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How do you kill a hurt deer on the road?

14 replies to this topic

#1 Male OFFLINE   DBuck


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Posted 01/09/14 - 04:35 PM

This morning I was coming home from work on 519 in Harmony twshp,I passed a deer that had been hit,I said to my girlfriend " I think that deer is still alive,I'm going to go back and check" I went back, low and behold it was still alive. I told her to cover her eyes because I'm going to put it out of it's misery. I grabbed my knife and went out to it. After petting her for a while to make her feel at ease,I stuck my knife into her vitals,but I think I stuck her too low,she bleated a little and laid there for a while. As I was waiting for her to die a troop car pulled up behind me.When they came walking up to me,the first thing I did was tell them that I had a knife in my hand,figured that would be a good thing to tell them.I told the male troop(there were two,one female and one male) that he may have to finish the deer off,I really don't think he wanted to so I asked him if he wanted me to try again, he said yes,in a please do tone..ha ( I'm sure he was thinking about the paper work involved when he has to use his gun) so I stuck her a little higher and after a short time she died,trooper helped me drag her off the road. Ok my intentions weren't to go into the whole story,sorry. My question is ... How do you dispatch a deer on the road if you come across one? I've cut their throats before but I don't think that's the best way for a quick kill.I should add... Even being a hunter I didn't enjoy having to do this

Edited by DBuck, 01/09/14 - 04:36 PM.

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#2 Male OFFLINE   Gruntmaster


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Posted 01/09/14 - 05:01 PM

I've used a knife on a couple of occasions.

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Posted 01/09/14 - 05:02 PM

I've used a knife in the past, I really don't care to do it but I know it's the best thing to do for deer's sake.  Two years ago I came across a deer on Rt. 206 in Montague, it was a Sunday I didn't have a knife with me, a guy pulls up and all he had was a tire iron, he used it, one hit to the head.....I must say that bothered me, but he took the deer

#4 Male OFFLINE   Haskell_Hunter


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Posted 01/09/14 - 05:02 PM

I believe you're supposed to call the local PD and they in turn call NJDEP.


Technically it is poaching since you didn't have a license on you and you were taking game without a license, in a manner inconsistent with taking game, on a roadway, out of season.


I understand the compassion to do the right thing, but this is NJ and getting a compassionate LEO is a hit-or-miss risk.

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#5 OFFLINE   jerseyhunter


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Posted 01/09/14 - 05:05 PM

You did it right, although it's not your job, you could have gotten into trouble. I've had to do it in the field once and had the same results. Other than snapping their neck I don't think there is a way to do it on the side of the road. I'm thinking if I had my ka-bar instead of my buck things would have been quicker. Either way Kudos to you.

#6 Male OFFLINE   nycredneck


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Posted 01/09/14 - 05:44 PM

Forward… Reverse… Forward… Reverse… Forward, quickly!


All kidding aside I've had to do it more than once with a knife. Scary to say but it does get easier, not easy, but easier. One was a spine hit and another was one lung, shooting another arrow at ground level didn't seem like a quick dispatch with the angle I had. Hard to do… but the right thing to do.

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#7 Male OFFLINE   Hatchet


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Posted 01/09/14 - 06:13 PM

I've never had to but I rember as a kid my pop hit one n he sliced the throat it was gone in seconds threw it in the truck n away we went. I remember the noise it made being unpleasant . He told me it was the best way.
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#8 Male OFFLINE   Axiom


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Posted 01/09/14 - 06:15 PM

Forward… Reverse… Forward… Reverse… Forward, quickly!




yup..   works every time.. :pepsi:


#9 Male OFFLINE   BowTechExperience


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Posted 01/09/14 - 06:55 PM

Along time ago while hunting TSP in Freehold, a deer was hit by the Girl Scout camp ground there. I pulled over and a guy that was living there as the care taker came out and covered the does head in a towel, he located the artery in her neck and cut into it and she died pretty quick. I got a deer transportation tag and took her home.


Keep an eye on those hooves though..

#10 Male OFFLINE   boomsox24


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Posted 01/09/14 - 07:37 PM

Years ago my dad came across a buck that had been hit by a car. Went to end it's suffering he bucked his head and sliced my dad's arm wide open. To this day he cannot fully open his hand all the way. It can be dangerous but it has to be done. I try to walk up from the back hold head with foot and quickest way I have found is through the throat.

#11 Male OFFLINE   nycredneck


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Posted 01/09/14 - 07:51 PM

I talked with a guy once and he slit a spine hit deers throat to quickly dispatch the deer, well he said the gurgling noises and the fact that the deer did not die quickly at all made me try to hit the heart and at least the lungs with the knife.

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#12 Male OFFLINE   thefirstndsecond


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Posted 01/09/14 - 08:50 PM

Stop it from breathing.

#13 Male OFFLINE   Palawman30


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Posted 01/09/14 - 09:03 PM

GoosePond could have found that deer on a drive and that deer would still be alive right now! :rofl:






You did the right thing!!!!

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#14 Male OFFLINE   Matty


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Posted 01/10/14 - 11:29 AM

I can honestly say I don't recall ever coming across a hurt deer on the road.


I've seen one extremely close call that I can remember, that deer was part acrobat to avoid that van, but not even sure I've witnessed one get hit... and knock on wood, I've never hit one. Thank God! See plenty of dead ones of course.


I am right there with you guys in that you would want to end it's suffering quickly. But I also feel that you might be putting the animal through more undo stress just by approaching it and using less than ideal methods.



Maybe this sounds cruel and cold, but because of the danger and lower efficacy of trying to euthanize an animal with a knife and the fact that you're likely stressing the animal greatly (they are wild and not used to being approached that closely by humans), I think the best bet is to call the police and let them humanely dispatch the animal with their firearm. 


The only way I would feel differently is if you can shoot it yourself (probably not legal) or if it's unable to move you could quickly slice the throat into the veins/arteries that supply the brain with blood. Simply cutting the wind pipe is not good enough though. A sharp knife will be needed and a lot of blood will be involved.


I also have to seriously wonder about the differences in a knife and a solid blow with a tire iron too. The tire iron might be more humane if you can use it to render the animal unconscious (much like while trapping by striking the animal on the bridge of the nose or back of the skull). Then either prevent breathing or blood flow.


Because honestly, how far into the vitals is an average knife going to penetrate? You'll get one lung, maybe you can get the heart and this is only safe If the deer is really immobilized.


Again though, seems pretty awful to stress the animal that way when a firearm can do the job very quickly.


Best choice, firearm.

“I have always tempered my killing with respect for the game pursued. I see the animal not only as a target, but as a living creature with more freedom than I will ever have. I take that life if I can, with regret as well as joy, and with the sure knowledge that nature’s way of fang and claw and starvation are a far crueler fate than I bestow.” – Fred Bear

#15 OFFLINE   Rdfhunter


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Posted 01/10/14 - 09:31 PM

There was a F&G volunteer helping at the hunter ed coarse who told a dispatch story...

A deer was hit during a bad snow storm & pulled its self off the road. Over the next 2 days the deer hardly moved & the tracks in the deep snow were proof. He called the police but they didn't care since it was off the road. He decided to put it down so he drove his tractor across the deer snow & shot this deer. Somebody saw & called F&G. They sited him for shooting from a vehicle & shooting out of season. Tough part was he said they pulled his lic for a year. Just food for thought

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