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How do recreational hunters kill deer and is it humane?
Hunting poses many welfare risks including injury, pain and distress, especially for a species like deer as they are highly sensitive and will panic easily if disturbed. The most humane way to kill a deer is not to alarm or chase them and to use a firearm for an accurate head shot causing instant death.
The species of deer hunted in Australia are sambar, hog, red, fallow, chital, rusa and wapiti. The methods used during recreational hunting of deer are:
Stalking followed by shooting with a firearm causes the least suffering of these three methods, since shot deer will die quicker than when killed with a bow and arrow and the deer are not pursued over considerable distances and for a considerable time, as often occurs with hound hunting. However, stalking following by shooting with a firearm is still not considered humane, unless the deer is killed with a head shot using a firearm to cause instant death.
Stalking followed by shooting is also considered to be ineffective for managing populations of wild deer (targeted, professional deer control programs are more efficient) and seldom satisfies important requirements for the humane shooting of animals. These are:
RSPCA Australia opposes recreational hunting due to the inevitable pain and suffering caused to animals.
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