Montgomery County hunter caring for found injured deer

Published: Jan. 9, 2017 at 9:27 PM EST
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A hunter in Montgomery County faced a dilemma this weekend after finding a deer injured and freezing in the snow. He opted to take it home, but now doesn't know what to do with it.

Brandon Parsons went out deer hunting in Riner by riding his four-wheeler across farmland he owns.

He didn't find anything. But when he came back, he found the young deer after it had tried to jump a fence and hurt itself.

"He was laying pretty much lifeless, he did hold his head up and look at me and that was about the extent of what he had going on," Parsons recalled.

Parsons has taken care of the deer he named Bucky for the last couple of days.

He feeds it, works out its legs, and even set up harnesses to build up strength in its legs.

But it will be at least a week before it will be strong enough to walk, which could be dangerous for the deer.

"I'm concerned that he's attached to humans and if I return him back to wildlife, he's not going to make it," Parsons said. "He's going to walk up to a hunter or to someone's back door looking to eat, and he's not going to make it."

So Parsons is looking for a shelter to take the deer.

He explained, "I've called numerous places, from Roanoke to Lynchburg, Hillsville, you name it, Game Wardens, and just haven't had any success yet."

One place he called was the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center of Roanoke.

Executive Director Sabrina Garvin explained, "After December 31, the following day, every deer must be released and is considered an adult. So for us to take it in it would have been illegal."

It's even illegal for Parsons to have the deer inside.

So Garvin explained what people should do if in a similar situation.

"Normally we refer people to their locality to the animal control officers, otherwise you can get a hold of the Department of Game and Inland and hopefully they would send someone out," she said.

VDGIF says on its website, "When VDGIF discovers a tame deer that is held illegally, agency personnel must confiscate and destroy the animal. This is an unpleasant, but necessary duty. It would be irresponsible to ignore the human safety risks, inhumane conditions, and potential for disease transmission."

Parsons said in response, "I didn't reach out to those anymore than what I already have because I want to see the dude live."

Monday afternoon the Montgomery County Game Warden arrived at Parsons' home to see Bucky.

In a compromise, Parsons said the deer is now living in a barn across the street with the door open so he's free to leave.

Parsons is also still allowed to give the deer food and water because hunting season isn't over yet.

However Parsons was told that if the deer can't walk in seven days, the strength will never come back, and it will need to be put down, unless an in-state facility can be found.