Conservation officers are hoping to locate and assess a buck that was seen on the Uplands Golf Club Thursday with an arrow stuck in its side.
Ron Dempsey was golfing on the west side of the course when he spotted the a buck and a doe. It took him a moment to notice the arrow protruding from the buck’s left side, near its front leg.
“He was walking gingerly,” Dempsey said. “But he seemed pretty determined he wasn’t going to leave [the doe] alone.”
Dempsey could see what looked like dried blood around the entry wound.
He snapped some photos of the injured animal before both deer took off into a residential neighbourhood next to the golf course. A friend phoned the police, and an Oak Bay officer walked the course Thursday but was unable to find the animal, said Oak Bay police chief Ray Bernoties.
Dempsey also alerted the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.
Conservation officer Scott Norris said they’re hoping others will report sightings of the animal so officers can locate and tranquilize it for an assessment to see if they can safely remove the arrow. They want to determine if the animal was shot with a blunt-head arrow used for target shooting or a sharp arrow that would likely cause more serious harm to the animal.
Hunting deer with a bow and arrow is allowed only in open hunting areas during hunting season, which ended Dec. 10, so Norris said this appears to be a case of someone illegally shooting the deer.
“It’s against the law. It puts the public safety at risk and animal welfare at risk,” he said.
Conservation officers are asking anyone who sees the deer to report the sighting immediately to the Report All Poachers and Polluters hotline, so they can locate the animal to tranquilize it and assess it, he said.
Do not approach the animal, because it’s already under stress and could run towards someone or into traffic, Norris said.
Deer have been found before in Greater Victoria and the rest of the Island after having been shot with an arrow, he said. A few years ago, officers tranquilized a deer found shot through the mouth near Duncan. Officers were able to remove the arrow and the deer survived in that case, Norris said.
“This is not a new thing,” he said.
Anybody who sees the deer or thinks they might know who shot it is asked to call the RAPP hotline at 1-877-952-7277.