Green River Star -

By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

Injured GR deer helped


A deer with a drooping, broken antler, that was visibly distressed was helped by a local agency.

A couple weeks ago, Green River resident Stan Blake was going into his backyard when he saw an injured buck.

“I knew the deer was in distress,” Blake said.

The buck was laying down and I could see its antler was broken.

Blake called Green River Animal Control and officer Kim Wilkens responded to the call. It only took her a couple of minutes to decide she needed to call the Wyoming Game and Fish.

Patrick Burke, Game and Fish wildlife biologist, and Game and Fish employees Justin Dodd and Robert Shipe arrived at Blake’s house.

“He injured the very base of it there,” Burke said.

The antler was dangling and swinging around.

Blake said the Game and Fish employees talked about what to do for quite a while before making the decision to help the animal.

“We’ve had an influx of deer in here for sure, but you could tell he was in a lot of pain,” Blake said.

Once the decision was made to help the deer, Burke drove around town getting the tools needed to help the deer, while Shipe and Dodd made sure the deer stayed where he was at.

When Burke returned, he, Dodd and Shipe tranquilized the deer. About 8 minutes later the deer laid down and fell asleep. Burke said this kind of tranquilizer had a mix of three separate drugs -- one acted as an anesthetic, one was for pain management and the other was a muscle relaxer.

Burke said before attempting anything, the group waited for 20 minutes to make sure all of the medicine was working.

Then, Burke, Dodd and Shipe set to work cutting the antler off just above the burr.

“He should be able to regrow an antler next year,” Burke said.

Next, an antiseptic spray was put on the wound to prevent infection and Burke applied wonder dust, which is a bleed-stop powder he usually uses on his horses. The powder helps the wound clot faster and seals the wound so it will not become infected.

After everything was done, it was just time to wait for the three-year-old deer to wake up.

Burke said he didn’t know how the deer was injured. It could have been hit by a car or got the antler caught in a fence, but this is the first time, to his knowledge, Game and Fish had to remove a deer’s antler in town. He said they did have to tranquilize a deer to remove Christmas lights from its antlers, but they never had remove an antler.

This wasn’t the last time Blake has seen the deer. Blake said he saw the deer, who he now calls “stubby” down by the railroad while he was at work.

“He was just bouncing around with his buddies,” Blake said.

Blake said he knew the Game and Fish employees had a tough decision to make, but he believed it was the right one.

“They really don’t like to intervene like that, but they decided to,” Blake said.

Burke said he and the other employees knew the deer would probably die and it was obvious the deer was in a lot of pain. It barely moved when they were looking at it and when it did move, it would lay back down from the pain.

For them, it was the right decision to make.


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