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You are out in the middle of the woods, all hunched and hunkered down and been waiting since 4 am in the morning.

Come sunrise...you saw the first deer of the day, but alas you see the deer is extremely skinny, and is in pain.

So now you have an choice take the deer down and kill it humanely and risk your chance to take down a good pointer deer or do you let the deer go and let it die off painfully so you can get a good point deer.

Keep in mind you only have one tag left, so if you take the crippled deer down. You might end up using your one and only tag.

So really I have 2 questions.

1)What would you do
2)What does the DNR rules state about this? I would imagine that they would let you keep the tag so you can take down an disabled/injured deer.

If it helps I live in Michigan
 

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I don't know what the rules state but I know that I would most deffentaly take a wonded and crippled deer...you would be doing it a big favor by putting it down that way instead of letting it die a slow death....
 

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Michigan with all that CWD stuff man I don't know. I know that DNR up there is tough. I would have to be faced with it in reality to know. Just off the top of my head I probably would shoot it but I can't say 100%. Can't wait to hear the responses.
 

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Me, I would shoot it down even though it would cost me my tag. I'm going to call the DNR tomorrow and I'll let you guys know the update.
 

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Interesting senario, I think I would probably let nature take it's course, lot's of deer die of natural causes. I am looking for healthy ones. tough call.
 

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An injured deer I will shoot and tag. A sick deer I may shoot, but if I aint gonna eat it I won't drag it.
 

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In this situation I think that I may feel bad for the animal and want to put it out of its misery, but then again, that would probably be denying some hungry wolves or bobcats their meal. It would be hard to watch and I would probably shoot the deer if it lingered too long in my sights grating at my conscience, but I'd like to think I would let nature make its decision.
 

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are we talking about a sick deer with say..... 12 points hehehe if thats the case drop that sucker.
 

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I think as hunters,we have to do the right thing.do we not love deer?of course we do.would you let your pet suffer?don't think about you or your tag.do the right thing.you have to shoot it.
 

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This is a good one for your state DNR. In Wisconsin I think they want you to shoot them. I am not sure about the law in Minnesota, but I would lean toward shooting it.
 

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I think there is more to this than alot of you realize. I would shoot it no doubt. I would then call the local Game and Fish Commission to come and get it for testing purposes. This deer may have something that would affect you or the rest of the deer in the area. I would want to know what caused him/her to be that way if the food source was good and weather not to drastic. Tag or no tag I still would not put it in the freezer.
 

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this is a unique situation. a)is the deer skinny from a disease? b)skinny from being too injured to find food?. either way being in the field it would be hard to decide on taking the deer or not. wasting a tag on diseased meat would be a tragedy, but this would also be humane to the deer.
 

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Bruce good job of checking with the law.When in doubt thats what i do.In New York if you shoot a deer (or any animal)that is unfit for consumptionyou can call the DEC and they will take it and give you another tag .Im guessing for this
I think there is more to this than alot of you realize. I would shoot it no doubt. I would then call the local Game and Fish Commission to come and get it for testing purposes. This deer may have something that would affect you or the rest of the deer in the area. I would want to know what caused him/her to be that way if the food source was good and weather not to drastic. Tag or no tag I still would not put it in the freezer.
With the huge herds now mother nature is stepping in and implementing her own culling methods
 

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I have been faced with this before

I had to make this call one day while hunting with my pistol in New York state. I was still hunting along a river bottom. The bedded deer saw me first and stood up about 35 yards away. It was thick but there was a kill shot opening. I sized up the deer and determined it was too small. It was not a mature doe and decided not to shoot it. We had a stare down for about a minute.

When it started to walk away I saw one of the front legs was dangling. It had been shot and had no use of one of its front legs. At that point I didn't really hesitate, I took the deer and tagged it with my doe permit. I learned a valuable lesson, small deer do NOT taste any better than big deer.
 

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This would be tough for me, I really don't know, most likely I would allow mother nature take its course. I'd probably need to be there and make the decision based upon what I was looking at. In the past I would have shot it but laws and enforcement is much tougher today if you make a mistake. ??????:confused:
 

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Lots of thoughful answers so far. This is one of those personal ethics issues with no really right or wrong answer. Here's another legal concern with this situation: In my home state of Montana, it's illegal to shoot a deer and "waste" the meat. For example, you couldn't just shoot something (legally), bring it home (legally) and then decide you didn't want to use the venison. So, in the example "zork" has described, you couldn't just shoot the deer to put it "out of its misery" tag it, and then not use the meat. Personally, I wouldn't want to have to eat a deer that looked like it might be sick. But that's such a good question and has come up several times before, I wonder if anyone has asked the FWP people in their states what could be done legally to relieve this deer of suffering AND save your tag for a healthy one. Of course, the strictly legal answer might not satify a hunter's ethical standards.
I once did this with an elk that had been shot some time earlier in the day. It had a broken shoulder and was limping by me when I killed it. Luckily, the meat was fine.
 
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