Well said, I appreciate all of it.It felt like I was comforting the deer especially when cars would drive by, he would get agitated and try to get up and that was an ugly flopping experience. I would talk softly and place my hand on his neck. Was it comforting? I can't say for sure. Some of it was certainly self serving as it did comfort me and I can acknowledge that. One of the fellas above commented on controlling the head of a wild animal and in retrospect, that probably had a lot to do with it as well. I hope that I offered some comfort to the animal and I feel that I did but truthfully, I never know.
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Hunting and respecting the quarry as much as we all do presents a very real empathetic dichotomy. We're all living on borrowed time and it's the emotions we feel that makes the memories we cherish.