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Don’t Shoot The Wrong Deer!

By Gary Bogue
Tuesday, October 25th, 2005 at 11:50 am in Animals, deer, Killing, Wildlife.

A story in the Contra Costa Times on Saturday, Oct. 22, stated that a federal trapper may have shot the wrong buck, and not the one responsible for attacks on local dogs in Orinda, Ca. If that’s the case, it is unforgivable. A picture of the problem buck was available and a neighbor offered a copy to the trapper to help him ID the right deer. He refused to take it. And now the wrong deer may be dead.

Killing sometimes gets to be too easy.

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4 Responses to “Don’t Shoot The Wrong Deer!”

  1. Pat in Antioch Says:

    I (like many others) had the same thoughts Gary; how sad. The “dog bites” on his ear didn’t impress me; I’m sure there are plenty of wildlife out there that have gotten into scuffles with other beings; that doesn’t make them killers. It just amazes me that, if in fact, the deer in the picture WAS larger and had different markings than the one who was killed, that the powers that be can’t admit to a possible screw up. Sure is a crazy world we live in……..

  2. Judy in Berkeley Says:

    Deer may seem tame or cute, but they are wild animals. We were recently camping at Pinnacles, where there is a large herd of deer, mostly does and their half-grown babies, wandering in close proximity to the campers and apparently unconcerned by human presence. If I could paste a photo in, you could see me sitting by our RV with a doe and her baby lying peacfully not 6 feet away, chewing their cud and napping. I did not approach them, but let them approach me. As much as I was charmed to be so close to a wild animal, I stayed alert for any change in them – such as foot-stamping – that might signal that they were anxious or might attack. I did not go anywhere near the bucks when they were nearby. People no longer live in rural settings, and we have lost our understanding of wild animals and how to interact peacefully with them. I am very sorry the wrong buck was killed, but I think that once you call the authorities and complain about an animal in your neighborhood, there will be a response – and whatever unfortunate animal crosses paths with the trapper will probably suffer the consequences. As was said, people need more education about how to deal with wild animals now that we have invaded their territory.

  3. Pat in Antioch Says:

    I find it so sad that, as you said, we invade their territory displacing them, and then if they come back (be it deer, bobcat or whatever) we call someone out to kill them.

    Lucky you to have spent some quality time so near to the doe & her baby…I’m envious!!

    Pat

  4. Lou Says:

    Dear Gary:

    I’m the Lost Valley resident that took a series of photos as “the” rouge buck faced off with my dog. First let me say that my family has lived in the Moraga Valley since 1893. Having been born here “many” years ago, I’ve come to know and understand the movements and habits of most all the animals that live in this valley, especially the deer. I used to hunt deer. I have always had deer frequent my property, generations of deer. This year the most frequent buck visitors have been a spike, with very tall horns and a small forked horn buck. Both were very skittish and would run off if we came out on the deck or if our dog, Willie, barked at them from his fenced yard. Since the killing of a small forked horn buck by the D.F.G. hunter, the only buck that now frequents my property is the spike with tall horns. I believe the buck that was fed to the cougar and coyote was that small skittish buck that used to be seen here.

    After reading the continuing claims made by the Dept. of Fish and Game spokesman that “the killer buck has been killed”, I thought I’d give you the view from my prospective. The claim that the “killer/rouge buck” has been killed is less than accurate. In my opinion, it’s grossly inaccurate and to leave it unchallenged would be irresponsible. I examined the deer that was killed moments after it was shot. Without a doubt, it was not the same rouge buck that I photographed. The buck killed had NO visible scar on its forehead, as seen in the photo. The configuration of the horns on the dead buck were nearly symmetrical, short in height, with short spindly tines. The buck in the photo has tall irregular horns that are much taller and bulkier where they rise from the head and the tines are twice as long. The buck shot was easily 30 percent smaller, in all respects, than the rouge buck in the photo. By the way, “the” rouge buck was seen again a couple of days ago by my next-door neighbor.

    The Dept. of Fish and Game said the deer killed had ears torn by dogs. The left ear of the buck killed was slightly torn. However, the four dogs that were attacked were in their own yards, two of them next door to each other and the other two 150′ away. None of these dogs were acting aggressively toward the buck. They did not attack the buck. The buck in the photo came to four different yards seeking out dogs to attack, killing one, goring another, and charging fences to get at two others. Does that sound like a small skittish buck? If the buck killed weighed as much as 100 pounds I’d be very suprised and to claim it was he that killed a 130 dog would be even more surprising. I’m very surprised to hear the hunter claimed, (if he did) the buck killed matched the description of the buck described by the neighbors. No less than 15 min. before killing the buck the hunter came to my home asking to see the photo again before hunting for him. When he came by moments later to show me the buck he’d killed, as soon as I saw it I could see it was not the buck I and the neighbors had described, the buck in the photo. I again showed him the photo and told him he had killed the wrong buck. At that time, I got the strong impression that he realized his mistake and felt bad about it saying “I thought it was the right one”. In all fairness to the hunter, it was a dark night and in my opinion, I think an honest mistake that anyone could have made. I spoke with the hunter on several occasions and I believe him to be a good man of high integrity. My problem is with what I see as misleading statements made my the D.F.G.

    “After”, the small buck was killed, the warden told me “just because I took that photo of the buck charging my dog didn’t mean he was the killer/rouge buck”. If that’s true, I wonder why the hunter came to my home to see the photo again before hunting for him that night. Now that a buck has been killed, the one in the photo, the rouge buck, is suddenly no longer the buck of interest. In my opinion, the announcement of the “dog killing buck” being killed was the second of two mistakes. If the D.F.G. were not after the buck in the photo, why did hunter and the O.P.D. come to my home for copies of the photo for reference before hunting.

    When I spoke with Warden, Nicole Kozicki, I told her of my concerns about the wrong buck being killed and asked her what will happen if/when the rouge buck kills another dog, her response…”we’ll issue another permit to the dog owner to kill the buck” . When interviewed by Meera Pal of the C.C. Times I asked her to have Mr. Swauger give me a call when she next spoke with him, “please tell him to give me a call I’d love to talk to him”, she said he declined. According to Ms Pal he said, “I don’t want to get into a he said she said”. I’ll keep my opinion of what motivated that response to myself.

    I have no axe to grind with the hunter, the Warden or the spokesperson for the D.F.G.. I’m sure they’re all good people doing their best for California’s wildlife. I’d merely like the facts properly stated. My concern is that dog owners, given a false sense of security, will now let their guard down in keeping an eye out for their dog’s safety. The incidents around the state like the one that recently happened to a San Diego man while gardening should be motivation for residents to be aware of their surroundings when living in any area where a buck has acted out in a very unusual and aggressive way.

    With the end of the rut season coming in two or three weeks and the fact that most all of the fruit is now gone from the trees, hopefully the rouge buck will leave before harming another dog, or worse. Hopefully he’ll go back into the hills above us soon.

    By the way a couple of words used by Denis Cuff and Meera Pal in the C.C. Times Articles on this subject , like “held hostage” and “scared” were their own words and not mine. I’m merely “Concerned” about our dogs.

    Don’t you hate being misquoted?

    Best regards

    Lou, in Orinda

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