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This horrifying picture was taken of a deer that wandered into a New Jersey garden.
his deer with an arrow shot cleanly through its head was spotted and photographed by resident Susan Darrah.
She says she was shocked to see the deer at her home in Boonton with a dart wedged through its muzzle.
'Shocked': Susan Darrah said she took this photo of a deer impaled by an arrow in her New Jersey back yard
'Want to know what sucks? THIS!' She posted on her Facebook page, 'Tried to capture him to no avail... he can eat, run and there's no blood, less chance of infection. I just feel so bad for him.'
The animal wasn't bleeding and didn't appear to be frightened, she claimed.
Ms Darrah immediately contacted animal control and they turned up the same day but were unable to catch the animal. She said the deer was a regular visitor to her back garden.
Deer are attracted to her large property thanks to a big pear tree and its location next to the Split Rock Reservoir.
'I know a lot of hunters and I know that was nothing done intentionally,' Ms Darrah told her local paper. 'I'm sure if any hunter saw him, they would have been kind of enough to put him down.'
Bow hunting for deer is legal in all 50 states, but ethical hunters aim for the body
Ms Darrah spoke to a Fish and Wildlife representative and followed their advice to put out a supply of corn for the deer, which appeared to be travelling in a herd with four others.
The state Division of Fish and Wildlife sent out a crew to the area looking for the deer, and spokesman Bob Considine said the department would tranquilize the animal in the hopes of removing the arrow.
Ms Darrah said they told her to call them as soon as the deer reappeared in her back garden and they would try to catch it.
Her efforts to help the animal were applauded by her friends on Facebook after she posted the image, taken from her back fence, and many of them expressed their sadness at deer's plight.
She posted on her Facebook page: 'I've been on "deer watch" since just before 5am. I have NJ Fish and Wildlife alerted.
'I am also sure this was not done intentionally. Any hunters I know would have looked for this deer knowing they missed a clean shot. In addition to that, all the hunters I know, hunt for food.'
New Jersey's Division of Fish and Wildlife sent out a crew and is looking for the wounded animal
BOW HUNTING IN AMERICA
- Bow hunting is legal in all 50 states
- Anywhere there's rifle season also has a bow season - but it usually starts a few weeks earlier
- Less deer are harvested each year than by rifle hunters, mainly due to difficulty
- Ethical bow hunters aim for the body, not the head
- New Jersey has three bow hunting seasons spanning the fall and winter
Source: Justin Zarr, BowHunting.com