It's near impossible to keep away from our windows, as our new home is pretty much filled with large windows.

By the way, my girls are running around the house, excited about the trip to the mall, making sure their Christmas lists are ready for Santa; all of last night's fears and worries seem to be forgotten. That is the great thing about kids.

labmomma, bill vincent, micke, quirkyquercus - thanks for reaching out and taking the time to respond. It's truly much appreciated. Just wish I knew for sure what I wanted to do!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 10:26AM
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Yes, you're being a wuss.
But a smart wuss.
If you can see and hear gunfire and there are a million armed hillbillies, undoubtedly drunk hillbillies, staying inside is the course of action I would take. You may have a very slim chance of getting killed by a lightning bolt but you have a zero percent chance if you remain in a safe shelter when it's happening.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 12:34PM
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And while you're at it, write a letter to the company that owns the mall and let them know why it is you won't be shopping there today. Maybe they can help in changing this freeforall of armed sportsmen.

Tell the kids there is a bad traffic jam. Sorta true.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 12:38PM
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fifadanon, looks like it turned into a hunting debate anyway, even though that's not what you wanted. :-)

Hunters shop at malls too. So do their wives, husbands, kids and friends. Do you think the malls want to lose that revenue?

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 7:11PM
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The original poster had mentioned she did NOT desire this to become a hunting debate, we could try to satisfy that wish??
Actually there are a few less than 1 million hunters out today, many are in involved in fighting the war on terror. The 1st day has always been a huge tradition here in the Keystone state, not only have schools shut down but many small businesses also close for the day.
As previously stated ,unfortunatly any activity involves a certain undesirable element. We have our share of slob hunters and ne'er do wells, some just stupid and for sure a few hill billies; mostly just a cross section of the general population to include the doctor, dentist , attorney, you get it, everyone. There are also a very few unfortunate instances. I can no longer hunt as I am legally blind( I do still shoot on a range) so today we went grocery shopping. On the way, the vehicle in front of us was T boned, Not a hunter in sight. On the news a body was found on the train tracks. again, no hunters in the vicinity. Now at the end of the day, notice how many people are injured and killed by hunting accidents and how many by auto, or work related or whatever; I am sure you will notice hunting is a pretty safe activity.
There is good reason to be alert and careful but being unreasonbly afraid is not healthy and probably unwarranted. I ca appreciate your position somewhat. our neighbors wife came here from the city and was very afraid her first season here in a mostly rural area. Shje has overcome her fears and goes on with her life as normal.
It is my belief there are some areas which should be restricted to the use of shotguns only for deer hunting. I have been a proponent of that for years, so have others, I feel it will happen especially with all of the new homes in the rural areas.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 7:33PM
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fifidanon-- Although I don't believe in tempting fate, I learned a long time ago when my Dad died in his sleep-- it doesn't matter if you're in your bed, or standing in front of an oncoming train-- if it's your time to go, you're goin, no quesions asked. If it's NOT your time to go, you're not going anywhere.

Maybe they can help in changing this freeforall of armed sportsmen.

There are most likely enough laws to do just that. More than likely, what's needed is allocation of funds for putting on more wardens to ENFORCE those laws, even if it's just seasonal.

Off duty cops are ALWAYS looking for ways to earn a few extra bucks. I'd be willing to bet you'd be able to find more than enough willing to train as game wardens, as well, for temporary duty suring the rifle season.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 8:48PM
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fifidanon, Original Poster here. To cut to the chase, we went to the mall (and made it home this evening safe and in one piece!). Shortly before going, I mentioned to dh on the phone that truth is, we're much more likely to be involved in a car accident than to be shot by a hunter's stray bullet, yet I get in the car nearly every day, so I decided to trust my early morning gut and go for it.

I did post one thing incorrectly earlier on, (for those who are keeping score of my geographical accuracy - lol), it was not Interstate 80 that had the hunters, but Route 380 which veers north and west up from the Poconos towards Scranton. As soon as we got onto 380, I remembered from last year, or the year before, the scenario.

We did see quite a few vehicles parked on the side of the highway - maybe twenty total scattered here and there - and did spot a few bright orange hunters in the wood, a few at their cars. I will admit I kept that foot pretty heavy on the gas pedal, especially when I was in between "truck cover." Of course, the irony of gunning at a high rate of speed and ending up in a much more typical car wreck, all in the name of avoiding the one in a million hunter's stray bullet, was not lost on me.

All calamaties were avoided, however, and we did get to the mall, get our Christmas pictures, do some other shopping, and ended up back in the car only after dark, and if I understand hunting law correctly, hunters aren't ever supposed to hunt at night. (But what was that huge light I saw coming off of a truck parked on the side of the road near the woods last year? I always wondered if they were hunting.)

My girls asked me how long the hunting season lasts. I honestly don't know - I told them I think it's a couple of weeks, maybe a week, maybe a few days for rifles - I probably should know this kind of thing living where I do!

Again, I really appreciate people taking my concerns seriously and offering help and support. With hunting season still on, for the next few days or maybe a lot more, I don't feel out of the woods quite yet, but I do feel like we dodged a bullet. OOOOH, did I really dare make that obvious joke? Now I really may get some angry replies - and deservedly so!

But all joking aside, you do have to try and go on with your life, as informed as possible, with caution and concern, but not to the point where you're frozen with fear. Not a good way to live for myself, or to pass on to my daughters.

Wishing all a comfortable, warm, and SAFE night.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 8:51PM
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I noticed your blurb per I 80, and assumed you had the routes mixed up, there is no parking on interstates.
Common sense generally prevails. I dont really keep up on the current hunt regs but rifle season is roughly 2 weeks. There is a muzzle loader season later, I think?
Many people do spot for deer and other wildlife after dark, even non hunters. Also racoon hunting is a huge sport here which is done after dark with dogs and lights worn on the head.
Bill, we have quite a few seasonal wardens who assist the WCOs. Unfortunatly the PGA is severly underfunded right now, feeling the pinch of no increse in license fees. The Damned governor is playing politics with the game comission, another story for another day.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 9:59PM
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"...hunters aren't ever supposed to hunt at night."

Yea and drivers aren't ever supposed to speed....ha!

Bullets don't stop until something stops them.

We have had problems around neighbor believes a stray bullet grazed the front leg of one of her foals.

Luckily it was not damaging but we did joke about getting sanwich board signs for all of the livestock with big words on them..."COW", "HORSE", etc...

If I see a strange vehicle around hear (it is all private property), I don't hesitate to approach the gun toting fools and letting them know they need to move on. They get pissy sometimes, but more often than not, they go away.

If you are worried about your kids and their bus stop, get them orange vests (if they will wear them) and they really should keep their ears open for gun shots...they might have time to hit the dirt if needed.

Oh, and it doesn't take a stupid or even an irresponsible hunter to miss a target every now and again...

    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 12:57PM
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"...hunters aren't ever supposed to hunt at night."

Yea and drivers aren't ever supposed to speed....ha!

You can't lose your car for speeding, as well as getting prison time and losing mega money.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 9:06AM
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By the time the kids hear the gunshot it is already too late...

    Bookmark   December 11, 2006 at 5:43PM
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An 18 year old girl found out the hard way up here last week. Up here, everyone holds their breath till centerfire season is over the saturday after Thanksgiving. As I posted in another forum, there's still the black powder season, usually, black powder hunters are a much more conscientious bunch, and they're much less prone to mistakes. This past week, an 18 year old girl was out in her yard and was shot in the chest and killed by someone with a muzzle loader. As of right now, State Police and Maine Game Wardens are still deciding which, if any, charges will apply. For anyone interested in looking further into it, the incident occurred in South Paris, Maine (two towns over from me).

    Bookmark   December 11, 2006 at 8:22PM
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That is awful. How many lives must be lost?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2006 at 8:45PM
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I guess the bus stop should have a big orange sheet around it and we all should take to wearing hunter's orange vests and hats everywhere near the woods.

Quirky, the hillbillies are probably the least of your worries. It is the city slicker with a big gun, a bottle of beer, a bad night's sleep in deer camp with the guys playing cards to all hours that you really need to worry about.

As a kid, we rode our bikes through the state game land all summer. Any warm November days we knew to just stay home.

DH and I went vacationing out in elk country in Northern Lower Michigan in early October. At dusk, you can hear the males bugle their mating calls. After eight miles of dirt road, we pulled over and opened the window and heard the most eerie and plaintive bellow you could imagine. I highly recommend it - mating season is in September and early October.

Bill, so sorry at the girl's death.

Here is a link that might be useful: Paint the farm animals

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 1:14AM
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Accidental fatal shootings are rare, and horrifically tragic.

I had seen a picture where a farmer prepared his animals for hunting season by painting in huge letters "COW" and "HORSE" in orange paint, on both sides of his animals. Apparently someone had shot one of his cows during a previous season. I wish I could find that picture. Its appropriate for this thread.

We do dress ourselves and our children in orange vests and hats during hunting season.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 12:34PM
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I guess the bus stop should have a big orange sheet around it and we all should take to wearing hunter's orange vests and hats everywhere near the woods.

That's not so "out in left field". The last fatality I heard about like the one I posted above was back in the early- mid 90's. A woman out in her back yard hanging laundry was shot and killed during rifle season, and the hunter was let off without so much as a slap on the hand BECAUSE THE WOMAN WASN'T WEARING HUNTER ORANGE!! They very quickly changed the laws up here so that you couldn't shoot at any animal within 300 yards of any dwelling. The girl killed last week was out by the tree line in her yard-- about 400 yards from the house.

I had seen a picture where a farmer prepared his animals for hunting season by painting in huge letters "COW" and "HORSE" in orange paint, on both sides of his animals

This isn't so crazy, either. Nancy's right about the biggest problem being the big sity boys coming up with a rifle in one hand and a case of beer in the other. Atleast the "hillbillies" know what they're shooting at! I was at a check station one day about 10 years ago when an out of stater came in just as proud as he could be of being able to fill his doe tag..... WITH A TAWNY COLORED GREAT DANE.

After eight miles of dirt road, we pulled over and opened the window and heard the most eerie and plaintive bellow you could imagine.

My wife's from southern Utah, and I've spent some time out there, and I've heard that. You're right-- it stirs the soul!!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 6:26PM
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Its not really a case of rural vs city people, country folk can be just as stupid, lazy & careless. I too like to poke fun at city slickers but we know they are equally at fault.

Its always a sad day when some one is injured or killed by a hunter. Shooting sports are statisically safe and the antis like to grab media attention when something goes bad. City or country, we need each other. We need to know the laws and the safelty precautions and heed them.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 7:10PM
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and buy lots of orange stuff!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 10:36PM
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City folk, country folk - don't all hunters who hold licenses have to read to get the thing? If they can read well enough to get their permit or whatever you need to hunt, I guess you can read the posted no hunting signs?? Apparently not, or they just ignore them. The also ignore when the hunting season ends. I am seeing hunters all winter long these past years.

I know there are laws that you can't hunt within a certain amount of feet of dwellings. I live on a large wooded property, 1 1/2 acre of which is "somewhat developed". Problem is, my property encompasses part of a marsh, woods, and all kinds of areas although posted, are totally ignored by the hunters.

I think that since I own my property, no one should be able to come onto my land and hunt. Not that I am opposed to hunting, just don't want it happening on my property mainly for safety reasons. I have had all types of people construction workers, service people who have asked me if they can come back and hunt on my property. I feel it is totally rude to ask whilst you are out at my home on business, and of course, I would never allow it.

I have my "own" deer that live on and around my property. I don't feed them. They are here all year. I love watching them from a distance so as not to disturb them. I love animals and I don't want hunting on my property. My daughter has learned so much about animals living where we do. She has seen things that her peers will never see; dams built over and over again by beaver, only to be torn down again and again by DH so that the creek can flow; red and grey fox; all kinds of birdlife. It is a wonderful setting and I bought my piece of it to leave it as it is.

I just wish the hunting contingent would respect my property line. Something they continue to ignore. UGH

One last disgusting story. One Sunday after mass, I was bringing my DD home from grocery. We were on a heavily traveled rural road near our home at midday. I was going well below the speed limit since I know the area and the deer hang out. Not likely since it was midday, but I still always take it slow in that area. It was like deja vu all over again. Yes, it happened, I hit a deer, with my 10 year old in the back seat. It was the most horrible thing. I didn't kill the deer immediately and I pulled over into a neighbor's driveway to wait for the police and assess the damage to front of my truck. Luckily I drive an SUV and we were okay. Car had damage, but humans were safe. I was so upset, and more so that my DD was in the car. The deer was limping and bleeding around the properties on the roadway. Police came and I went home. The police officer later came to my home since he knew how upset I was and wanted to check on me. He told me that they wanted to shoot the animal but there were so many people around watching that they couldn't do it in front of them.

Deer ended up dying before it could have been put out of its misery humanely. Do you know some scank actually took the roadkill into a barn on that road and butchered it. The police in my town just looked the other way. I always thought it was illegal to do that with an animal hit by a car, but this guy gathered up the deer and off he went into his barn he went with all the officers watching. I don't know which upset me more, hitting the deer or the police watching while this guy took roadkill into his garage for butchering? I think if you want to eat deer meat, buy it or hunt it, don't pick it up fresh after an auto accident:((.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 6:14AM
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When we lived in the country, folks would routinely get permission to use the meat from deer they hit on the roads or injured deer caught in fences.
We called the game warden to use a deer that had broken its leg in our high-tensile wire fence. We used all the meat-canned and froze it. If we hadn't needed it we would have offered it to our neighbors.
Not wasting meat sounds like a good idea to me.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 8:14AM
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But road kill? I think that is gross, and I think illegal as well.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 11:14AM
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Road killed deer is legal to use if you call the game warden and get permission. Laws may not be the same in every state.
It would only be gross if too much time elapsed between its death and processing the meat or unfavorable temperatures, exposure to insects, etc. Same as deermeat obtained by hunting.
We were given a wild turkey that was road kill. It's neck was broken by the vehicle that hit it. It tasted the same as the ones that had been shot.
I guess country people aren't squeamish and appreciate free meat when they can find it. Unless it's been on the side of the road for a few days I can't see what the difference would be.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 11:34AM
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I am a country girl and I still find it gross. I will say after I hit the deer, it did dim my appetite for any type of meat for quite awhile. I do eat venison as my dad and brother have been bow hunters for years. We grew up with a freezer full of it every winter.

I hit the deer with a huge SUV going 30 mph. My front bumper had to be replaced and as well as something under the car that holds fluids, transmission maybe?? Damage was over $2,500 plus $500 deductible. With that much damage to my huge truck, it had to do alot of internal damage to the deer. Doesn't that make a problem for the meat? The deer had no visible injuries. Legs were not broken, neck not broken. Police officer said deer died from internal injuries.

I am trying to find out if roadkill is legal to butcher here in our state. I guess it's just a matter of what you are willing to use as food.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 12:30PM
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So glad you all were OK & sorry about your car.
If the meat was damaged or contaminated (as in a gut-shot deer) you'd trim it off and use what's left.
We were given deer that been gut-shot and just made do. The hind legs were fine. The loin was a little nasty but we could still use most of it.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 1:35PM
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Here, roadkill is legal to butcher, with permission. It is sometimes joked about - "aim for that deer, the freezer is getting low."

Posslbly queasy people STOP HERE

If I understand butchering, you would want to be draining the blood from the animal asap. If that was done, much of the meat would probably be fine. The side of the deer that was not hit is probably fine, too.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 6:29PM
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Here in Maine, if you hit a deer (or moose), you have the choice to take it, or give it up to be butchered for soup kitchens. There is absolutely nothing wrong with butchering a deer killed in an accident. Atleast its life isn't given in vain. The only part of the deer that can't be eaten is the actual point of impact, so long as it's butchered immediately.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 9:25PM
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Have to admit we had the same joke about aiming for deer on the highway.
"Meals on wheels, etc."
Never knew anyone who actually aimed for them but knew plenty of folks who hit deer accidentally and were resourceful with the meat.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 8:17AM
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Never knew anyone who actually aimed for them

I do. Or atleast used to. Years ago when I first started coming up here, it wasn't uncommon for some of the "backwoods boys" to buy old junk chevy pickups for 100-150.00, and go looking for deer in the road during the rut. This was especially common, atleast from what I've seen, among ex-cons, who couldn't own a firearm. That's how they stocked their freezers.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 8:28AM
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"Quirky, the hillbillies are probably the least of your worries. It is the city slicker with a big gun, a bottle of beer, a bad night's sleep in deer camp with the guys playing cards to all hours that you really need to worry about."

That's an excellent point! Touch/p>

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 10:11AM
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Read online about how many thousands of pounds of deermeat are donated to foodbanks by hunters. The article said that meat was the hardest food item to come by and how grateful they were for the venison donated.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 1:01PM
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This is a great thread - although it seems to have strayed a little bit from the original question - there are still many interesting ideas and opinions being given.

Personally, I don't deer hunt because I don't particulary like venison.

In Wisconsin, where I live, the fall deer hunting season is about as close to being a religion as it is to being a sport.

Rifle season typically runs from the Saturday before Thanksgiving to the Sunday following the holiday. Schools close the entire week because they realize that a good many (most?) of the students and a good many teachers have other ideas for that week and there is really no benefit to keeping the schools open at that time.

I own 56 acres and I allow my neighbors to hunt on my land. I KNOW that my neighbors are safe hunters and that they are respectful of my property. Also, if they happen to shoot an animal on their own land, and not kill it immediately, I certainly want them to have the oportunity to track the wounded animal if it happens to lead them on to my property.

Knowing that there is the potential for hunters to be on the "wooded back 40" anytime during the season means that I don't go into the woods without wearing orange. While I don't have a particular worry about our dogs or horses, I do keep them close to the house (dogs) or in smaller pasture (horses) during the rifle season. Ultimately, my family does not change our basic lifestyle to any great degree during hunting season.

Although I understand your initial hesitation, fifidanon, I also think that you did the right thing by overcoming your concern and living your life. As other folks have already suggested, the car ride to the mall is MUCH more of a risk than is the potential stray bullet.

As for deer roadkill, it is also legal here to recover a deer that has been hit by a car. Seems to me like a much better option than letting it lay on the side of the road to rot.

Last year I hit two deer with my truck - in almost the same location - about 5 days apart.

The first deer survived the impact, but it had a broken back and was in obvious pain, so I drove to a neighbor's house and brought him to the wounded deer where he finished it. We loaded it up and took it back to his house so he could butcher the carcass.

The second deer was hit right on the head (I almost missed that one) and was killed outright. Again, I loaded it up in the truck and took it to the same neighbor so the meat could be used - rather than leaving it to rot and to be wasted.

BTW, that particular neighbor works as a seasonal DNR warden so he took care of the "official" report on both accidents.

Anyway, although we may see deer-as-roadkill-food differently, I certainly echo labmomma's sentiments when I say that the story of the deer that she hit being allowed to die a slow death - in pain - as being preferable to a quick bullet putting it out of its misery - because the cops were concerned that people would see them shoot it (!?!?!?!) was disturbing at several levels. Sad.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 2:16PM
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I would have preferred to have witnessed the animal put out of its misery by the police, but somehow they didn't listen to my pleading with them. They were much more concerned about the number of people that had gathered and how they would be affected by witnessing the police shoot the deer?? I think watching it stumbling around, falling down and bleeding from the mouth was horrid enough. To end its misery would have been the humane thing to do, people watching or not.

Happy New Year!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 5:21PM
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I can tell you as fact that animal rights people have on ocassion taken videos of events such as this for propaganda films. sad but true.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 6:53PM
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You mean like the game officer who shot a scared small baby bear cub out of the tree when "he was posing a danger" because he was near a kids playground in a small town. Never mind it was midnight and no kids were around . The bottom line was the stupid game controller didn't have a tranquilizer gun and didn't want to wait till one was delivered. It made the papers and there was public deserved outrage. The Game co. was sputtering all over the place..bad publicity for the killers of animals/.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 10:34PM
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Sometimes those guys are put into a no win situation, I dont know the facts on the case so makes it hard to judge. If in fact it was a cub, there was a sow nearby, If the sow would have come around and harmed or killed someone the story would have been outrage in a nother direction. There are lots of times one wishes for a but of hindsight.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 11:00PM
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