Deer roams Haliburton with arrow in head
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | January 11, 2018
The mysterious case of the deer with an arrow in its head continues in Haliburton.
Marlene Sparling, who lives on Pine Street, first alerted The Highlander about the deer last Wednesday (Jan. 3) but said she first noticed it on her property in late December.
“I am very sure the first time I saw the deer it had an arrow out the side of its head. Then, I noticed an arrow between its eyes up on the forehead. I told my husband I noticed a red sore mark at the side of this same deer and concluded the first arrow had come out but someone now had shot it again. So sad,” she said.
Originally from Toronto, and spending her first full winter in Haliburton, Sparling said she sought help for the deer.
“I thought there might me a process to deal with injured deer as the deer are commonplace in town. We love them and I’m sure others do as well.”
First, she called the local Ontario Provincial Police. Media relations officer, Dianna Dauphinee, confirmed they’d been made aware of the situation. She said they got in touch with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) but said they’d continue to monitor the situation.
Sparling said the OPP came to the property and took a photo of the deer but left without speaking to them.
As for the MNRF, Sparling said she called them, too, and was told they didn’t have the resources to come out and nature would take its course.
Adam Challice of the MNRF said Tuesday that the ministry “would not generally provide an on-site response to situations involving injured wildlife, but would provide assistance by referring the matter to the appropriate agency.”
He added that the MNRF’s Bancroft enforcement unit hadn’t received any reports of deer hunting during the closed season in the Haliburton area, so the deer may have been shot during the archery season that ended Dec. 15 and survived. He said they’ve been touch with the Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS). Sparling also reached out to the WWS.
“I have been receiving calls on it since just after Christmas,” their spokeswoman, Monika Melichar, said. “It seems to travel all over Haliburton. We at the sanctuary do not have the equipment to tranquilize it. Trying to catch it other ways would be futile.”
However, she said she got a call from the OPP this week, telling her that the MNRF sent someone to observe the deer for 30 minutes and determined it was fine as it was still eating and moving around. In the meantime, the WWS contacted the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, who have a volunteer that is willing to dart the deer so it can be treated. However, he lives in Rosseau, at least 90 minutes away, “so he would like to know where the deer goes so he can be successful when he comes out.”
People in the Pine and Sunnyside Street area have been advised to let the WWS know about this deer’s pattern of behaviour so there’s a better chance of successfully darting it and possibly removing the arrow. However, there’s another snag now as the volunteer has to go out of town and won’t be back until Jan. 17.
“So, if the MNRF know of someone else with a dart gun, then we can invite Dr. Sherri Cox, a wildlife veterinarian, to assist. But we still would need more precise locations as she would be coming from Caledon,” Melichar said.
Meanwhile, people keep spotting the deer. Dave Allen from Canoe FM said it’s been at his feeder around 4:30 p.m. most days. By all reports, “it is active, eating and getting about fine,” Melichar said. Canoe FM has been running updates as well. If you spot the deer and can report a pattern of movements, contact the WWS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.