I recieved an e-mail from a reader who took issue with my story about the Texas bow hunter who couldn’t find a downed deer on his own but was aided by an Oklahoma tracker with his dog.
“The article in Sunday’s paper was very disappointing to true sportsman,” he wrote. “The sad reality is this hunter did not deserve the rack of the buck he wounded nor did he deserve the help that he received.
“A dirty little secret that most bow hunters won’t admit to is that they “often” take chance shots at deer either too far or at poor angles and just hope for the best. This man was apparently a novice at best and obviously executed a by not fatally wounding the deer in a manner which would have enabled him to recover it.
“To use this as an example of justification for allowing dogs to be used in the deer fields is absolutely absurd. The burden of trying to discern what the dogs are being used for would wreak havoc for game wardens and all hunters.
“A real significant change that would resolve mose of these unfortunate scenarios would be to require bow hunters to qualify at a target range before being issued licenses and even re-qualify after a few years. That would be a good path of improving skills, enjoyment of the hunting experience and minimizing wasted game.”
I agree that hunters have an ethical responsibility at shot placement, but I also would argue that anyone can miss their mark and lose a deer.
The reader agreed with me, and later suggested that perhaps the state Wildlife Department could manage such a service by means of an 800 number and dispatching from a contact list of willing trackers.
“It might bring in additional revenues,” he wrote.