I can't remember the year, but I can remember the circumstances perfectly.
It must have been about 25 years ago, I could hear horrible 'screeching' sounds coming from a field about 300 metres away. I'd imagined it was a Buzzard in difficulty, but when I went to investigate I found a Roe Deer lying on the ground, and in pain. I imagine the poor animal had been shot, but not accurately enough to kill. It had escaped only to end-up unable to walk, and in obvious discomfort.
I returned to the house, put my small handgun and two bullets in my pocket, and returned to deal with the poor creature. First I apologised to him for what I was about to do, explained to him that it was for the best, and put him out of his misery. Not a pleasant experience.
On another occasion I found a Badger hanging from a wire snare half way up a steep nearby bank. In its attempt to escape, it had scratched away at all the earth around it, making its escape even less possible. Badgers are vicious beasts, and although I am very fond of them, there was no way I could liberate him; he was in a bad way. Again I returned home, fetched my 'priest', and disposed of him.
Yesterday, we (Billy) found an injured young Roe Deer. It looked as if it may have been hit by a car, and was having difficulty walking. Each time I stroked it, it screamed in that piercing dog-like barking voice of theirs. After a while I managed to get it up on its feet, and it slowly walked away. It didn't look too good.
I went with Billy to see if it was still there this morning; it wasn't. So, either it has regained some strength, or it has died. We'll never know.
Beatrix Potter would have us believe that all wild animals die in a comfortable subterranean home, in the warmth of a quilt covered bed, surrounded by weeping young offspring, but of course this isn't the case. Most animals die of disease, wounds from fights, or by being killed by bigger animals. Old Foxes killed by a pack of hounds were often far luckier than those who were died in the wild (but don't tell the anti-hunt folk that).
What goes on deep in the woods is not always as described in Fairy Stories; occasionally it's pretty dire.
Nature is truly red in tooth and claw.ReplyDelete
I'm afraid this is so. Sometimes it's mankind who is the culprit, but mostly it's the creatures themselves.Delete
Generally I would say let nature take its course, but it is a good thing to end an animal's suffering. Of course the I won't mention the unmentionables who cause animals such suffering.ReplyDelete
Especially in the case of the Badger... I was horrified. Not only are snares illegal, but the suffering of the poor animal must have been appalling.Delete
I am proudly anti-fox hunting and badger culling so I guess I am one of the "anti-hunt folk" to whom you referred. I think you dealt wisely and kindly with those distressed animals but please don't tell the pro-hunt folk that.ReplyDelete
As a country lad I know, and sadly have experienced, what damage Foxes can do. No-one wants to see them eliminated, but they must be kept under control. I once lost about 15 hens over night, and my neighbours told me to use a particular method to catch the culprit. It was extremely nasty, and I know that the method is still used. A quick death by hounds is far more acceptable; believe me!Delete
My dear farmer could have told stories like this Cro. Would that it were the same for humans in the same predicament.ReplyDelete
Sadly most country folk can tell similar tales. I so agree about us humans too.Delete
I have never understood trapping. My husband is a hunter. I haven't the heart for it but the deer population requires it here. One bad winter leads to mass starvation. Also concentrated deer populations lead to CWS outbreaks.ReplyDelete
We have far too many Roe Deer, but sadly not many Red Deer. The Roes definitely need to be culled in order to keep them healthy, and to protect crops. I once found one asleep under my Kale plants; I soon installed fencing after that!Delete
Nature can be cruel... but as my son says, "It's nature's way". And I understand this. But it doesn't make it easier to watch. And when it comes to mankind's input into this, there are humane and inhumane ways to do things.Delete
Absolutely, and you can understand my distaste at finding these animals in distress. I didn't enjoy 'dispatching' them, but it was the kindest thing to do.Delete
I believe you are right Rian. I also think that it should be the first consideration to any culling.ReplyDelete
Of course. Things must always be done correctly.Delete
Nature's way brings up lovely thoughts that gloss over the reality of wild animal life.ReplyDelete
The generation that could kill, dress and cook a wild animal is dieing off. My father use to trap and such for food. It takes a bit to let those images settle. My first taste of venison/Bambi...it's no wonder he called us kids city slickers.
I, myself, used to keep Chickens (until either Foxes or my neighbour's dogs killed them), so I do know how to 'prepare' them for the table. I couldn't do it now; I much prefer to let others do the deed!Delete
The hunter who missed the mark should have followed the deer and finished it off. To not do so is cruelty. I have nothing against hunting. I hope someday to hunt elk, if I'm so lucky to get a license, which is done by lottery. It is a hard thing to come across an animal in pain though.ReplyDelete