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Mercy Killings Abound as Deer Cross Miramichi River’s Thin Ice in N.B.

miramichi river

The death toll continues to rise for deer in New Brunswick, where thin ice on the Miramichi River creates treacherous crossing conditions.

Ice is slow to thicken on New Brunswick’s Miramichi River this winter, causing a life-or-death struggle for the myriad of deer that are attempting to cross it. With a yarding area on the other side, whitetail are either breaking through the ice or slipping and splaying their legsthe latter causing severe internal injuries that cannot be treated.

“When they splice, their legs go to the sides and do a lot of internal damage, and they can no longer walk after that. There’s nothing we can do for them, even if we get them ashore, there’s so much damage done that there’s nothing we can do, we have to dispose of them,” New Brunswick Department of Energy and Resource Development biologist Eric Sullivan told CTV Atlantic.


Some residents, shocked at what they are seeing out on the ice, are taking matters into their own hands and shooting the deer from shore. This practice is illegal, but for many, they feel it is morally the right thing to do.

The New Brunswick Department of Energy and Resource Department have said that 15 to 20 calls were fielded about the deer over a span of two days and that three deer needed to be put down on December 8.

NEXT: 10 FASCINATING WHITETAIL DEER FACTS

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Mercy Killings Abound as Deer Cross Miramichi River’s Thin Ice in N.B.