A large male deer with a crossbow bolt embedded in its head was put down Tuesday by conservation staff called to a Ten Mile Point residence.
The black-tailed buck had survived its wounds for about two weeks, said conservation officer Peter Pauwels.
“We had been receiving calls from that neighbourhood for a couple of weeks about a deer with an arrow in its head,” he said, adding he had twice before tried to find the animal, but it fled.
“It was a pretty big buck with a pretty good-sized set of antlers,” said Pauwels, who believes the shooter is likely a trophy hunter willing to shoot a crossbow in an urban area where hunting is illegal at all times.
The deer was likely shot by the same person responsible for another large buck found dead in a yard on nearby Alpine Crescent on Friday, Pauwels said.
An examination of the carcasses has not revealed any evidence as to the perpetrator, he said, although he expects that there are “people out there that know who this person is — that he’s talked about it.”
The person could be charged with dangerous hunting in a populated area, said Pauwels, who knows of six or eight big deer killed by bows and arrows in Saanich in the past year, including at Elk and Prospect lakes.
Two deer were found dead with crossbow arrows lodged in their bodies in the Cordova Bay area in October.
The deer with the bolt in its head was “suffering greatly” and would have taken another week or so to die of its infection, Pauwels said.
“They’re very resilient animals,” said Saanich Police Sgt. Steve Eassie.
The buck on Alpine Crescent died from a wound in the torso made by some kind of bow.
Anyone who comes across a metal arrow with feathers on the shaft is asked to call police. A bolt could be 25 to 35 centimetres long and arrow up to 60 centimetres.
“If somebody is discharging a weapon such as this in an urban area, there is always a possibility that they could miss and that that could cause an injury to someone,” Eassie said.
The deer were likely shot in early morning or late evening — times when there is minimal traffic — but the public should be aware of vehicles being driven slowly with their lights on, Pauwels said.
Saanich police are asking anyone with information about the deer to call 250-475-4321.
Pauwels said that anonymous tips can be left at 1-877-952-7277.
© Copyright 2013