Low esteem for DNR’s actions with deer

About a year ago, my son and his wife saw a doe along the side of the road dead and a newborn fawn alive beside her. They picked it up and got goat’s milk to feed it until it could eat on its own. The deer was never penned and was always free-ranging.

Last Easter, my daughter-in-law received a call indicating the Michigan Department of Natural Resources was on the way to the farm to euthanize the deer.

The deer had spent most of her time at our farm, sleeping under a blue spruce or on our front porch, but she had been seen as far as two miles away.

The DNR officer told me the deer was malnourished after accusing us of feeding her because her boyfriend worked at a deer farm and those yearlings were bigger. No kidding, I said! This deer is a free-ranging deer and did not get feed every day the way deer on ranches do.

In my 60 years as a farmer I have found fawns in my hay field and have picked them up and put them in the woods so haying equipment wouldn’t hurt them, as many of my farmer friends have. I understand that they are wild animals and have mothers. They took the deer off our property and ended her life for no reason. Her only crime was that she loved people and our farm. My respect for the decisions of the DNR and the sheriff’s animal control officer in my circles is the lowest it has ever been. There was no reason to take a sweet loving animal and destroy her. My family and neighbors are broken-hearted and will surely miss our little friend.

Shame on those two officers who could have changed the outcome.