Featured Letter: Don’t let a deer suffer

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO  |   The deer population on the North Fork continues to grow.

To the editor:

Early in the morning of Jan. 19, I saw it lying in the road on Ludlam Avenue. My first thought was that it was too small to have made it through the winter, anyway. The least I could do was drag it off to the side of the road by the woods and notify the town. As I approached the poor fella, his head turned and he gave me a terrified look. He was alive but unable to move. Perhaps his legs and/or back were broken.

How long had he been in that road and how many cars had narrowly missed him? How many cars did not miss him? My guess is that he passed most of the freezing cold night lying there waiting for someone to come along and finish him off. If I’d had my .22, I would have done him the favor but it was not nearby. I called the police and hung around for about an hour, waiting for them to arrive. Apparently, they just called whoever it is who takes care of injured animals, because no police showed up. I couldn’t stand it anymore.

This animal was needlessly suffering freezing weather, unbelievable fear and agonizing pain. I left to get my gun. Unfortunately, it was close to two hours before I could get back to the deer with my gun and he was gone. Either someone had come for him or he had managed to crawl off into the woods. But by the looks of him, I seriously doubt he was able to move anything but his head.

My request is simple: Whether you are hunting or driving, once you put a deer down, make sure it is dead. If it isn’t, finish the job or call the authorities. Nobody and no thing should ever have to suffer like that.

Anthony Schwarz, Riverhead