Bow Hunting: A Personal Account

Below is an eyewitness account of the harmful effects linked to bow hunting in Cedar Rapids, accompanied by images of deer killed on private property.

Warning: this page contains graphic content.

“I lived in a city where bow hunting was approved. Hunters, many of them out-of-towners and some as young as eleven years of age, invaded our neighborhoods, privacy and safety for 4 ½ months every year for twelve years and counting. Wounded deer often run into roads and neighboring properties. Even if a homeowner is opposed to hunting, the hunter has a right to enter their property to kill the wounded deer, if the hunter can even track the deer. Bow hunting has an up to 50% wounding rate (source: [Dr. Ed Ashby]). One of every two deer shot may not be retrieved and will die, often times, a slow agonizing death from infection from the unsterilized arrow. I have found a number of wounded or dead arrow-shot deer. I have many disturbing photos.

It’s not easy to shoot a moving target/deer in the vital area, four inches above the heart. Proficiency tests use a paper plate at twenty yards. A paper plate in no way resembles a deer body or target area. Twenty yards is considerably closer than many hunters shoot a deer and the angle differs as hunters shoot deer from a five foot elevated tree stand. The test does not take into account the fact deer are generally moving, either before the shot or after the arrow leaves the bow, called “jumping the string”. Hunters miss the vital area and even if they shoot the deer in the heart or lungs, they often cannot find the deer they’ve just shot because they wait to track the deer, waiting for the deer to start to bleed so they can follow the blood trail.

Two bucks died in my yard after being shot by hunters. One buck deteriorated over three weeks. I could not find anyone who would euthanize him until he could no longer stand. The other buck took ten months to slowly succumb to infection. I’ve had a buck and a doe shot in my yard, I’ve found blood trails that started in the snow in my yard. I found a dead doe with an arrow between her eyes. I found another dead doe who’d been shot in the forehead. She collapsed after crossing a busy street. I found yet another doe with an arrow wound and another arrow shot doe on my property who’d been shot in the lungs. Her confused fawn was standing by her. Hunting was to be from tree stands. There were no stands on my property or  adjacent properties. The DNR came. The officer stated the doe was intentionally and illegally shot by a hunter on foot on my property. I’ve had three face shot bucks in my yard and another buck died by the nearby creek. Face/head shots were prohibited. The required target area is heart and lungs.”

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Contemporary Wounding Rate Research:
R. W. Aho – Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources: 1.4 wounded deer for each deer killed.

Horace Gore – Whitetail Project Director, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: One deer wounded for each deer killed.

Survey by Deer & Deer Hunting Magazine: (N = 2,103): 1.13 deer wounded for each deer killed.

Gayle Wescott – Michigan State University: Observed one deer wounded for each deer killed (N=51 wounded, N=51 Killed).

“Wounded Deer Behavior”, Deer & Deer Hunting, August, 1990: – “This 1:1 ratio for wounded deer to deer killed continues to surface in the hunting literature”.

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Scroll down to view images associated with the testimony above.

WARNING: the imagery is graphic and may be upsetting to some.