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2011-01-13

Sad demise of plucky little buck

By Judith Pannebaker BCC

The ending wasn’t a happy one for the “game little animal” that, after being wounded earlier with a hunting arrow, had continued to wander with his herd around the city.
About 2:30 pm, on Tuesday, Jan. 11, Lt. Neal McLean with the City of Bandera Police Department euthanized the eight-point whitetail buck in the city near Cypress and Third streets. Sgt. James Brantley accompanied McLean on the mission-of-mercy call. Brantley had responded to the original call made on Jan. 1, detailing the deer’s plight.
According to Police Chief Jim Eigner, after spotting the animal, city workers relayed the information to the law enforcement officers. McLean and Brantley tracked the wounded buck. After locating it, the officers realized that the buck was now considerably weakened and that the wound in its side appeared to be infected. McLean put the animal down with a .223 squad rifle that city officers carry in their patrol cars. A city crew disposed of the whitetail’s body.
When the animal was dispatched, the officers learned the “arrow” in its side was, in fact, from a crossbow rather than a hunting bow. “We recovered a crossbow bolt from the animal, not an arrow as originally thought,” Eigner said. Although he noted that the investigation into the shooting of the buck remains ongoing, he didn’t anticipate filing criminal charges against the shooter if identified.
“We’re still interested in determining what exactly happened, but it would be almost impossible to prove that the buck had actually been shot in the city rather than the county,” Eigner said. “The important thing is that we stopped his suffering and that was our main concern.”
He said local game wardens and veterinarians had advised his department to euthanize the animal if it could be located. Unfortunately, as city administrators and law enforcement officers learned, little could have been done to assist a whitetail wounded in this manner.