This big buck had a major problem.
Life can be rough for a whitetail deer. These animals don't exactly live lives of luxury and their odds of a violent, horrible death are quite high. All it takes is one injury for the animals to start a downwards spiral towards these animals becoming another link in the food chain Don't get us wrong, deer are tough animals, but there is only so much one can take before it completely overwhelms them.
When deer get injured, sometimes hunters must make a choice to do the right thing and put the animal out of his or her misery. A scenario like that unfolds in this video from Realtree Outdoors.
Mike Stroff is hunting the Illinois shotgun season hoping for a chance at a big buck. When one appears, it's obvious something is wrong with this animal. Watch as he makes an excellent shot to put the animal down for good.
It was hard to watch this deer walk. From the way this buck was moving, it was clear he was unable to put any weight on that front leg at all. The buck had no interest in any does and every step looked like pure agony. This was a wise decision to take this buck out of the herd. In fact, we'd recommend shooting a buck walking like this no matter what the antler size of the animal may be. Because odds are, he's not going to survive the winter.
Remember that coyote earlier in the video? Where there's one coyote, there are probably others and had they found this buck first, his ending probably would have been much more unpleasant. A shotgun slug to the vials is a much more humane death in this instance.
As a Midwestern hunter, I'd also like to take a moment to thank Realtree for featuring a shotgun deer hunt. Illinois is one of the last Midwest states left standing that doesn't allow straight wall cartridge rifles for hunting whitetails. For years, hunters have had to rely on slug gun technology in order to get their deer.
It's nice to see how the technology has advanced with guns like the Savage 220. Mike was able to reach out and make a great shot on this buck as a result. Good job Mike, he's a beautiful deer!