Charles Varble understands that wildlife officials receive scores of calls every day from residents who have weak, hungry deer stumble through their yards.
But he was annoyed last week after one animal wandered into his yard with a broken leg and it took wildlife officials two days to respond."With him being crippled and all, I thought they (wildlife officials) would do something, but they didn't do anything," Varble said.
For two days, he watched the young buck nibble at the shrubbery along the fence.
"It limped around on its injured leg, laid down, stood up and looked around," he said. "In the evening, he just sat there and quivered. That's what upset me."
Varble called the Division of Wildlife Resources, which arrived to put the animal out of its misery nearly 48 hours later.
Varble's call was only one of 100 the office receives daily. Of those, 30 involve injured animals, said Bruce Andersen, division manager of information and education. About a dozen more involve deer that have been attacked by dogs.
In Weber County, Andersen said, the division has only two officers who can respond to the calls.
"It's a difficult situation and there's no clear way for us to handle it," he said.
In addition to wildlife loose in private yards, Andersen said the division's two officers in January picked up 100 dead animals on highways in Weber County. In Davis County, the number exceeded 150.
John Fox, chief of investigation for the Humane Society, said wildlife officers can only set priorities and do the best they can with limited resources.
"When people have an animal suffering in their yards, all they see is that particular animal," Fox said. "They don't care about the 20 or 30 other calls wildlife people have.
"It appears that the only thing that is going to solve this problem is spring," Fox said.
Andersen recommends that people who have deer in their yards observe them carefully and do what they can to avoid causing the animals further stress.
"Don't approach or handle them, just watch them," he said. "If they're going to recover, they're going to recover on their own."
He said only an obvious traumatic injury warrants attention by wildlife officers.
"If the animals are only weak and hungry, medically there's really nothing we can do," Andersen said.