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View Full Version : How to kill a suffering deer humanely, without a gun? [graphic images warning]


Phlosphr
06-25-2010, 09:50 AM
Last night a deer who has been hit by a car somehow got into my lower field - I've got several acres of fenced in land and this small yearling mule deer was found by wonder dog last evening. I went down and tended her and thought she may be a rehab, but after speaking to the rehabbers over the phone they do not take deer. the local vet will come up and euthanize her for $100 and the DOT won't come onto our lawn, we have to drag her to the road.

Currently I do not see a broken leg but she has a large contusion on her flank and is bleeding from her mouth. The sun us coming up in Colorado and it will be 80 in about two hours. She is breathing very shallow and I truly want to end her suffering without a gun. Perhaps a gun is the best strategy...Though I don't know if DOT will come up if she has a gun shot wound...

Any humane suggestions?

I was thinking a quick snare-noose...but that is not only graphic and frightening for the deer it verges on the profane.

Should I just use a gun?

I should preface this by saying I am not a hunter - I'm more of an a-la-carte Buddhist who wants to end the suffering of this deer.

The Surb
06-25-2010, 10:13 AM
Where are you located?

And do you mean DOW instead of DOT?

When we worked for a rehab in Boulder the DOW is the governing body.

Peremensoe
06-25-2010, 10:19 AM
If you have access to a gun, what are you waiting for?

Waiting around for other options to become available is the least humane course.

WhyNot
06-25-2010, 10:24 AM
A gun is probably the safest and most humane course of action.

You could conceivably slit her throat with a sharp knife, but if you haven't done it before, you might miss the right spot, and getting that close means you'd be at risk from hoof and heavy head, should she have enough energy left to flail.

I'm sorry. :(

Phlosphr
06-25-2010, 10:24 AM
Yes I mean DOW, and we are in Boulder County Colorado.

Yes, I have a gun...I'm really torn up about shooting it though. And what you say about waiting is what is tearing me up the most.

Turble
06-25-2010, 10:26 AM
Here (in PA) the Game Commission sends a Game Warden for wounded wildlife. Local police will also sometimes do the duty in cases like it sounds you have going.

AWB
06-25-2010, 10:27 AM
(graphic references follow)

If you have access to a gun, then use it. Much more humane, will end its suffering quickly.

I once saw a suffering fox on a roadway (massive hit). Another motorist stopped and was trying to talk to her vet about coming to save it. That's when the police arrived. He had us retreat behind our vehicles, took out his service piece, and put it out of its misery. Very quick.

If you don't know where to shoot it if you do get the gun, aim for the base of the skull, at the top of the spine, aiming into the brain (if you can get that close).

If you can't get into that position, any good solid shot into the brain will do. Don't do a shot to the heart; he could keep living until that wound finally bleeds out.

running coach
06-25-2010, 10:29 AM
Yes I mean DOW, and we are in Boulder County Colorado.

Yes, I have a gun...I'm really torn up about shooting it though. And what you say about waiting is what is tearing me up the most.

Gun is the best way. NOW.
It's worse to let the suffering continue.

TruCelt
06-25-2010, 10:30 AM
Call the local police and fire departments. There may be someone there who'd like to have the meat for his/her family.

Or just shoot it, if you can make yourself do so. It really is the kindest thing.

Phlosphr
06-25-2010, 10:31 AM
p.s. I just went down to check on her - pics here (http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/Phlosphr/DSC_0284.jpg)and here (http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/Phlosphr/DSC_0283.jpg)

She is still very much alive and is flailing around a bit.

Phlosphr
06-25-2010, 10:34 AM
Ok just called DOW and they won't come onto my property to do anything with the animal. F*ckers...they are only concerned if it is up at the road. When I said I will drag her up there when she is dead they said...fine we'll come get her then! A**holes!

My neighbor is coming over with his gun...his wife and my SO just spoke and he's going to do the deed...

Spice Weasel
06-25-2010, 10:34 AM
Yes, I have a gun...I'm really torn up about shooting it though. And what you say about waiting is what is tearing me up the most.
I get it. I get how hard this must be for you. But it is the fastest possible way you can end the suffering.

ETA: Seeing your latest post, good. At least this will diminish your suffering somewhat.

AWB
06-25-2010, 10:34 AM
Sorry, forgot to mention in my prior message: The fox was beyond hope, which is why the other motorist's vet wouldn't come out.

It was creepy when I saw the poor thing. As I was driving by, I saw it and steered around it. But as I passed the presumedly dead body, it lifted its head up and looked at me! :eek: That's when I stopped to try and tend to it. I managed to get it to scoot onto some cardboard by the side of the road without actually touching it, and when the woman came by and wanted to call the vet. After describing it to the doc, that's when he said no, it wasn't worth it. By that time, I'd called the police (in hopes of getting Animal Control). But they sent the officer who did the deed. All better in the long run.

Oakminster
06-25-2010, 10:40 AM
If you have a gun, I doubt you'll find a better way. One to the back of the head should do it.

AClockworkMelon
06-25-2010, 10:41 AM
Perhaps off-topic and a bit morbid but after reading the thread that second picture is pretty poignant, what with the yellow flowers near its head and everything. Thought I'd point that out.

Phlosphr
06-25-2010, 10:44 AM
Perhaps off-topic and a bit morbid but after reading the thread that second picture is pretty poignant, what with the yellow flowers near its head and everything. Thought I'd point that out.

My backyard is an alpine meadow, it's covered with those flowers, and in a way I suppose you are right. It's better than dying on a road or a being eaten alive.

The Surb
06-25-2010, 10:51 AM
Just so you know, I wasn't trying to be snarky, just wanted to make sure you were calling the right people. I know how hard this is to see.

Gray Ghost
06-25-2010, 10:54 AM
Not sure if you've done it already, but if not, call the police or your state's Fish and Game warden.

While I'm sure you can shoot the deer in the back of the head, I don't want you running afoul of any poaching or firearm discharge regulations. I don't know what they are in your area---though at first impulse, Boulder County gives me pause---but it would totally suck for you to get rung up for poaching.

enipla
06-25-2010, 10:55 AM
Yes. A gun. See that you went with that option.

Odd, I am also in Colorado. I had a moose in our yard wandering around, licking the salt off our cars. It appeared injured. DOW came toot suite. We watched the moose, and it was limping a little but was able to walk away.

johnpost
06-25-2010, 10:59 AM
already covered.

Ionizer
06-25-2010, 11:19 AM
That is a tough situation to deal with, and glad to know that people give a darn :-)

In the past, my experience(s) in Tx and Idaho with such situations have usually ended up with Fish/Game folks giving the go-ahead to kill (if not showing up themselves if possible). I've heard from buddies that were involved that there are usually food banks/pantries (organizations to feed the poor, so to speak) that will take the carcass and make use of it if it still 'worthy'. Waste not / want not. Often, there are butchers that volunteer their labor for the food banks as well. Figuring out who to call is the difficult part (as is obvious in the OP).

Thanks for your attention to the issue!

The Urban Spaceman
06-25-2010, 11:25 AM
Too late now, but if you'd had a canister of an inert gas (nitrogen, argon etc.) and a plastic bag, you could've used this to asphyxiate the deer humanely, more so than using a gun. Still, it's better not to hang around.

AClockworkMelon
06-25-2010, 11:31 AM
I would NOT recommend Spaceman's idea. You said yourself the deer is still flailing and if you're close enough to put a bag on its head you're close enough to get a mouthful of hoof.

Blut Aus Nord
06-25-2010, 12:46 PM
I don't understand what's so inhumane about using a gun. One shot to the head and it's over instantaneously.

WhyNot
06-25-2010, 12:59 PM
I don't understand what's so inhumane about using a gun. One shot to the head and it's over instantaneously.

I don't think it would have been very humane to Phlosphr, though. Having a neighbor willing to do it perform the deed will be more humane all round, and that's a good thing.

Phlosphr
06-25-2010, 01:09 PM
Looks like there is some mercy in the universe. We walked down to where she was laying and she had died. Peacefully - in a meadow. The neighbor was astonished she had died as we just checked on her not 20 minutes before and she was still very much alive and kicking. I'm glad we didn't have to use the gun.

Oakminster
06-25-2010, 01:14 PM
I'm not knocking Phlosphr, but I don't understand the reluctance to shoot the deer yourself. You know it's necessary under the circumstances, you have a gun available, why not do what must be done yourself? Killing this deer would have been an act of mercy.

Phlosphr
06-25-2010, 01:24 PM
It's something that is completely out of my normal sphere of consciousness. It's not a queasy thing, it's more of a "I don't kill animals thing". And I was going down there to kill it - I may not have been the one pulling the trigger, but I would have been there. The guns I have are for target shooting and home defense...more the former really.

I agree with the necessity...it was necessary for sure!

The Urban Spaceman
06-25-2010, 01:25 PM
I would NOT recommend Spaceman's idea. You said yourself the deer is still flailing and if you're close enough to put a bag on its head you're close enough to get a mouthful of hoof.

...you still have to get within flailing range if you're willing to dispatch the deer by putting a gun to its temple. If it was flailing dangerously use some common sense and get someone to help you restrain the deer.

Oakminster
06-25-2010, 01:29 PM
OK. I hope I haven't offended you, as that was not my intent. I guess we just come from radically different perspectives. Dispatching the injured deer would not have been pleasant, but it's something I'd have done without hesitation. It's sort of a "Code of the Woods" type thing from my perspective.

Skald the Rhymer
06-25-2010, 01:41 PM
NM

Phlosphr
06-25-2010, 02:21 PM
OK. I hope I haven't offended you, as that was not my intent. I guess we just come from radically different perspectives. Dispatching the injured deer would not have been pleasant, but it's something I'd have done without hesitation. It's sort of a "Code of the Woods" type thing from my perspective.

Not at all, and you are right, "code of the woods" and all. I've been a guide out here in CO for back country trips for just about a year, and one of the things we always talk about is the life force of animals. One way or another, this deer was moving on today!

AClockworkMelon
06-25-2010, 02:27 PM
...you still have to get within flailing range if you're willing to dispatch the deer by putting a gun to its temple. If it was flailing dangerously use some common sense and get someone to help you restrain the deer.Approaching it from the back and shooting it from a few feet away is different than putting a bag over its head. It won't even know it's about to be shot- but it's going to immediately start flailing as soon as you put a bag over its head. And now you're talking about bringing in a person to physically restrain the animal? It's far easier and more humane for all involved to simply use a firearm.

jtgain
06-25-2010, 05:42 PM
Cut the throat in this situation if you do not have a gun. It is what I was taught to do as a hunter.

It looks bad and it is messy, but, and I'm not snarking at you, it wouldn't have laid there for what looks like 3 fucking hours in agony just because YOU couldn't do what was needed.

I know that it would have been a difficult thing for you, but these are the bad things in life that happen and that we need to make rational decisions about.

Dag Otto
06-25-2010, 06:03 PM
Looks like there is some mercy in the universe. We walked down to where she was laying and she had died. Peacefully - in a meadow. The neighbor was astonished she had died as we just checked on her not 20 minutes before and she was still very much alive and kicking. I'm glad we didn't have to use the gun.


Next time, use the "Need Answer Fast!"

rogerbox
06-25-2010, 06:10 PM
Too late now, but if you'd had a canister of an inert gas (nitrogen, argon etc.) and a plastic bag, you could've used this to asphyxiate the deer humanely, more so than using a gun. Still, it's better not to hang around.

How is grabbing a wounded and terrified animal and suffocating it to death with a plastic bag better than a shot to the back of the head???

enipla
06-25-2010, 06:20 PM
Cut the throat in this situation if you do not have a gun. It is what I was taught to do as a hunter.

It looks bad and it is messy, but, and I'm not snarking at you, it wouldn't have laid there for what looks like 3 fucking hours in agony just because YOU couldn't do what was needed.

I know that it would have been a difficult thing for you, but these are the bad things in life that happen and that we need to make rational decisions about. I think jtgain, that's a little harsh. We need to remember that there are many people that would not have cared at all.

dracoi
06-25-2010, 07:52 PM
How is grabbing a wounded and terrified animal and suffocating it to death with a plastic bag better than a shot to the back of the head???

The post you're quoting was not talking about suffocation. Rather, the suggestion was to use an inert gas. The animal would keep breathing but without any oxygen. Better than simple suffocation...

... but not better than a gun for either humane reasons or personal safety.

Deer are dangerous if you get into their personal space. I can't find any cites that provide the number of people killed by deer in non-traffic incidents, but they can and do kill people every year. An injured deer might be even more dangerous because she knows running isn't an option.

enipla
06-25-2010, 09:44 PM
Good gosh.

Ideas of trying to suffocate it? That shooting it humanly might get you in trouble for poaching?

Have a can of inert gas around? Let me check.

:shess: I lost a lot of faith in the SDMB with these responses.

Phlosphr. I suspect that you still have a job to do. Call DOW and CDOT and see if any of them can help you dispose of the carcass. If there are any good people there, they might help you drag it to the road. If I was closer, I would help you do it myself.

The Urban Spaceman
06-26-2010, 05:58 AM
Good gosh.

Ideas of trying to suffocate it? That shooting it humanly might get you in trouble for poaching?

Have a can of inert gas around? Let me check.

:shess: I lost a lot of faith in the SDMB with these responses.


The brief was to euthanise the deer without a gun. Inducing hypoxia is the most humane method available without recourse to drugs, or a gun.

Any method of killing the deer will put you in close proximity to it, and at risk of injury if you don't keep your wits about you.

Inert gas is ideal, but natural gas, acetylene, butane, or even air duster would suffice.

Personally I'd have sprung the $100 for a vet in an instant.

Baron Greenback
06-26-2010, 08:10 AM
Too late now, but if you'd had a canister of an inert gas (nitrogen, argon etc.) and a plastic bag, you could've used this to asphyxiate the deer humanely, more so than using a gun. Still, it's better not to hang around.

I'd have flown the deer to the Moon, and then shot it into the heart of the Sun. That's about as practical an idea as yours. Also: getting shot in the head is a better and quicker death than suffocating.

I killed a cat when I was a kid. I think it had been hit by a car. Anyway, its back end was all fucked up and its guts were hanging out. The poor thing was howling, and I crushed its head with a brick. Placed the brick against its head and then stomped it. A particularly vivid childhood memory, particularly the sounds, but it was the right thing to do.

enipla
06-26-2010, 09:02 AM
The brief was to euthanise the deer without a gun. Inducing hypoxia is the most humane method available without recourse to drugs, or a gun. The OP did have a gun.

So you would suggest that trying to put a plastic bag over a large animals thrashing head and filling it with Inert gas is ideal, but natural gas, acetylene, butane, or even air duster would suffice. is even an option? You think that is humane? Let me check again. Natural gas, acetylene, butane. Sorry, fresh out.

A shot from behind is much quicker, safer, and way, way more humane. Not to mention that it is actually feasible.

Phlosphr, let us know how this turns out. I'm wondering if DOW or DOT will help you out. Perhaps call Boulder County Animal Control and ask about options. I think I would do that first. They should know what to do, and they will be open on a Saturday.

Johnny L.A.
06-26-2010, 09:11 AM
I think I heard that here in Washington deer killed on the road are collected and given to Indian tribes for meat. I cannot find a cite. Does anyone know?

The Urban Spaceman
06-26-2010, 09:35 AM
I'd have flown the deer to the Moon, and then shot it into the heart of the Sun. That's about as practical an idea as yours. Also: getting shot in the head is a better and quicker death than suffocating.

I killed a cat when I was a kid. I think it had been hit by a car. Anyway, its back end was all fucked up and its guts were hanging out. The poor thing was howling, and I crushed its head with a brick. Placed the brick against its head and then stomped it. A particularly vivid childhood memory, particularly the sounds, but it was the right thing to do.

Ok you're clearly not getting this. I was answering the question 'how to kill a suffering deer humanely, without a gun?'.

Hypoxia is not the same as suffocation. It's even recommended by the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia as a humane means of dispatching animals. It's really not difficult. Displace the air in a plastic bag, cover the mouth. The deer will lose conciousness in a few 10s of seconds, and dead in a couple of minutes.

Physical damage to the brain requires skill, adequate restraint and appropriate force. If you don't apply it properly, then it's not humane or effective. A deer skull is more robust than that of a cat. That's why I recommended hypoxia as the most appropriate method, given the stipulations, and without access to drugs. I've already said personally I'd use the vet, which really is the most humane choice. If a gun was available I'd use that in preference, but without one this is the next best thing.

smiling bandit
06-26-2010, 09:55 AM
Ok you're clearly not getting this. I was answering the question 'how to kill a suffering deer humanely, without a gun?'.

Hypoxia is not the same as suffocation. It's even recommended by the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia as a humane means of dispatching animals. It's really not difficult. Displace the air in a plastic bag, cover the mouth. The deer will lose conciousness in a few 10s of seconds, and dead in a couple of minutes.

:dubious:

I'm pretty damn certain then American VETERINARY Medical Association doesn't commonly deal with wounded wild deer or attempt to manhandle a plastic bag filled with inert gas over its head. Which, y'know, people don't generally carry around. It's a goddamn crazy idea, and it was weird that you even brought it up. A small animal in a vet clinic is a far different beast (so to speak...). Even a wounded deer can hurt you very badly.

enipla
06-26-2010, 10:02 AM
Ok you're clearly not getting this. I was answering the question 'how to kill a suffering deer humanely, without a gun?'.

Hypoxia is not the same as suffocation. It's even recommended by the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia as a humane means of dispatching animals. It's really not difficult. Displace the air in a plastic bag, cover the mouth. The deer will lose conciousness in a few 10s of seconds, and dead in a couple of minutes.

Physical damage to the brain requires skill, adequate restraint and appropriate force. If you don't apply it properly, then it's not humane or effective. A deer skull is more robust than that of a cat. That's why I recommended hypoxia as the most appropriate method, given the stipulations, and without access to drugs. I've already said personally I'd use the vet, which really is the most humane choice. If a gun was available I'd use that in preference, but without one this is the next best thing.No, you are not getting this. The OP did have a gun. There is no need for restraint of the animal when you can shoot it from a foot away. The OP asked a specific question, in a time of need. You are trying to answer a different question.

Attempting to restrain an injured animal, a large injured animal and place a bag over its head will likely send you to the hospital. I donít even want to talk about the inert gas availability.

Shooting a deer in the back of the skull and quickly dispatching it only requires the skill that any gun owner already possesses. Very fast, and much less traumatic for the animal. And IMHO, calling the Vet would just allow the animal to suffer longer. I would suspect that it would take at least 30 minutes for them to get there.

WhyNot
06-26-2010, 10:07 AM
No, you are not getting this. The OP did have a gun.

Yes, he did. But in the title and OP, he clearly stated he didn't want to use it and was looking for alternatives. I don't think the asphyxiation idea was a great one, for the safety reasons I mentioned, but it was certainly a more topical and appropriate answer to the question than, "just use the gun".

johnpost
06-26-2010, 10:08 AM
road kill might be used legally in some states though you might likely need to contact game wardens or law enforcement to get a permit.

to be eaten it needs to be had fresh. just like with hunting it needs to be gutted not long after death. also road kill might leave not a lot of good meat, massive impact causes damage to the body and ruins lots of meat.

Johnny L.A.
06-26-2010, 10:09 AM
If I may...

The OP did have access to a gun. The Urban Spaceman knows this, but offers a method one might use if a gun isn't available. So he is not misunderstanding the OP at all; just opining on a hypothetical situation where a gun isn't available.

Not that I agree with his solution. As others have pointed out, it's dangerous and it induces panic into the animal. Cutting the throat (assuming you have a knife -- something more likely than having a handy container of nitrogen) may also be dangerous. In the situation, I think maintaining as much distance as possible is a good idea. It might be better to crush the skull with a heavy rock or a cinder block.

AClockworkMelon
06-26-2010, 10:37 AM
Actually, even though I think Spaceman's idea is silly, the title of the thread does say "without a gun," so I'd say that the OP was creating just such a hypothetical.

Johnny L.A.
06-26-2010, 10:44 AM
I think it's more 'I have a gun, but I'd rather not use it to kill a deer because it seems too violent.'

It's still the best option.

The Urban Spaceman
06-26-2010, 10:48 AM
OK partly my fault for not being clearer in my initial post. If you have access to a gun and can safely restrain the animal, and a vet isn't close at hand, then a point blank range bullet to the top of the skull is preferable, on account of safety. If you don't have access to a gun and are not a vet, and can safely restrain the animal, hypoxia is the most humane method. In either case you need to restrain the animal to ensure that the animal is euthanised effectively and humanely, which will involve some degree of risk.

A blow to the skull or exsanguination are both considered unacceptable forms of euthanasia by the AVMA.

Veterinary surgeons deal with animals of all sizes, including deer injured by traffic. Of course it's not standard practice to induce hypoxia using a plastic bag, though it's nonetheless effective and relatively humane. Vets have access to barbiturates, penetrating captive bolt pistols, potassium chloride injections and many other approved methods for dealing with such cases, which are all preferable, but require you to be a vet.

enipla
06-26-2010, 11:24 AM
Actually, even though I think Spaceman's idea is silly, the title of the thread does say "without a gun," so I'd say that the OP was creating just such a hypothetical.Nothing hypothetical about it. The deer was alive and in his back yard.

aceplace57
06-26-2010, 12:08 PM
I wouldn't pay anyone to haul off the deer.

A shallow 2 foot grave is all that's needed and a bag of lime.

Within a year it'll just be bones.

If it's not buried, it'll be bones quicker. But, there's smells that aren't too nice.

aceplace57
06-26-2010, 12:19 PM
Actually, I seem to recall, grandad would just cover the animal with lime and some dirt. they didn't dig any grave.

I think the Lime kept down the smell.

Snarky_Kong
06-26-2010, 12:54 PM
Looks like there is some mercy in the universe. We walked down to where she was laying and she had died. Peacefully - in a meadow. The neighbor was astonished she had died as we just checked on her not 20 minutes before and she was still very much alive and kicking. I'm glad we didn't have to use the gun.

Well, other than slowly bleeding and suffocating to death while thrashing around, yeah that does sound peaceful. Well, at least typing on the sdmb while thinking about gumdrop rainbows is peaceful.

horsetech
06-26-2010, 01:23 PM
OK partly my fault for not being clearer in my initial post. If you have access to a gun and can safely restrain the animal, and a vet isn't close at hand, then a point blank range bullet to the top of the skull is preferable, on account of safety. If you don't have access to a gun and are not a vet, and can safely restrain the animal, hypoxia is the most humane method. In either case you need to restrain the animal to ensure that the animal is euthanised effectively and humanely, which will involve some degree of risk.

A blow to the skull or exsanguination are both considered unacceptable forms of euthanasia by the AVMA.

Veterinary surgeons deal with animals of all sizes, including deer injured by traffic. Of course it's not standard practice to induce hypoxia using a plastic bag, though it's nonetheless effective and relatively humane. Vets have access to barbiturates, penetrating captive bolt pistols, potassium chloride injections and many other approved methods for dealing with such cases, which are all preferable, but require you to be a vet.

AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia (http://www.avma.org/issues/animal_welfare/euthanasia.pdf)

As noted, while most veterinarians choose to focus on a small number of species, the profession as a whole is charged with the medical care of any and all animal species ("all but one" - i.e., all but humans). Obviously, there are some species which are so rarely seen or kept that there is little knowledge of how best to deal with them, but deer are well within the purview of wildlife and zoo vets, who usually go through further training after vet school to learn more about non-domestic species, and even some farm animal vets may deal with herds of captive cervids.

BTW, potassium chloride is NOT an acceptable way of killing an unanesthetized animal - general anesthesia should be induced first, then the KCl given. While hypoxia and/or hypercarbia (excess CO2) may produce air hunger, high concentrations of inert gases or CO2 produce unconsciousness quickly enough that they are considered acceptable by the AVMA.

Pithing and exsanguination are mentioned as being acceptable only when combined with stunning or anesthesia; however, it is my opinion that either would be preferable to an extended wait for a different form of euthanasia if there were none available. As a WAG on technique, I would probably try to do a longitudinal or diagonal cut in the jugular groove as deep as possible; at least in horses, the closer to the chest, the more likely you are to also hit the carotid artery and speed up exsanguination.

I'm sorry you had to see this; I have seen a horse who was slowly dying for some time because the owner could not be reached to authorize euthanasia (the vet ultimately euthanized without consent due to humane reasons), and it was gut-wrenching. I am going to have nightmares now about dying deer, since I am a suburbanite and don't know anyone with a gun.

AClockworkMelon
06-26-2010, 01:48 PM
Nothing hypothetical about it. The deer was alive and in his back yard.The hypothetical part being "without a gun", enipla.

Johnny L.A.
06-26-2010, 03:02 PM
I heard the snap trap a little bit ago. Like the other two rodents, this one had a dark grey body. I assumed the first one was a rat, and indeed it was too large for the mouse-sized snap trap. It was caught with a rat-sized trap, which snapped its neck as designed. The second one was hit in the upper back and died instantly. Being smaller, I didn't know if it was a rat or a mouse. This one was smaller still, and the trap snapped it above the hips. It was still alive, though it seemed to be conscious only in fits.

The most humane way of dispatching it was with a gun. A trip to the back yard and a .22 shot shell killed it quickly and painlessly. Much better and less messy than shovel decapitation.

Attack from the 3rd dimension
06-26-2010, 03:35 PM
Quick question for horsetech, as well as everybody else. I live in a Canada, a low-gun-owning country. I'm cool with blood and guts and shit. If I were in the OP's position, I'd probably do something like:

1) go to pasture where deer is
2) having determined that me killing the deer now is the best option
3) chuck a burlap sack over it's eyes to keep it from seeing me coming up on it
4) possibly do something to further restrain its legs- sack, blanket, sandbag, rope.
5) slit it's throat with a long razor sharp knife. I'd use a kukri, but any really long, really sharp sturdy blade.

I'm soliciting advice now - assuming normal household items, what would be a better plan, in case it ever comes up and I have to deal with it.

Johnny L.A.
06-26-2010, 03:44 PM
Out of curiosity, is your kukri sharp and stout enough to sever the neck with a single strike?

Attack from the 3rd dimension
06-26-2010, 04:03 PM
Out of curiosity, is your kukri sharp and stout enough to sever the neck with a single strike?

I don't think I'd be able to decapitate it in one shot. I think I could reasonably either cut it's throat or chop the cervical spine, depending on the positioning.

If I can get positioned such that I can start at the angle of one mandible and go to the other, then yes, the kukri would be able to sever the soft tissues of the neck back to the cervical spine, and cut both jugulars and carotids in one go.

I tested the edge a couple of weeks ago. It is probably sharper than the razor with which I am currently shaving, and it is very stout. I've frequently split firewood with it, although it is not as effective as an ax, simply because of it's lesser mass, and curved blade. That said, the curve of the blade would be very useful in the deer situation.

Johnny L.A.
06-26-2010, 04:13 PM
I don't think I'd be able to decapitate it in one shot. I think I could reasonably either cut it's throat or chop the cervical spine, depending on the positioning.

I didn't mean 'decapitate'. What I was thinking is that cutting the throat requires very close proximity and a bit of time. Not much time, but time enough to be injured. If the spinal cord is severed, then the animal should lose consciousness immediately -- or at lease render it immobile so you can safely cut its throat.

Incidentally, what kind of kukri do you have? I saw that the Cold Steel has some very good reviews, and is cheap to boot.

enipla
06-26-2010, 04:44 PM
The hypothetical part being "without a gun", enipla.The facts are, he had one. And was asking for help. Nothing hypothetical about it.

Rilchiam
06-26-2010, 08:01 PM
if you'd had a canister of an inert gas

Ever since I read this, I've been picturing Wile E. Coyote tearing open a package marked "ACME INERT GASES" and pulling out a canister the size of a nuclear warhead...Seriously, are people supposed to have inert gas, in any kind of container, just laying around the house?

The Urban Spaceman
06-26-2010, 11:26 PM
Ever since I read this, I've been picturing Wile E. Coyote tearing open a package marked "ACME INERT GASES" and pulling out a canister the size of a nuclear warhead...Seriously, are people supposed to have inert gas, in any kind of container, just laying around the house?

Oh for the love of God... yes I am well aware that most people don't have something like this at their disposal. Then again many people do have camping gas stoves, CO2 fire extinguishers, lighter refill canisters etc. or something which would suffice.

If you want some other humane method of euthanising a deer in these circumstances without access to a firearm or a veterinary surgeon, you're shit out of luck. There isn't one. That is why I suggested hypoxia.

boilercake
06-27-2010, 01:12 AM
Yes, I have a gun...

This may have been covered already and I'm not trying to be a dick, but why on earth do you own a gun if you are clueless on how/when to use it? A gun is a tool, not some incarnate evil object, it has its uses. This incident certainly seems to have been one of them. Snapping pictures and posting them online and wringing your hands instead of putting this creature down was an EPIC FAIL on your part mate.

P.S. Didn't read all the above posts so might have missed something but from how this thread started the answer was obvious.

Attack from the 3rd dimension
06-27-2010, 07:29 AM
I didn't mean 'decapitate'. What I was thinking is that cutting the throat requires very close proximity and a bit of time. Not much time, but time enough to be injured. If the spinal cord is severed, then the animal should lose consciousness immediately -- or at lease render it immobile so you can safely cut its throat.

Incidentally, what kind of kukri do you have? I saw that the Cold Steel has some very good reviews, and is cheap to boot.

My brother gave it to me in case of zombies. It looks very similar to this image from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kukri,_karda_%26_chakmak.jpg). My brother posts here as well, if you're interested, he may have a source.

In all seriousness, my real motivation for asking is to try to come up with a better plan, 'cause the kukri one does have some problems associated with it. I just don't have a better one yet.

Captain Midnight
06-27-2010, 07:54 AM
I would use a gun. The animal does not know what a gun is, or that it can hurt them. One blast to the head and the animal is dead. Make sure that you are a good shot. Probably seeing you are from rural Colorado, you know how to do this.

After it's dead, butcher it and eat it. or if you don't like venison, give it to a food bank or a homeless center and they will happily take it.

Dag Otto
06-27-2010, 01:02 PM
After it's dead, butcher it and eat it. or if you don't like venison, give it to a food bank or a homeless center and they will happily take it.

I agree with using the gun, but butchering the deer and eating it is a bad idea - at that point you may be poaching (at least you would be in New Mexico, I'll defer to enipla to know Colorado game laws). The correct away to deal with game animals is to call the game warden. If there is salvageable meat, they will know what to do with it. You might even end up with it, but with the game warden's permission, which makes it legal.

There are poachers who would eat deer every day, claiming "they shot a dying deer" if they get caught.

Contrapuntal
06-27-2010, 05:37 PM
The facts are, he had one. And was asking for help. Nothing hypothetical about it.Exactly. There is also the part where he asked this --
Should I just use a gun?

It seems like "yes" is a reasonable answer.

Bearflag70
06-27-2010, 05:57 PM
Get some black widows, rattlesnakes, and scorpions. Sprinkle liberally.

MsChilePepper
06-28-2010, 03:30 AM
I've heard from buddies that were involved that there are usually food banks/pantries (organizations to feed the poor, so to speak) that will take the carcass and make use of it if it still 'worthy'. Waste not / want not.

This is true in many states, but in this case, the meat would not be fit for consumption. Adrenaline and lactic acid make meat tougher and taste awful, which is precisely why a single kill shot when hunting is far preferable to wounding an animal and having to track it down to where it's run. Heck, when my Grandfather would kill a cow or pig on the farm, he would basically sneak up on it and would even hide the gun from the animal's sight. Animals learn what guns mean.

I think I heard that here in Washington deer killed on the road are collected and given to Indian tribes for meat. I cannot find a cite. Does anyone know?

This is true in many states, but it'll often depend on which (if any) reservation is closest to the roadkill site, and whether the animal died immediately or not, for the reason I mentioned above.

Sailboat
06-28-2010, 11:28 AM
I didn't mean 'decapitate'. What I was thinking is that cutting the throat requires very close proximity and a bit of time. Not much time, but time enough to be injured. If the spinal cord is severed, then the animal should lose consciousness immediately -- or at lease render it immobile so you can safely cut its throat..

The Gurkha Kukri is a famous weapon -- it was traditionally regarded as a throat-cutting tool in military special forces. The Wikipedia summary (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kukri#Uses):

Its heavy blade enables the user to inflict deep wounds and to cut through muscle and bone. Gorkhas were known for using the kukri to chop off an enemy soldier's head with one stroke.

A kukri may be used in stealth operations - to slash an enemy's throat, killing him instantly and also silently.

Just speaking of the physical mechanics involved, a Kukri is probably one of the best tools for the job, if one is using a blade at all.

I happen to have one, not for killing deer or enemies of the Queen, but because my father knew the Ambassador of Nepal.

Attack from the 3rd dimension
06-28-2010, 12:33 PM
I think mine is technically for killing zombies, because I know my brother.

That said, I live in Canada, and the Queen is coming to visit, so I suppose I could wind up killing her enemies.

Johnny L.A.
06-28-2010, 12:35 PM
Somewhere I saw a page on improving kukris exactly like yours. FAIK, you posted a link. Pretty interesting page.

Attack from the 3rd dimension
06-28-2010, 01:14 PM
Somewhere I saw a page on improving kukris exactly like yours. FAIK, you posted a link. Pretty interesting page.

"Improving"? I don't understand. Could you please explain further?

Sailboat
06-28-2010, 01:20 PM
"Improving"? I don't understand. Could you please explain further?

Use the Force, Luke.

Johnny L.A.
06-28-2010, 01:21 PM
"Improving"? I don't understand. Could you please explain further?

I found the page. How to Turn a Ghurka Khukri Into a Very Formidable Field Knife (http://www.m4040.com/Survival/Ghurka/Khukri%20Modification.htm).

The author is mentioned in one of the comments for this item (http://www.amazon.com/Bud-K-Genuine-Gurkha-Kukri/dp/B000UUBFDQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1277748937&sr=8-3). So that's where I found it, rather than an SDMB link.

Phlosphr
06-28-2010, 03:58 PM
The facts are, he had one. And was asking for help. Nothing hypothetical about it.

I called Road and Bridge [from the DOW website] and they came and winched her up and into the road kill truck. I had to drag her the 200 yards up onto the road which was not fun.

BTW, when I spoke to the guy who came and got her, he opened the back of the truck and said, "this year I'm gett'in more bears than anything else."

Sure enough he had 6 bears in the back, and a feral horse. He proceeded to winch the deer up by the neck and into the back of the truck. There were a few other carcasses up there but they were mainly unidentifiable.

Attack from the 3rd dimension
06-28-2010, 04:34 PM
I found the page. How to Turn a Ghurka Khukri Into a Very Formidable Field Knife (http://www.m4040.com/Survival/Ghurka/Khukri%20Modification.htm).

The author is mentioned in one of the comments for this item (http://www.amazon.com/Bud-K-Genuine-Gurkha-Kukri/dp/B000UUBFDQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1277748937&sr=8-3). So that's where I found it, rather than an SDMB link.

Thanks for the link. That's pretty cool. I've noticed the problem with the handle being not hand-friendly. I may modify it this winter, before the zombies thaw.

horsetech
06-28-2010, 09:18 PM
FAO (UN) On Destroying Animals (http://www.fao.org/docrep/004/y0660e/y0660e01.htm) - scroll down for diagrams of where to aim with a firearm.

I am realizing now that this might be considered veterinary advice, and I am not a vet, just another person who is upset at the thought of being unable to help a dying animal.

BTW, cutting the trachea is pretty much useless in and of itself -- it gives them one MORE hole to breathe through and is done on purpose sometimes. To kill an animal with exsanguination, you need to transect one or both jugular veins and/or carotid arteries. These lay above the trachea and below the muscle mass of the neck (in some animals, there is a visible groove or depression); the jugular is right under the skin, being more superficial closer to the head and deeper closer to the chest, and the carotid runs underneath the jugular. They are somewhat separated in the upper neck and closer together in the lower portion of the neck.

I would not mess around with trying to restrain the legs, as you are likely to get kicked unless you really know what you are doing. Stay on the spine side of an animal lying on its side, do what you need to do, and get away as soon as possible, especially with a wild animal. A large towel would work better than wrestling with a burlap sack to put over its head.

Putting a knee on the neck of an animal right behind the head (when approaching from the back) will keep it from lifting its head; taking the animal's nose and tilting it towards the sky (so that their poll is kept down) is even better. Horses are usually unable to get up from this position, but I think cattle are capable of starting to get up and flinging you off (I haven't worked with them as much). With horses, I haven't worked at all with deer, but they are much smaller than horses or cattle, so I would expect them to be easier to restrain with brute force and no drugs, although they will fight harder than something used to human contact. All in all, though, it would be hard to restrain them in such a way as to make it safe to wield a sharp knife on a flailing animal.