A deer is seen at the home in Haliburton with an arrow in its head. Work is underway to tranquilize the animal so it can be given medical care. /DARREN LUM Staff

Help on the way for deer with arrow in head

By Darren Lum

Published Jan. 12 2018

Permission has been granted to allow a veterinarian to tranquilize and assist a deer that has been spotted in Haliburton with an arrow in its head.

Dave Allen who lives on SunnysideStreet in Haliburton was appalled when he saw a fawn at his deerfeeder with an arrow sticking out of its head.

The former bowhunter first saw thewounded deer close to New Year's Day. He said the sight of the deerwas disturbing and not reflective of responsible hunting practices.

Allen sought help for the deer whichwas first spotted close to Christmas by contacting

Monika Melichar of the WoodlandsWildlife Sanctuary a wildlife rehabilitation facility near Minden.She had been working on getting someone to tranquilize the woundedanimal in order to make an assessment on how to help if possible.

Unable to tranquilize the animalherself she sent a photo taken by the Echo on to someone who could:Howard Smith of the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Muskoka.However Smith was leaving for holidays and was not due back untilJan. 17.

On Friday morning Melichar said theMinistry of Natural Resources and Forestry provided the necessaryapproval for veterinarian Dr. Sherri Cox of the National WildlifeCentre located in Caledon to come to Haliburton and “dart thedeer and remove the arrow" she said.

"Then if needed the deer will berehabbed by us for a bit until we are sure there is no sign of traumaor infection.”

Cox who has been out of the countryand is returning Saturday was sent the same Echo photo.

Not only can Cox tranquilize the deerbut she can also administer the necessary care.

The public is encouraged to report anaccurate schedule of the deer's movements to assist with the effortwhich is hoped to happen soon possibly Sunday or this comingWednesday. (Sightings can be emailed to darren@haliburtonpress.com who will pass them on.)

A radio collar may be affixed to followthe movements of the deer and learn about “success back in thewild” following the treatment particularly since the deer willhave to survive with one eye.

“It would be a most valuable studyand of special interest to Dr. Sherri Cox who is also a professor onstaff at Guelph University” she said.

This incident isn't the first time forMelichar.

She has been operating the WoodlandsWildlife Sanctuary a registered charity since she moved to Mindenin 2008. Since then there have only been two other cases she has comeacross with a deer left with an arrow in it.

In one case there was a deer with anarrow in its neck which worked its way out after two weeks and theother was spotted a few times by the public and then disappeared.

Steve Galea an Echo columnist and abowhunter with more than 30 years' experience was saddened when hewas sent the image of the deer.

"Noknowledgeable bowhunter would intentionally try to shoot a deer inthe head" he said. "It is an unethical and unreliable shotthat we avoid. We are trained to aim for the heart/lung areas whichresults in a quick clean kill and very high likelihood of recovery.I'm saddened to see this animal suffering as I'm sure all goodhunters are."

Thedeer hunting season ended on Dec. 15. The first report of the deerwas made after this date.

The OPP and the MNRF received callsfollowing Christmas Day.

Adam Challice MNRF managementbiologist out of the Minden Field Office for Bancroft District said“ Generally whenMN RFreceives reports of diseased or injured wildlife we help landownersand municipalities by referring them to the appropriate agency (e.g.Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative) and by providing education andadvice. In this case MNRF has been in contact with the OPP.”

He directs the public to www.ontario.ca/page/rescue-sick-injured-or-abandoned-wild-animal for more information on sick injured or abandoned animals.