Put the animal down. I had to take a hunting safety archery class in NY when I moved here and asked the CO about a similar situation where a doe had been hit by a car and had a broken back and was pulling herself with her front feet. It was during hunting season last year and I got out of the car and a CO pulled up behind me. I told him what I thought was the right thing to do and he agreed that she should be put down. He said common sense and let the CO know what you did. He’d back me up. Liked his attitude. You’re not trying to break the law to take the animal illegally, that is the difference.
Put it down. Any half decent CO would understand. If you were doing something illegal it would be easy enough not to call them so surely they would agree that you did the right thing. I personally couldn’t leave with the thought that the poor animal was just laying there suffering when I could have ended it.
As a prosecutor, I completely agree with everyone who said put it down. Given the facts as presented[/i:3qjx2u07], I don’t think we’d ever prosecute the person even if a game warden cited him. That said, I would add a suggestion that you, if possible, take a picture of the deer first before shooting. If not, I’d still put it down anyway.