HUNTING -- Washington wildlife officials are looking for ways to reduce the number of mule deer that congregate in the city limits of Republic, Wash. But in this one case, local officials felt the poor doe deserved a second chance.
Fish and Wildlife biologists Wednesday removed an arrow stuck in a mule deer doe that wanders the Ferry County town with her two fawns.
The wounding comes just a week after state officials requested local residents help them figure out ways to cull the deer.
Republic Police Chief Jan Lewis requested WDFW help for the deer, which apparently wasn’t critically wounded by the arrow lodged through the skin of its neck.
Republic has long had many deer living in town – both enjoyed and considered a nuisance by residents -- and local authorities have worked with WDFW to lethally remove many of them.
But with two fawns still in tow, and the insult of the arrow through its neck, Lewis asked for help in catching, treating and releasing this deer.
WDFW biologists easily found the trio in a Republic backyard and shot a tranquilizer dart into the doe to handle her safely. While her fawns watched not far away, the doe was blindfolded to keep her calm, the arrow was removed and the wound treated with antibiotics. The deer also received a bright orange ear tag marked with the number “7” so she could be monitored easily.
After a reversal drug took effect, the doe rejoined her fawns. A day later Lewis reported that “lucky number seven” was doing well.
WDFW estimated cost of the operation, including staff time, fuel, drugs and equipment, was about $1,000.
Information about how the deer was shot with the arrow can be reported by calling 1-877-933-9847, or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or completing an on-line report form at http://wdfw.wa.gov/enforcement/violation/.
Depending on the circumstances, the incident could be considered unlawful hunting of big game second degree, or harming/harassing wildlife, both gross misdemeanors which could carry penalties of up to $1,000.