Is Deer Killing Humane?

This is the sixth in our series analyzing Carrboro’s Energy and Climate Protection Task Force’s Recommended Deer Cull.

Assertion 6: “Pursue a Humane Deer Herd Management Program…through culling” [page 42]

Is there humane way to kill someone who does not want to die? Of course not.

According to In Defense of Animals, “Bow hunting is, next to trapping, the cruelest way of killing animals.”

“A report summarizing 24 studies of bow hunting demonstrated that there is little chance that deer die instantly when struck, but more typically bow hunters take an average of 14 shots (!) to kill an animal, and there is a 54% wounding and crippling rate. For every deer killed and dragged out of the woods, another one is wounded and runs off only to die hours, days or even weeks later, all the while in pain, defenseless against further attacks by natural predators.”

Our featured image is of a deer that was shot through the head in Chapel Hill taken in October 2015. The person who snapped the photo “said he contacted North Carolina Fish and Wildlife but was told if the animal wasn’t suffering, there was nothing they could do.”

If a child had an arrow through her head, would we do something about it? If a dog had an arrow through her head, would we do something about it?

Then-Carrboro Police Chief Carolyn Hutchison reported a similar incident in Carrboro in 2010: “It is also important to note that deer struck by arrows do not always die immediately. In fact, on September 28, 2010, in a Carrboro neighborhood off Eubanks Road, a deer that had been shot by an arrow wandered into the yard of a residence. The resident was quite upset and called for assistance. She did not want the young children inside the house to witness the very grim situation. Carrboro’s animal control officer and a police officer responded and found the badly wounded deer standing close to the house. The deer finally ran away, which in this situation, was the best case scenario. ‘Dispatching’ a deer in the yard of a private residence is difficult at best and would require the removal of the carcass.”

And according to Harvard-educated psychologist Dr. Melanie Joy, “Whenever we have to disconnect from our natural empathy for other beings — human or nonhuman — and participate in acts of violence toward them, or whenever we witness such acts of violence, we are at risk of traumatization. At particular risk are those closest to the violence, such as…children who are forced to kill or witness the killing of animals through hunting …”

But you don’t have to believe us or anyone else. Because bow-hunters apparently like to capture video images of the earthlings they kill, you can watch this short compilation of their deaths. Judge for yourself whether or not bow hunting is humane:

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