Injured Deer in Yard - need advice

esteinberg(5B)May 14, 2007

As many of you know I live in a very urbanized suburb. Even tho I'm a wildlife Backyard Habitat, I'm stymied about what to do in this case. There's a young injured deer in my yard. The police and the Trailside Museum in the Forest Preserves 5 blocks away will not help. Please read the web page I put up & give me some advice. It CANNOT go out front because of the school & school traffic. I don't mind if it stays until it feels better, despite it eating my roses and hosta all gone (which it already has), but I don't know what to do about its injury.

That's why I posted this here & not in gallery. Thanks!!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: deer

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Call your department of natural resources. If there are rehabbers anywhere around, they'll know who they are and keep lists. Deer "belong" to the state and it has responsibility for their management. Deer will eat cracked or whole corn, but the caveat there is that if you put it our for them, you may be accused of harbouring or keeping them without a permit. It would, however, keep them from browsing your plants until you find a resolution.

Chances are very good, they'll put the animal down, especially in an urban area. How badly is the animal injured? Our deer population is astronomical because of our rural setting and I have a doe who comes regularly who is missing the lower half of her front leg.She does fine and even has brought her fawns to our pond to drink. They can heal and survive.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 11:16AM
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Thanks, Calliope. The Trailside Museum is a Cook County Forest Preserve "thing." I'll call the State office in downtown Chicago, but don't expect much help there.

The injury is shown in picture 3 + 4. I just think it should be taken care of (the injury, that is).

The police told me to call a private Animal service to dispose of the deer. I don't think it needs disposing of, just fixing of its injury & relocation to a safe place while healing. Gee, I don't know what to think, but seeing this animal being injured (& arriving in my yard -- maybe it saw it as a safe haven?) has thrown me for a loop.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 11:30AM
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Looks like someone might already have taken a shot at the deer. Ellen,another thing to try,which I did when a fawn was left on our property was to call my local vet for some aid in directing me to the right resource. You might try calling a veterinarian and also your local humane society. They keep numbers for all kinds of emergency situations. I know what you mean about this situation making you feel uncentered. You just can't concentrate on anything except trying to help the poor critter. This one looks fairly young to me.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 11:39AM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

Unfortunately, in cook county, deer are so overpopulated for the available habitat, that you may have a hard time finding someone who will treat it. Disposal may be the best option... but I am surprised that no one from the Forest Preserve District or the Police would help dispose of it for you.

Perhaps call a large animal vet, they may be able to sedate it and take it someplace else...

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 12:11PM
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Ellen, I believe you need to get public attention to the plight of this deer in order to get action. Call your local tv station news dept. and tell them. Call the paper.

Do you have a zoo nearby ?:

She has clearly been shot but if you could get her back to the forest she'd most likely recover in time. What was the reason for someone saying don't give water?

I hope this helps.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 2:37PM
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She may not have been shot. She may have a warble infestation. They are common in cattle, having been the result of the bites and egg laying of certain flies and it's not at all uncommon to find warbles in the wild population of deer and other game. Young deer can especially be vulnerable and they cause "holes" in the hide with a significant amount of irritation and sometimes hair loss around it. It can lead to general debilitation and weakening of a young animal. Can also lead to secondary infections and also fly bites can be vectors of other diseases.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 4:05PM
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I certainly feel for you...trying to do something helpful for an injured creature and getting no help from those we feel should be helpful.

In my area, the SPCA would be helpful.

Also, our public school system has an Environmental Center where we are encouraged to take or they will pick up injured wildlife.

If it can be rehabilitated, they do so.
If not, they keep it at the Environmental Center for educational purposes for the public schools.
They get different corporations to sponsor the wildlife that can't be returned to the wild.

It is a wonderful program.
I enjoy the field trips there as much as the kids do.

Good luck in your effort.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 4:43PM
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One other thing, Ellen.

Do you think if you shooed her out of the front gate in the dead of night she'd find her way home to the Forest? No one would be out shooting dear in the middle of the night, surely.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 5:10PM
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RANT *** Scroll past if you'd like ***

Well, I've just spent the last 5 hrs. on the phone calling everyone who referred me to someone else. The State Dept. of Environmental Resources said, "Let Nature Take Care of Nature." IF you can believe that! Then, I found a really nice old guy 60 miles away who is a licensed white tail deer rehabber BUT he doesn't drive! He told me to grab a blanket, grab the deer & throw it in a truck. Well, I might try that if I had a truck. So, I'm stuck. Everyone wants to kill it, or will kill it if it goes out front; nobody wants to help it, so I guess (in total disregard of Ill. State law & the laws of my village) I will keep it until it feels well enough to "go home."

I CANNOT believe this! I even contacted the Chicago Tribune! Nobody cares!

Rhetorical question: How can we say we're concerned about wildlife and conservation and the environment and our children's heritage, and here's a poor, injured animal that a bit of antibiotics (probably, I have no idea really) might fix up AND there's NO ONE willing to help it??? I am stunned. I am sad. I am mad. Perhaps more FURIOUS than anything.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 5:16PM
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Ellen, I just sent you a private e-mail. Let me know if my suggestion helps.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 7:25PM
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andie_rathbone(Tyler, TX - 7B)

Keep alerting the media. I'd go for the TV stations - whichever one has the regular consumer help feature. They love embarrassing officials in business, so why not in government. The poor deer look so sweet, but the last thing you need is to shoo it out into the front where it will be hit by a car or a truck.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 10:55PM
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oakleif(z6 AR)

esteinburg, I am so so sorry, being a gut wound the chances for this sweet deer is questionable and probably the reason no one will touch it. please don't try to load it in a truck as this is dangerous and you could be seriously hurt. The only way to move it is by sedating it. You would think some agency would be willing to take a chance on it. It does'nt look in bad shape.
I wish you and the deer the best.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 5:43AM
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Good morning, all! Deer took off at dawn, walking a bit better than yesterday. It headed into neighbor's yard, then north (the Forest Preserve is west ;( - stupid deer, but at least it took off before school traffic started arriving)

Last nite the newspaper woman finally contacted me via e-mail, but I was too emotionally wiped out to call her back. Will do so today.

Learned a lot thru my talks with bureaucrats: 1)lawmakers in IL are many times Downstate people who consider deer "pests" in terms of the farmers; 2) these are the folks who make the laws in IL that are NOT wild-life friendly; 3) there is almost nothing you can do to help an injured year old or adult deer because they panic when humans come near to use tranquilizers (this one didn't panic when I came near it, tho)& their hearts start racing & they typically die (?!); 4) there are no procedures in place in River Forest for situations like I had yesterday to help either the deer OR the homeowner EXCEPT people who are willing to kill the animal; 5) we've set up preserves for wildlife, but heaven help them if they wander out of the confines of those areas; and 6)THIS IS MY OPINION ONLY: we give lip service to conservation, ecology, environmental concerns BUT the minute some "animal" like the coyote we had in the yard, for example, and this deer, appear, we scream to have it "removed" because it's infringing on us and our space.

One of the animal rehabbers told me I was the first call she had received about how to best care for a deer until it was better! Usually she gets calls about removing coyotes because they are frightening a dog or to remove a deer because it's eating the flowers. I find that unbelievable.

And, so the saga of the injured deer ends - maybe...

At the risk of sounding melodramatic: I am a much sadder person today than before. Thank you for the advice & support. You all are WONDERFUL! And I'm happy to count you as "friends." Ellen

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 7:07AM
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andie_rathbone(Tyler, TX - 7B)

Ellen, I hope the deer makes it back to the Forest Preserves, especially crossing Thatcher Ave. (that's the right name isn't it?) I remember that as a fairly twisty road where speeders are not uncommon.

And I must say that I'm very disappointed in the Trailside Museum, the scene of many childhood trips to view the "woodland creatures," that they had such a callous attitude toward your problem.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 8:44AM
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This fawn may not be as alone as you think it is. It's not unusual for the mother to actually be nearby. One that young is usually still being attended if the mother is alive. You'd be surprised at the areas in which deer population survive. It's common here to see them right up near the shopping complex roaming backyards, and all the cemeteries have deer. They are very cautious there, but in the old, seldom used sections, we've seen fawns snuggled up, placed there by their mothers for safekeeping, next to headstones.

I feel so sorry for you to have to see it like this and worry about it and feel helpless. Unfortunately most agencies view deer as nuisances to be "managed" using that word as a euphamism.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 9:48AM
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dirt_yfingernails(z3-4 MN)

Just a few points as a person whose ex hunted deer all his life. The deer's injuries at this point don't seem to be life-threatening, especially if he has enough appetite to eat your hosta and roses. Appetite is the first to go when an animal is critically sick. Up here in the northwoods, there are lots of deer that survive gunshots and car accidents. Even some who live years and years with only three legs. I understand how frustrated and sad you must feel. The deer may easily heal and be fine, though.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 9:55AM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

Part of the problem that you are having is thinking about the safety of this deer as a wildlife concern that needs to be preserved. Unfortunately that is not the case, especially in the area where you live.

The deer have become so over populated to the point that they are destroying areas that have been conserved for wildlife. Its not their fault, but the habitats are left with no predators and the deer have taken full advantage of it.

Over populated Deer foraging is dessimating plant communities that are home to other wildlife as well. When we think about habitat quality, we think in terms of diversity. Deer are outcompeting and reducing the diversity of the forest communities in Illinois.

So from a conservation perspective, this deer is best disposed of... so it doesn't reproduce...sorry to be so grim, but really saving the poor thing is like saving a rat or a termite. The deer population in the Cook County forest preseve is more like an infestation than wildlife in harmony in nature. :-(

I do feel bad for you, I would hate to have an injured deer hanging out in my yard with no way to dispose or move it.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 11:32AM
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    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 12:02PM
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Now I feel really bad, or worse, last Thursday I hit a big buck with my so's Dodge Intripit, he just bought the car. I was driving in a hilly brushie part of the highway and the deer just appeared. I didn't even have time to hit my breaks. I pulled over and turned on the flashers, the two pick up trucks behind me pulled over too. I saw the deer rolling in the grass on the other side of the highway. One of the guys that stoppped had a cell phone and called the CHP. The sheriff came to shoot the deer and I left. The car wasn't wrecked, the licence plate holder was broken. I thought the whole front end of the car was gone, that is what happens when a deer is hit. In a low slung car like that the deer usually comes in thru the windshield. I was so lucky. I bought deer whistles for the car.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 1:10PM
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oakleif(z6 AR)

Ellen, Be glad that you met this deer and cared, that alone might have made a difference in wether he makes it or not. I don't know why i feel this way but i really beleive it counts sometimes.

Our beurocrats are the same here. except for one forest ranger and a neighbor that has a ten year old deer with 3 legs she saved and heaven knows what else she has saved over the years.
I'm so sorry you had to have this experience.
I remember several years ago, there was a large legal doe season and for several years deer were hard to find and back east everyone was complaining about the over amount of deer there were. I kept telling everyone here i wish you could ship some of the deer to us. This is the first year we've had a recovery of deer.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 5:36AM
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I understand the notions of wildlife management folk who try to balance eco-systems here in Cook County, and who, therefore do not see one injured deer as anything but something that's disposable. The annual culling goes on with no fanfare. The coyote population is growing but a survey showed these predators only took out 15% of the fawns/year, and therefore additional measures were needed to maintain balance. I may not agree with the methods chosen, but I think I understand that unless something's done, there will be additional problems.

However, what I have discovered about myself due to this episode was something I think I have always felt but have never articulated: Do No Harm.

Therefore, I could not have called the Wildlife Police to put the animal down UNLESS it was seriously ill. I was desperate to find someone who could tell me if the injury was such that the animal's life was in danger, and could find no one. If the animal were in need of vet assistance, I wanted to get that for it, but could find no one.

Failing these efforts, I felt obligated to give it shelter & an organic salad bar (you should see the damage!) until it could move on (I actually didn't have a choice, it moved in for 24 hrs.) If, after moving on, it didn't make it, then that was Nature's choice, NOT MINE.

And so, I am grateful for the opportunity to have provided a bit of succor for an injured creature, and for the opportunity to think about my philosophy in concrete terms & (re)articulate it.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 9:45AM
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