A deer that was hit in the neck with a 2-foot arrow but survived has been roaming an upstate New York community, and residents are worried that it might be suffering.
Since December, Lynn Westbrook has kept an evening vigil by her bay window.
Between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. nearly every day, a peculiar and heartbreaking scene develops in her Stony Point front yard: the female deer with the arrow piercing her neck arrives to graze on bushes lining the driveway.
"There has got to be a way we can help her," Westbrook said.
The injured animal, clearly a target of local bow hunters, survived hunting season, but is now condemned to walk the Rockland County woods with an awkward wooden spear jutting out of her neck.
Now Westbrook, a retired director of Rockland County's United Way, is convinced taking no action is better than taking the risks associated with sedating the injured animal.
"[Deer] have very weak hearts. That much I know," Westbrook said.
“Also, there’s the fear that, if in fact you did tranquilize her, she would bolt, go into the woods, lay down and die of hypothermia.”
Westbrook was persuaded by an email she received from a Westchester County wildlife educator who expressed concern that a tranquilizer dart might also cause the deer to collapse on the ground, driving the arrow further into her neck.
The Stony Point Police Department did not return NBC New York's request for comment.
NBC New York also reached out to several veterinarians and wildlife experts regarding best practices in cases of deer impaled by arrows. None immediately returned messages.
Westbrook says she will continue to watch for the impaled doe in her front yard.
“It’s hard enough to watch them hungry this time of year, but to watch one with this distinct disadvantage – it’s heartbreaking.”