Laurie Crawford Stone, the author, wrote to C.A.S.H. for her own closure:
When Buddy showed up three weeks after being shot, I assumed he came here
to recover. I thought all he needed was time and a safe place to heal.
Unfortunately, no vet will come out to treat wounded deer. I had seen Buddy
heal before. He had healed earlier that year from an injured hock and he had
lived for years with a swollen, broken knee. He was a survivor. I thought he
would beat the odds again.
The December morning I saw him lying by the feeder, I wondered if I
should ask someone to euthanize him.The only way to euthanize a mobile deer
is to shoot him. I knew if someone Buddy didn’t know came into the yard, he
would run and then I would not be able to help him.
I struggled with the feeling I would betray this beloved buck if I asked
someone to euthanize him. Had he come here for help only for me to have him
shot? I asked Buddy to tell me what he needed. As long as he was eating and
mobile, I felt he had a chance.
December 21st was the morning Buddy was trying to get up and couldn’t. I
started calling for help. I called the hunt manager, the DNR, police and
highway patrol. I called one vet who referred me to another vet from another
city. That vet was not in. I continued to call.
Finally he said he and a tech would come but not for 3-4 hours. They had
to wait until after work. It would then be dark. He told me euthanizing by
injection is not always humane and can cause excruciating pain if the needle
misses its mark and the serum is released into tissue. If he missed, we’d
have to have Buddy shot because the vet would not have a second chance. He
was concerned that causing Buddy pain might result in injury to him or his
tech. He and the highway patrol subsequently talked and felt having Buddy
shot would be the better solution. I talked to the highway patrol again.
The officer who would be dispatched could be there soon, was a hunter
(not a bow hunter) and often euthanized car-hit deer. I was assured death
would be instantaneous. I hated the idea of having Buddy shot. However, the
alternative meant 3-4 more hours of suffering and Buddy experiencing fear as
two humans approached him and laid hands on him in his now helpless
condition. There was no assurance the injection would be painless or even
successful. Buddy was lying, facing away from the house, so the officer
could approach without being seen. The officer could euthanize from a
distance. He would not have to touch Buddy. For all these reasons, we all
felt shooting was the most humane way to euthanize Buddy. My friend came
over to be there with the officer and her stethoscope, to ensure Buddy was
gone. She watched the entire process which took only seconds. She said Buddy
never moved. Buddy did not know the officer was there nor did Buddy move
when shot in the back of his neck.
I had Buddy’s body cremated. I have his ashes. I loved Buddy as much as I
love my cats. I went outside and greeted him every day for five or more
years. “Hi Buddy, I love you”. I am still devastated by his death and
suffering. That someone would say that I would tolerate or cause suffering
of an animal shows they know nothing about me. It is a feeling of complete
helplessness to watch injured wildlife- especially an animal with whom you
have bonded. You can’t get close enough to assess injuries and you can’t as
closely monitor intake and output, behavioral changes, etc. You can’t take
them to the vet. You do the best you can and and hope you are being a good
steward. Sometimes you make mistakes and all is not lost if you learn from
your mistakes. I will not let another deer suffer like Buddy did now that I
know the inevitable outcome from this type of wound.
I take photos because they are my only proof of the horrors of bow
hunting. Telling someone about the face shot doe or a deer with an arrow in
her side is not the same as showing a photo. I continue to hope that the
minds of those in favor of the city bow hunt will be changed if they are
educated about and exposed, through photos, to the suffering of our beloved
I am doing the best I can to help animals. I won’t always be right but I
will always try and I do learn from my mistakes. Although I have not yet
forgiven myself, I know Buddy has forgiven me. He lives on in my heart and
in the owl who visits nearly every day.