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Hunting experts worry inexperienced bow hunters may be wounding animals

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Oregon State Police are seeking tips and investigating an elk that was shot and wounded with an arrow on Tuesday on private property near Huntington Road and South Century Drive, near Sunriver.

Another hunter spotted the wounded elk, which left before law enforcement arrived, Oregon State Police reported. Troopers found a bloody arrow and a trail, but couldn't find the animal.

A few days earlier, another bow hunter, in Tillamook, struck an elk that also ran away wounded -- and when he went looking for it the next day, to shoot it again, it charged and killed him.

To get some idea of why these incidents may be occurring, we paid a visit Wednesday to Central Cascades Archery.

They explained that they are starting to see people with no bow hunting experience coming in and buying bows, looking to go hunting the same week.

Al Barton said, "I've had a couple of people come in and say, 'I did not get a rifle tag, I just bought a bow, and its the day before hunting season -- tell me how to go out and hunt.' We tell them not to."

Barton explained that bow hunting without adequate experience is not fair to the animals.

"Sometimes they get upset -- 'What do you mean I can't go hunting?' 'Well, you're not ready. You're going to injure an animal." And like I said, conservation is the important part. We owe to those animals not to let them sit there and suffer."

Barton said some are underestimating the time and effort it takes to train for bow hunting. He said you probably should be practicing for a couple of years before you go hunting with a bow and arrow.

That's something many in the hunting community appear to agree with.

Store worker Ed Creasy said, "It's very important to practice, be the best we can be. We owe it to the animal."

At this time, in the south Deschutes County case, the wounded elk has not been located. The elk in Tillamook was killed and its meat provided to the county jail.

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Blake Allen

Blake Allen is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Blake here.


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