Deer Hazards: Add Vines To The List

Reader Contributed | August 1, 2000

Editor’s Note: We all know that every year, some deer are “lost” to potential hunter harvest through other factors, most notably highways, poachers, and even lethal buck fights. But if you think that Nature’s list of deer hazards ends there, think again.

Dear GON,

I was deer hunting near Shellman Bluff in McIntosh County on January 5 when I came upon what I first thought was a bedded deer. I was walking through thick planted pines on the edge of a brier thicket. The pines in this area were about 15 years old with thick vines hanging from the tree tops and running from tree to tree.

I found this young 50- to 60-lb. doe hung up in the vines, dead. The doe could only have been dead a few hours and was very fat and healthy. It had not been shot.

When she first became entangled she must have struggled to free herself as the ground was torn up somewhat in a 10-foot diameter circle. But the struggle only made it worse. The vines encircling her neck were tight. They trailed down her chest and belly to where all four legs were crossed and entangled, just like she was hog tied. At this point, she could not move anymore. She finally died either of strangulation or sheer exhaustion, or both.

Lee Jenkins, Townsend

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