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Thread: Dispatching wounded animals

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    Dispatching wounded animals

    Last night as I was driving my wife and I observed a wounded rabbit dragging itself across the road and it got me thinking... Is there any allowance in northern virginia for a citizen to legally dispatch a wounded animal?

    There may be way too many variables here to answer precisely (in this instance, the fact it was on a public road is probably a factor to rule out the possibility), but interested in your thoughts. The safest thing would probably to call animal control or something and let them deal with it, but in absence of that....

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    Regular Member Gallowmere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by homestar View Post
    Last night as I was driving my wife and I observed a wounded rabbit dragging itself across the road and it got me thinking... Is there any allowance in northern virginia for a citizen to legally dispatch a wounded animal?

    There may be way too many variables here to answer precisely (in this instance, the fact it was on a public road is probably a factor to rule out the possibility), but interested in your thoughts. The safest thing would probably to call animal control or something and let them deal with it, but in absence of that....
    I am currently under the impression that only LEOs in the course of duty, or a person legally defending themselves can fire in or within a certain distance of any public roadway. I've seen police put down wounded animals on and near the road before, but that likely falls under the "course of duty" clause for them. Unless said rabbit is actively trying to eat your face, the answer is probably "don't".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gallowmere View Post
    Unless said rabbit is actively trying to eat your face, the answer is probably "don't".
    Like a zombie rabbit? Noted.

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    Regular Member Gallowmere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by homestar View Post
    Like a zombie rabbit? Noted.
    If it looks like this, I am fairly certain you are well within your rights to shoot...just make sure you kill the damned thing so the cops can see it when they inevitably show up.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Regular Member HPmatt's Avatar
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    Jimmah Carter used a paddle. Would think you would let coyotes do their thing w/o ingesting lead.

    And of course there is always Monty Python's take on what to do with a bunny

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCI18qAoKq4
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    As I recall,

    Quote Originally Posted by HPmatt View Post
    Jimmah Carter used a paddle. Would think you would let coyotes do their thing w/o ingesting lead.

    And of course there is always Monty Python's take on what to do with a bunny

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCI18qAoKq4
    That was a dreaded turtle. The USSS were NOT on hand at the time to protect the POTUS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by va_tazdad View Post
    That was a dreaded turtle. The USSS were NOT on hand at the time to protect the POTUS.
    Nope - it really was a rabbit. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_C...abbit_incident http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com...rabbit-attack/ http://www.straightdope.com/columns/...-killer-rabbit and about 227,000 other results more Google results where no turtle is mentioned.

    Whether it was a Soviet Spetnaz frogman rabbit or a Revolutionary Guard rabbit has never been officially declared.

    stay safe.
    Last edited by skidmark; 03-13-2014 at 06:10 AM. Reason: typo
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Having clarified the rabbit/turtle controversy, let us return to the OP's question.

    IF TPTB find out who you were you may find yourself in hot water over cruelty to animals or taking game out of season charges as well as the discharge a firearm within municipal limits stuff. A while back, iirc, one of the Oulde Phartes posted about a deer that did not make it all the way across the road and the hi-jinks that ensued when trying to get TPTB to legally and morally/ethically put it out of its misery. Seems that the ending of the story was that the deer died of old age before anybody "in authority"" could decide what to do.

    Based on all this, my expert advice is that if it blocking the roadway you set out a flare, contact the responsible LEA with a report of the location, and follow their instructions. If it is not blocking the roadway, remember that worms and buzzards gotta eat. Yes, that's a cold, cruel, harsh way to be. But then going to jail for trying to be a good guy is also cold, cruel and harsh.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

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    I guess you could have just ran it over accidents do happen.

    But a rabbit I wouldn't worry about it. I shot a lot of car hit deer during my career as a LEO a few bears the smaller game didn't worry about it.

    In Wis. it would be illegal for a non LEO to shoot one' I never said a thing if someone did as along as it was safe.

    But other LEOs would have.

    Each state is different.
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    Clearly each dumb animal is different; a deer is worth "putting down", but not a rabbit. A dog is worth avoiding but not a squirrel.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    Clearly each dumb animal is different; a deer is worth "putting down", but not a rabbit. A dog is worth avoiding but not a squirrel.
    On smaller critter like dogs on down I seen a lot of major crashes from trying to avoid hitting them then running them over. If one can brake it a safe manner or if one is going very slow maybe avoiding is better.

    But your traveling at any speed trying to avoid can lead to a lot worse crash then hitting them.
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    Regular Member Rusty Young Man's Avatar
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    Well... mice can be quite docile while squirrels tend to be relatively vicious. Why do we tend to consider one to be deplorable and the other adorable (respectively)?
    I carry to defend my loved ones; Desensitizing and educating are secondary & tertiary reasons. Anything else is unintended.

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    There are 1 million auto-deer collisions annually, causing 200 human fatalities http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5330a1.htm 16% of all reported collisions in Wisconsin ranking seventh of the states.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firearms Iinstuctor View Post
    I guess you could have just ran it over accidents do happen. <snip>
    This is truth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Young Man View Post
    Well... mice can be quite docile while squirrels tend to be relatively vicious. Why do we tend to consider one to be deplorable and the other adorable (respectively)?
    "We," you and the mouse in your pocket?

    The white footed mouse Peromyscus leucopus is the (almost) obligate host reservoir for the Lyme Disease causing bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Squirrels may be pests but are this much more innocuous than the mouse.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    Clearly each dumb animal is different; a deer is worth "putting down", but not a rabbit. A dog is worth avoiding but not a squirrel.
    I was involved in an accident as a passenger when I was younger. One where the driver attempted to avoid a dog and ended up wrecking into a weird ditch/tree root/reservoir combination (I have no idea what the hell to call that thing). When the police showed up to take the report, he got slapped with reckless driving, and something else a bit more trivial, as the officer believed that he fell asleep while driving. A whole bunch of crap also ensued with his insurance company after that. However, the most memorable thing from the whole event for me, was something that the cop said as the car was being pulled out by a wrecker. "Next time, just hit the animal rather than wreck trying to avoid it. Courts and insurance companies are far more likely to believe there was an animal involved, when it's splattered all over the front of your vehicle."

    Now...I wonder if we should start applying that logic to people who run into roads with the intention of causing accidents (Yeah, I've seen that one before)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gallowmere View Post
    Courts and insurance companies are far more likely to believe there was an animal involved, when it's splattered all over the front of your vehicle."
    Fact.

    Many moons ago I was driving on a back road somewhere in Sussex Co. and swerved to miss a deer. Drove into one ditch skidded out and drove across the blacktop into the embankment on the other side of the road. Car was relatively undamaged, but would not restart.

    I had to hike for 2 hours to find another living soul and make a phone call.

    The responding officer cited me with reckless driving and in court he said the maximum safe speed for that section of road should be 45. I had told him I was doing about 50. The road is rural and not posted. IN Virginia that means 55. Or did at that time. The judge was BARELY compassionate. He gave me "improper" driving.

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    I run in to this issue regularly. I live on a lake and therefore have a nutria issue while also owning a dog whose natural instinct is to hunt and eat prey (and she is quite adept at it). My Siberian husky frequently catches nutria, rabbits, and ducks. Most of the time she easily snaps their necks and kills them, but every few months she'll catch a nutria that is quite large and she is unable to quickly kill it as she does with the smaller critters. Because of stupid laws I am unable to put the creature out of its misery as that would be illegal discharge of a firearm within city limits (Virginia Beach). Unfortunately this happened recently and I do believe that my husky even began to eat the poor critter while it was still alive (utterly incapacitated, but heart still pumping).

    I wish that people had the ability to put injured animals out of their misery when there is no other practical solution.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Not to dispel the "You have to shoot it" theory, but I trap 12 months out of the year and can't remember the last time I shot something in the trap. A deer is one thing but most everything else, a rap on the head with a stout stick works fine.
    Last edited by peter nap; 03-13-2014 at 02:20 PM.

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    Talking John Caparulo

    http://youtu.be/y71RatJimV8?t=1m55s

    Dude cracks me up. Slightly OT.
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    Not to dispel the "You have to shoot it" theory, but I trap 12 months out of the year and can't remember the last time I shot something in the trap. A deer is one thing but most everything else, a rap on the head with a stout stick works fine.
    I feel ya, Peter, I wish that were an option for me. Unfortunately my dog while very submissive to me in every other respect is absolutely aggressive when it comes to her kills. She will NOT let me any where near them (she won't even let my other dog any where near them). When she makes a kill it is the ONLY time she becomes aggressive and I'm not willing to hurt her or myself trying to get a critter away from her or humanely kill it with a stick or other such instrument. My only recourse would be to shoot it with a .22 from a distance of 10-15ft. I've taken to keeping a pellet gun near the back door as that's the only legal means I have of ending a critter's suffering (on the rare occasions she doesn't kill them quickly). Sometimes the pellet gun is effective, sometimes it's not.
    Last edited by Justine; 03-13-2014 at 05:20 PM.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justine View Post
    I feel ya, Peter, I wish that were an option for me. Unfortunately my dog while very submissive to me in every other respect is absolutely aggressive when it comes to her kills. She will NOT let me any where near them (she won't even let my other dog any where near them). When she makes a kill it is the ONLY time she becomes aggressive and I'm not willing to hurt her or myself trying to get a critter away from her or humanely kill it with a stick or other such instrument. My only recourse would be to shoot it with a .22 from a distance of 10-15ft. I've taken to keeping a pellet gun near the back door as that's the only legal means I have of ending a critter's suffering (on the rare occasions she doesn't kill them quickly). Sometimes the pellet gun is effective, sometimes it's not.
    I was really thinking about the injured rabbit the OP posted about. Your problem is different and a little more complicated. I would sugguest subsonic 22's except we don't recommend breaking the law here and they do ricochet badly. A large Nutria is pushing it for an air rifle unless you have a precharge gun which are expensive. I use a crossbow to thin out the coons at the burb house. That's something to consider.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    I was really thinking about the injured rabbit the OP posted about. Your problem is different and a little more complicated. I would sugguest subsonic 22's except we don't recommend breaking the law here and they do ricochet badly. A large Nutria is pushing it for an air rifle unless you have a precharge gun which are expensive. I use a crossbow to thin out the coons at the burb house. That's something to consider.
    I hadn't thought of a bow, that's a good solution. I'll have to look in to getting one. Out in CA (where I'm originally from) I have an entire collection of long bows passed down through the family, but out here I could certainly use a crossbow.
    Last edited by Justine; 03-14-2014 at 08:33 AM.

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    Regular Member Gallowmere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wylde007 View Post
    http://youtu.be/y71RatJimV8?t=1m55s

    Dude cracks me up. Slightly OT.
    His follow-up joke about swans would be funny, if I didn't know better. Those things are vicious as hell. Anyone who gets their **** ruined by a swan deserves it for not knowing any better. "Awww, it's so beautAHHHHH MY FINGERS!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gallowmere View Post
    I am currently under the impression that only LEOs in the course of duty, or a person legally defending themselves can fire in or within a certain distance of any public roadway. I've seen police put down wounded animals on and near the road before, but that likely falls under the "course of duty" clause for them. Unless said rabbit is actively trying to eat your face, the answer is probably "don't".
    Jesus likes foot-stomps?

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