Accidentally killing an animal

Feb 9, 2013
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I was weedeating today and accidentally hit a garter snake I didn’t see in time. He was dinged up and unable to move his back half. I tried to work out the kinks but he was clearly a goner so I put him out of his misery. Even for something as small and common as a snake I was bummed for a little while. Don’t know how people kill big mammals. (And yes, I know where steaks come from).

Anyone else feel like this or am I just a big softie?
 

hawkeye54545

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I was weedeating today and accidentally hit a garter snake I didn’t see in time. He was dinged up and unable to move his back half. I tried to work out the kinks but he was clearly a goner so I put him out of his misery. Even for something as small and common as a snake I was bummed for a little while. Don’t know how people kill big mammals. (And yes, I know where steaks come from).

Anyone else feel like this or am I just a big softie?
I become more like this every year. I grew up hunting and still have no problem with other people doing it but couldn't shoot anything now.

I feel terrible now if I accidentally run over a cat or squirrel.
 

bagdropper

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I drove the bus to Altoona Saturday, and on the way home I noticed a small flat round black spot on the pavement about 2 or so seconds before I came upon it. Figured it may have been a spot of road tar poured over a pavement divot by a road crew. You know, one of those things you notice about the road you're driving on as you go.

So, I didn't try to avoid it - you don't really want to swerve a school bus full of 30 kids anyway, and besides, it looked relatively flat and dark, like a road repair. At the instant before I was to run over the area (it was in the left wheel area of my lane), I noticed it was actually a small turtle crossing the road, maybe 3-4" round.

Pretty sure I flattened it. Didn't feel anything...after all, school buses are pretty big. Hope I missed it, but I've felt guilty about it ever since.

It happens...
 

tarheelbybirth

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Hit a big dog on the interstate a few years back. I was in the left hand lane driving at night in traffic and it came out of the median right in front of me - I didn't even have time to hit the brakes - not that it would have mattered. Went right under the driver's side tires and knocked a hole in my front bumper. Worst part was it looked right at me before I hit it. Definitely shook me up. Not ashamed to say I had to pull over and shed a tear.
 

Thunderlips71

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I was weedeating today and accidentally hit a garter snake I didn’t see in time. He was dinged up and unable to move his back half. I tried to work out the kinks but he was clearly a goner so I put him out of his misery. Even for something as small and common as a snake I was bummed for a little while. Don’t know how people kill big mammals. (And yes, I know where steaks come from).

Anyone else feel like this or am I just a big softie?
I’m with you and feel terrible after things like this. Valuing life is nothing to be ashamed of.
 

thewop

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Jun 27, 2002
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It's good to feel bad...

Think of that feeling as respect for the animal.

Even most hunters don't view the taking of life flippantly. They recognize the gravity of taking a life, and take it very personally when they prolong the death of the animal.

But it can save hundreds at the grocery store...
 

Kinnick.At.Night

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I’ve been pretty lucky, given how much driving I do. I smacked a pheasant once on the interstate. That’s pretty much it. Poor fella hit my windshield so hard I was amazed it didn’t break the glass. He was a quick goner I imagine.
 

QChawks

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Feb 11, 2013
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I’ll never forget it, it was 2000 and I was driving to work at a hotel in Coralville. I was driving early morning on second street near the Vine. I had just merged into the right lane and before I could react I saw a mother goose about 4 feet into the road, just on the side of the steeet was about a dozen baby geese.

I heard the thump and looked back and saw mom laying in the roadway. I slammed on my brakes but couldn’t bare to see up close what I had done. I sat there for a second as cars were backing up from me and what clearly was a murder scene. I drove to work crying.

it was an accident mama goose!
RIP
 
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ping72

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A few decades ago my mom was pretty much the only car on a 4-lane highway heading to work at like 5:30am. Right around an overpass there was a huge messy roadkill. The deer was really splattered. She drove around/through it the best she could.

Later at work she heard about a suicide that morning...a woman jumped from an overpass....the same one she saw the “deer.” She realized that it wasn’t a deer and that she drove through a human.

And the crazy thing is they reported finding the woman at something like 7:30... so my mom called the police to let them know that the body had been there for at least 2 additional hours.

Apparently the woman timed it correctly in the dark that she jumped right in front of a semi who supposedly didn’t even realize what had happened.
 

herkyhawk00

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I was weedeating today and accidentally hit a garter snake I didn’t see in time. He was dinged up and unable to move his back half. I tried to work out the kinks but he was clearly a goner so I put him out of his misery. Even for something as small and common as a snake I was bummed for a little while. Don’t know how people kill big mammals. (And yes, I know where steaks come from).

Anyone else feel like this or am I just a big softie?
Lol…… when I was in HS, I was driving on a gravel road at night and hit a opossum (I swear animals just look to run in front of me). He wasn’t dead and was clearly in pain so I reluctantly and painfully backed up over him again to finish him off. Felt terrible.
 

jamesvanderwulf

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Lol…… when I was in HS, I was driving on a gravel road at night and hit a opossum (I swear animals just look to run in front of me). He wasn’t dead and was clearly in pain so I reluctantly and painfully backed up over him again to finish him off. Felt terrible.
He was likely playing opossum on the first hit till you gave him the kill shot…
 

HawkFan1298

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It depends on the animal.

I hit a deer once that ran into my car when I was going 20 MPH at night. It staggered away and disappeared.

I also hit a rabbit that ran in front of my car.

I couldn't care less about adult deer, rabbit, squirrels, snakes, bugs, turtles or geese.

Cats or dogs I care about; perhaps because they're domesticated.
 
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SWIowahawks

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I was weedeating today and accidentally hit a garter snake I didn’t see in time. He was dinged up and unable to move his back half. I tried to work out the kinks but he was clearly a goner so I put him out of his misery. Even for something as small and common as a snake I was bummed for a little while. Don’t know how people kill big mammals. (And yes, I know where steaks come from).

Anyone else feel like this or am I just a big softie?
I hunt…a lot, but still have remorse when running over a rabbit or squirrel on the road. Even when we hit deer, raccoons, possums, with our train; I still feel bad. Kind of messed up huh?
 

THE_DEVIL

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A few decades ago my mom was pretty much the only car on a 4-lane highway heading to work at like 5:30am. Right around an overpass there was a huge messy roadkill. The deer was really splattered. She drove around/through it the best she could.

Later at work she heard about a suicide that morning...a woman jumped from an overpass....the same one she saw the “deer.” She realized that it wasn’t a deer and that she drove through a human.

And the crazy thing is they reported finding the woman at something like 7:30... so my mom called the police to let them know that the body had been there for at least 2 additional hours.

Apparently the woman timed it correctly in the dark that she jumped right in front of a semi who supposedly didn’t even realize what had happened.
thread/
 

Hawk_4shur

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I live next to a wooded park, so we have critters in our back yard almost every day. Deer and wild turkeys are by far the most common. The turkeys caused no damage whatsoever. The deer will occasionally nibble some of my shrubs, but that's about it. Raccoons were tearing up my sod so I found a wildlife specialists that trapped and relocated 20 of them in about 10 days. We had woodchucks, opossum, plus many squirrels and rabbits of course. I've even seen a coyote a couple of times. No reason to hurt any of them IMO.

My neighbor spotted a snake once and she called me to make sure I didn't kill it.

Our home is a safe haven for critters - for the most part ...

Moles and wasps, however, are messing with my property - I'll do whatever is needed to be rid of them.
 

golfinghawkeye

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While driving I have hit a raccoon, opossum, pigeon and a cat, The raccoon and opossum I wasn’t concerned about. The pigeon was sort of wtf. It was eating something on a road and I couldn’t change lanes or slow down due to traffic. That dumb bird didn’t want to give up the food until it was to late. It started to fly off and I hit it. It exploded into feathers like the bird getting hit by the Randy Johnson fastball.

I felt bad about the cat. I was on HWY 30 east of Carroll. The cat came out of a ditch and I clipped it. It helicoptered across the road and ended up back in a ditch. I hope it was just a feral farm cat and not someone’s pet.

While mowing my yard when I lived in Delaware I hit something and assumed it was twigs as it was around some trees. It turns out I murdered some baby bunnies.

My current yard I only have birds and insects. My dog got a couple of pigeons so far. I leave Black Widows alone in the yard as they take care of other bugs. Scorpions can die a terrible death.
 

Hoosierhawkeye

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I was weedeating today and accidentally hit a garter snake I didn’t see in time. He was dinged up and unable to move his back half. I tried to work out the kinks but he was clearly a goner so I put him out of his misery. Even for something as small and common as a snake I was bummed for a little while. Don’t know how people kill big mammals. (And yes, I know where steaks come from).

Anyone else feel like this or am I just a big softie?

Weird coincidence I was weed eating yesterday saw a snake who was fleeing from the weed eater towards the house. I cut him off and tried to scare him away but he went into a defensive posture then.

I tried to grab something to push him away but he just went around me and slid under the house. I think he lives under our house.

I probably should have killed him with the weed eater.

Keep in mind that on two occasions we've had snakes actually get into our house.
 
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stillh8unlv

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We hit a dog once by an acreage - good size Lab that just ran out of the tall ditch grass in front of me, never had a chance to stop.

The family was out in the yard, they saw it happen, I pulled over immediately hoping for the best, walked back to where the dog was and apologized profusely to the owners. They were very understanding and said this wasn't their first dog to get hit living on a highway. Don't get me wrong they were still upset, as was my family.

This happened probably 5 years ago and I still think about it every time I drive past that place.
 

HawkFan1298

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We hit a dog once by an acreage - good size Lab that just ran out of the tall ditch grass in front of me, never had a chance to stop.

The family was out in the yard, they saw it happen, I pulled over immediately hoping for the best, walked back to where the dog was and apologized profusely to the owners. They were very understanding and said this wasn't their first dog to get hit living on a highway. Don't get me wrong they were still upset, as was my family.

This happened probably 5 years ago and I still think about it every time I drive past that place.

Was the dog killed instantly?

Seeing one slowly die would be the worst.

P.S. that family needs a fence of some type.
 

Jimmy McGill

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On one of my night walks, I had a deer charge me. I played opossum. That deer would have messed me up. Buck.
 

Joes Place

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I was weedeating today and accidentally hit a garter snake I didn’t see in time. He was dinged up and unable to move his back half. I tried to work out the kinks but he was clearly a goner so I put him out of his misery. Even for something as small and common as a snake I was bummed for a little while. Don’t know how people kill big mammals. (And yes, I know where steaks come from).

Anyone else feel like this or am I just a big softie?

I always do yard re-con before getting the mower or weedeater out. Lots of garter snakes around the yard.

After I finished dethatching, that apparently freaked a whole nest of them out (must have sounded like a downpour to them) - about a dozen of them had climbed up a small evergreen bush next to the house and were all contained in a "snake ball" about 3 feet up. They were extremely shy, as anytime one would work his way out back to the ground and would see me, they'd quickly slither away to avoid any confrontation.

The garters we have out here are really pretty little snakes (Plains Garter, I think), with a yellow and orange stripe down them.

plains-garter-snake-shutterstock114423343.jpg


Didn't realize they were actually venomous and killed their prey by multiple bites (not toxic to humans); always thought they were constrictors.
 
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Jimmy McGill

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Snakes all can go die as far as I'm concerned. When in Iraq, if we found a mouse or rat, that sucker got killed. Didn't need the snakes coming after them. I.E., the snakes over there were a little more harmful than a garter snake.
 

23 so far

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I was weedeating today and accidentally hit a garter snake I didn’t see in time. He was dinged up and unable to move his back half. I tried to work out the kinks but he was clearly a goner so I put him out of his misery. Even for something as small and common as a snake I was bummed for a little while. Don’t know how people kill big mammals. (And yes, I know where steaks come from).

Anyone else feel like this or am I just a big softie?
You're a softie, which isn't necessarily a bad thing (but I'd kill a snake, mouse, squirrel or flying rat, i.e. a goose, and feel bad for maybe 10 seconds tops). I won't deliberately run over any animal, but I'll check my mirrors first. I won't swerve to miss an animal if it could put other people in harms way.

We have a pond, wooded area and a lake very close to where I work in the city. Just last evening I had to slow down and move around several flying rats and several turkeys (the turkeys move faster away from cars it seems). We keep a snow shovel near the back door all year long just to clean goose shit off the sidewalks for the delivery drivers entrance.

Occasionally I'll walk some of the women at work to their cars if there's a bunch of geese in the parking lot because they're scared. I've seen those things chase a couple of joggers that run by the ponds. Nasty ass flying rats.
 

Jimmy McGill

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Geese
You're a softie, which isn't necessarily a bad thing (but I'd kill a snake, mouse, squirrel or flying rat, i.e. a goose, and feel bad for maybe 10 seconds tops). I won't deliberately run over any animal, but I'll check my mirrors first. I won't swerve to miss an animal if it could put other people in harms way.

We have a pond, wooded area and a lake very close to where I work in the city. Just last evening I had to slow down and move around several flying rats and several turkeys (the turkeys move faster away from cars it seems). We keep a snow shovel near the back door all year long just to clean goose shit off the sidewalks for the delivery drivers entrance.

Occasionally I'll walk some of the women at work to their cars if there's a bunch of geese in the parking lot because they're scared. I've seen those things chase a couple of joggers that run by the ponds. Nasty ass flying rats.
Geese think they own the world
 

Nole Lou

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I don't feel bad about killing animals, but I'm squeamish about it. I'm fine to catch a mouse in a glue trap where I can't see it, but I would not want to like smash him with a club or something. I like the idea of the challenge and marksmanship of hunting, but would never hunt because I have no interest in getting up close and personal with a dead animal.

Driving, I feel no guilt about hitting anything. I've trained myself to feel that way, as I never want to end up in a ditch or oncoming traffic to avoid a cat or dog or a squirrel. Don't get me wrong, if I'm driving along and see a dog up ahead in the street and can slow down safely, I most definitely will.

But if a small animal darts out at the last second in front of me, I am not going to react rashly to avoid it like I would a car or a kid. If the animal gets hit, it does, but I'm not going to risk my life or another driver's.

95% of the time, the animal avoids the car with me doing nothing but keeping on, I've only hit a couple animals ever. My guess is that by not swerving irrationally, I'm probably giving him a better chance of avoiding me than if I jerk the wheel in response, and I'm not endangering myself.

The one exception I do feel bad about getting run over is turtles.
 

stillh8unlv

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Was the dog killed instantly?

Seeing one slowly die would be the worst.

P.S. that family needs a fence of some type.

Yeah he was knocked into the ditch and dead on impact.

Thought the same thing about a fence when they told me that too but definitely wasn't a time to bring it up. :)

Almost chokes me up still thinking about it like this....ugh
 
Mar 11, 2020
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I'm a hunter, I say the same prayer before pulling the trigger/releasing the arrow everytime I shoot a deer. (Wing shooting is reactionary.) "Dear lord, please let me make this shot or miss by a mile".. deep breath...slowly out... release.



When you take somethings life you realize how hard we as animals are willing to fight and struggle just to stay alive. Animals, which we are, dont just fall over. I strongly believe that if we as a society got back to a hunting culture we wouldn't see killings because people would understand what goes in to taking a life. The only thing other than an insect I will kill casually is a Prarie dog because they are a nuisance animal. Seeing a wounded animal stinks.


Yesterday we lost a cat on the road, he was a cool cat I rescued from a ditch that someone had abandoned. Rip Duke.
 
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