Lawrence Fehr says he had no intention of offending anyone when he hung a dead buck off the back of his GMC pickup.
The deer, suspended from a lift attached to the truck, was shot and killed near Hanley on Nov. 3 by Fehr’s wife Debbie — the first mule deer she’s ever killed.
The animal was gutted and cleaned before they placed it on the lift, keeping it uncovered in an attempt to ensure the meat didn’t sour, Fehr said. However, a photo of the carcass in transport was shared on a Saskatoon radio station‘s Facebook page, eventually spreading online.
Some people expressed concern about children being exposed to the sight of a dead animal, while others said they saw nothing wrong with the image. Fehr said he was “amazed” at how many people weighed in on the image, and that he “never expected a reaction like this.”
“My biggest concern was to go home, basically get it skinned and get it into the fridge,” said the lifelong hunter, who lives on an acreage outside Saskatoon.
Fehr said the carcass was safely secured to the lift and most of the meat has since been processed; the rest will be turned into deer sausage in the coming weeks.
He was not trying to show the animal off, he said.
“We weren’t trying to offend nobody. That wasn’t the thing at all.”
In an email, Saskatoon police spokeswoman Kelsey Fraser said she doesn’t believe the transport of a deer carcass falls under the realm of city police. She’s not aware of any laws prohibiting this type of transport, unless the deer was an unsecured load, not properly attached to a vehicle.
Michael Kincade, executive director of the Saskatoon Wildlife Federation, said it’s important for hunters to be considerate of others when transporting a kill. Overall, he said conversations about the image show the level of diversity that exists in Saskatchewan.
“A lot of us grew up in rural Saskatchewan and come from rural settings and this is nothing out of the ordinary,” he said. “But there are people who haven’t — they’ve never been exposed to anything like that and could take offence at it being kind of thrown in their face.”
Kincade said while he understands Fehr’s reasoning, having the animal uncovered may have been poor judgment.
“We want to continue to see the sport of hunting and fishing continue for generations. We just have to all do our part to be mindful of other people’s opinions,” he said.
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