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Wayward arrow hits deer in the face

July 1, 1993

Wayward arrow hits deer in the face

By Susan Johnson, Copy Editor

The possible consequences of allowing bow hunting in a nature preserve were brought home to one Boone County woman when a wounded deer stepped into her yard last fall. She was able to take photos which clearly show the extent of the injury to the animal’s head. Local activist Jim Beam stated: “That is the type of thing we are trying to stop from coming into our forest preserves. The origin [of the photos] is an elderly lady whose property borders Boone County Conservation District on three sides. She took those last October 30, which is after the start of the bow hunting season. The deer had come into her yard and obviously could not eat. The arrow was protruding from its head. It had gone clear through the face down through the jaw, and you could see it coming out. This lady is completely credible….

“That’s the origin of the pictures. They always point to the Boone County [system] as a model program, and the reality is these bow hunters are proficiency trained, and you still get this type of result. Bow hunting is just too inaccurate, too inhumane. When they did the Rock Cut hunt, they documented the wounding rate at 32 percent. Basically, that means they hit a deer but never retrieved it, never found it. They [deer] die of either blood loss or infection, and they suffer tremendously before they die. We don’t think that our residents should be subjected to this type of an image when visiting our forest preserves.”

Winnebago County, in the midst of debate about allowing bow hunting in preserves here, has temporarily put the decision on hold while county board members study the matter.

Board member Mary Ann Aiello (R-8) explained how the woman found the wounded deer. “Her property, three-quarters of it is surrounded by the Boone County Conservation District,” said Aiello. “Last year one of the deer came into her yard with the arrow stuck in its face like that. She called the conservation district, and they said we saw it, but there is not much we can do. The first time she saw it, it couldn’t eat or drink because the arrow was in its mouth. About 10 days later, she saw it again and called the conservation police. It could eat a little bit, but the arrow still protruded through its face. She called again and they said, ‘we don’t have any dart guns to be able to shoot it.’ It wandered off and probably died of infection.”

The Boone County Journal had an article describing this incident. It said, “The arrow drove through the lower part of the skull and out through the back of the chin. The animal was found wandering around a resident’s back yard off Appleton Road in Belvidere, trying to drink from a bird bath. Phone calls to various agencies for help produced no results. The deer eventually left the area facing an uncertain future and hasn’t been seen since.”

The woman also spoke to Chris Bowman on his WNTA radio show last Tuesday, May 13, and verified the incident.

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