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Deer wandering with arrow in side euthanized in Quesnel, sparking warning to hunters

The animal was located by the Conservation Officer Service and the RCMP
An injured mule deer buck was located and euthanized in Quesnel on Wednesday, Nov. 23. (Twitter/BC Conservation Officer Service)

It’s hunting season and the Conservation Officer Service (COS) is reminding hunters to know their ethics after a mule deer buck with an arrow stuck in its side was euthanized in Quesnel.

Multiple callers reported seeing the injured animal wandering Wednesday, Nov. 23, in the Gassoff Road area.

Conservation officer Justin Millett said with the help of the RCMP, they were able to locate the animal in the area of Gassoff Road and Ryan Road.

“We observed an arrow sticking out the left side of the deer, and it appeared some of the guts from the deer were starting to get pulled out on the side,” he noted. “Given that this wound would lead to serious infection, the decision was made to shepherd the deer into a safe location where we were able to euthanize the deer.”

Hunting is currently open in the Quesnel area for 4-point buck mule deer (black-tailed).

While it is possible the hunter was attempting to lawfully harvest the arrow gut-shot deer, Millett said the COS would like to get in contact with them to determine if it was a legal hunt in that there was no trespassing.

The injured deer was located in a relatively heavily populated area.

An attempt to donate the meat was unsuccessful.

“We were really up against some extreme time delays on this, and we don’t know what kind of infection they have already started and what that gut shot could be doing to damage the meat,” Millett said, describing it as always sad to see an animal having to be euthanized. “We tried quickly to find somebody, but the clock was ticking, and we didn’t want to give spoiled meat to anybody that could cause health risks down the road.”

Millett reminds hunters to remain respectful of where they are hunting and other people’s properties, ensuring they have permission to hunt in the area.

He would like for hunters to have respect for their game.

“Even if you’re seeing a very large animal, and I definitely understand that it’s exciting, you need to make sure if you are making a shot, it’s going to be ethical and respectful towards the animal,” Millett added. “Accidents happen, we get it, but if accidents like this happen, we ask that they reach out to the Conservation Officer Service.”

A 24-hour Conservation Officer hotline is available at 1-877-952-RAPP (7277).

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