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mrklean

Forest Lake deer shooting stirs outrage

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mrklean

From the Star Trib. When Jeff Carpenter heard gunfire outside his rural Forest Lake residence before sunrise Saturday morning, he raced outside to find a man holding a shotgun.

"I was just glad I didn't go out there with my gun. This thing could have got deadly," said Carpenter, who had been burglarized recently and at first didn't realize that he was looking at a city police officer.

On the ground nearby, Carpenter said, were two fawns that he and his wife, LeeAnn, had been feeding.

"They both had huge holes in them," he said Monday. "They were neighborhood favorites. Everybody loved them."

But to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), they were a potential danger. For weeks, the agency had been receiving reports of two deer with colorful collars -- one pink, one orange -- running in the vicinity of North Shore Trail near Forest Lake's border with Scandia in northern Washington County.

"To have somebody put a collar on a wild deer, two of them in fact, I've never heard of it," said Capt. Greg Salo of the DNR's enforcement division.

The DNR, thinking the deer were escapees from a private game farm and could introduce disease among wild deer, ordered a hit on them. The agency notified Forest Lake police in early January that the deer must be shot on sight, Salo said.

Early Saturday morning, a Forest Lake police officer was patrolling near the Carpenter residence at 10010 North Shore Trail when he nearly struck the two collared deer with his squad car, said Capt. Greg Weiss. The four-year officer, a member of the department's special response team, killed one deer 10 yards from the road with a 12-gauge shotgun, Weiss said. The second one was shot dead at least 50 yards from the Carpenter residence, the captain said.

Carpenter tells a different story.

"He stood in our front yard and blasted the first one point blank," Carpenter said. "He walks around the back yard and blasts that one just a few feet from the deck."

The Carpenters discovered the fawns in June when one took refuge in their doghouse. Then the other appeared, bleating for their mother. The doe never appeared, he said, which confirmed to the Carpenters that the fawns were orphans.

"They came and went as they pleased," Carpenter said. "I don't care what the DNR says, these deer were perfectly healthy."

But Salo said nobody should assume that young deer are left motherless. In this case, he said, the deer were well on their way to becoming adults, no longer fawns. "The first big problem we have is him taking in these fawns when they were young," he said. "The second big mistake was putting big flashy collars on them and telling nobody about it."

It's illegal in Minnesota to seize wild deer for captivity, Salo said, but he doesn't know if the Carpenters did that. He said he would refer the case to the Washington County attorney's office but emphasized the Carpenters haven't been charged with a crime.

Carpenter said he wondered if a "rookie rogue cop" shot the deer and said he wants to know who at the DNR authorized the shootings. "There were a hundred different ways this thing could have been reconciled without incident. Wouldn't you think they would knock on the door? How this was handled was ludicrous and outrageous."

Weiss declined to identify the officer but said he killed both deer a safe distance from the house. An online photograph shows a carcass near the Carpenter's home, but it was dragged there after it was shot so a conservation officer could haul it away, Weiss said. The Forest Lake officer identified himself as such to Carpenter, the captain said, and wore a badge, a police patch and a gun belt.

Police didn't know that it was the Carpenters who had put collars on the deer, but as a matter of routine don't notify homeowners when "dispatching" animals, Weiss said.

"There should be no reason to be knocking on somebody's door asking if they own a wild deer," he said.

"The unfortunate thing," Salo said, "is they were destroyed in the very yard of the guy who put the collars on them. I feel for the guy. "

What are your thoughts?

Personally i think it was done right, when are people gonna understand putting a collar on something doesn't make it yours, and doesn't mean its ok. With the worry of CWD out there and it starting from penned deer they did the right thing by assuming the deer were from a farm and escaped, don't see to many deer in the woods with pink and orange collars.

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Cheetah

People shouldn't collar wild animals, nor should they treat them like pets. Hard lesson for the guy who started considering the deer to be his pets.

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Hoyt4

Agree. Leave wild animals alone. Let them be do not try and domesticate them.

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Musky Buck

Watched it last night, if it was 1970 there wouldn't be an issue about a doe getting road killed and some guy taking them under his wing, none of us would know about it. I think they could've went about it a little differently than waking up the neighborhood by blowing them away, heck I would've been loading my shotgun if awakened by gunfire by the house. I would've said I'm going to put those fawns down, if you don't want to be around for it you have a half-hour to skeedaddle. I wonder if the cops thought if we alert these folk they may hold them or corral them or it may become a monster issue so bang.

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leech~~

I like this line. "The DNR, thinking the deer were escapees from a private game farm and could introduce disease among wild deer, ordered a hit on them"

When did Vito get a job in St Paul? laugh

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tracker x-2

Sounds like agreat solution i think most on here will agree wink

Also sets a good example for anyone doing this or planning on doing.

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fivebucks

My wife and I had different points of view on this when we saw it on the news. She still likes to eat my venison though.

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Musky Buck

I have no issue in any direction with it, I just think it could've been handled a bit differently without much time or effort.

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TonkaBass

Looks like by putting collars on those two "pet" deer Mr. Carpenter gave them a death sentence. Good job. What is the point of putting a collar on a deer??? I dont get it. The guy seems to be a little out of touch with reality if you ask me.

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psepuncher

For police to do this they have to have a permit from the DNR on paper

prior to dispatching. Since the police knew what they were trying to achieve, { a few weeks in advance from the incident} they sure as heck asessed the situation accordingly to cover libilities on their behalf.

Without that permit or warrant they'd be infringing on the homeowners rights by trespass only. The homeowner caused this, nowhere else to point a finger.

As far as the CWD statment they made, it's never been proven where or when it started. It was found in research in 1967 of the type disease {prion } and origin of animals affected. Since then it's confirmed in both wild and raised animals. How it's contracted no one knows except what it is.

Currently, CWD can only be identified either by testing brain after an animal is deceased or by surgical sampling and testing lymphatic tissues. While researchers don’t know exactly how CWD is passed from animal to animal, CSU scientists discovered that body fluids such as saliva, blood, urine and feces harbor infectious prions.

Baiting does as much harm of transferring disease as much as deer yarding together or deer walking around scent checking each other, or eating from a corn field. If anyone has seen deer chewing on an ear of standing corn, you'd be hard pressed to see them take more than one bite before the next deer is pushing them so they too can have it.

Maybe I should cut my trees down to keep them from rubbing scent all over the place and chewing on a licking branch. Not to mention all the legal salt licks out here.

Calling cwd a valid excuse to take care of habituated animals is very disheartning to me as a hunter. Just put the blame on the homeowner for making pets out of wild animals.

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Musky Buck

Allegedly the pink collar on the 1 deer was to be able to tell the 2 apart, but I wouldn't think they were exact height,weight, or whatever color etc. Agree PSE the CWD is a horse hockey comment at best. It's simply don't create pets out of wildlife and if you want to you can, by double fencing etc. etc. whatever the parameters are for raising deer. I still don't like them blasting away as people were likely in bed etc. They could've had one of the guys just carry the fawns to the cop van and place them in there and go take care of it, they were way tame.

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eyeguy 54

well we can post in the other thread that the herd is down 2. lol I bet they would still be around if no collars around necks.

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TonkaBass

yep. like I said, that dude signed their death warrants by placing collars on them. brilliant!

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hockeybc69

Collaring a deer that is let run wild. Hmmm. Brilliant.

If the cops hadnt shot them, the story we would have seen on the news instead would have been how one of them got wrapped up in a barb wire fence and strangled to death....

Good grief.

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certified jumbo

poor decision by this man to collar the deer.

i support the dnr's stand as well as the police officer.

bottom line, you can't collar wild deer. poor choice.

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nofishfisherman

Had the officer known that the deer were pets I'm sure he could have just walked up to them and carried them back to his car. However, all the officer knew was that there are two deer with collars and that he's supposed to shoot on sight (according to his orders).

I don't know the whole story of how it all went down. I'll have to trust that the officer used his best judgement in terms of making sure he was in an appropriate spot and that the shot was quick, ethical and safe.

Perhaps he should have knocked on the guys door to let him know whats going on and to inform him of what he has to do. But its hard to second guess without knowing all the facts. I'm sure he was thinking this deer aint going to wait around for me to go ask permission. Afterall normal deer run away. He likely thought he had to act fast. Most of us know you don't always get a shooting window of more than a few seconds.

In the end I don't disagree with the deer being killed. The DNR has no idea what is up with those deer and regardless of the CWD defense it sounds like they had been causing a hazard on the roads in almost causing several accidents inclusing with the cop that ended up shooting them. The actions of the guy who collared them effectively killed those deer. Whether it was by the cop, a car, or by them getting tangled up and strangled by the collars.

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Crappiechopper

So..If I quick run out and put a collar on the 150 inch 10 pointer I got running around my neighborhood is he mine?

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hockeybc69

No its mine. I will harvest it and then burn the collar... grin

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MontanaMax

A little PR could have avoided the public outcry in Forest Lake:

FWP commissioners OK Helena deer plan

By LARRY KLINE Independent Record helenair.com | Posted: Thursday, November 12, 2009 11:35 am |

Expressing confidence in the city's work thus far, state Fish, Wildlife and Parks commissioners this morning easily approved Helena's increased request to kill 200 deer in town this winter.

The commission also unanimously approved the city's overall deer plan for the next decade, meaning Helena officials will only need to report results and request quotas each year without completing annual environmental assessments.

Police Chief Troy McGee said his officers will begin the work early next week. They have until March 31 to bag their limit, using baited traps and a bolt gun. All of the venison harvested in the effort will be given to Helena Food Share.

Commissioner Bob Ream of Helena said he's been impressed so far with the city's work. He said friends had allowed police on their land last year to trap deer, and they experienced no disturbances while the police killed 17 deer on the property.

"I really wanted to commend the city and the police department for doing a good job," Ream said. "I think it's a good start to a needed program."

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Tinkhamtown

This event shows a real lack of common sense, communications, and local police over stepping bound of their authority. How many of us would call authorities on deer with scarfs around their neck, how many would put scarfs around deer’s neck to try and protect them, how many would shoot a deer with a scarf around its neck, how many of us would knock on the door of house where deer were and ask what was going on, how many of us would shoot deer close to a house, and how many would come up with numerous [PoorWordUsage] explanations for doing the above. Then the two poor deer have to pay the ultimate price. Result angry home owner, poor publicity for DNR and police, news stories with pictures that can be taken from several different viewpoints some of which are anti-hunter.

Tink

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flipper

The one who sentenced those "two poor deer" to death is the one who made pets out of them. I have no problem with what was done.

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Tinkhamtown

Why shoot pet deer without talking to the home owner first. There are better ways to handle these situation. A little common sense and communications would have helped.

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Musky Buck

The picture they keep showing is a bloody mess of a deer and an officer standing gun at the ready, ick. No 1 should of got a picture, if they would've had a little Andy Griffith in them. None of us have a problem with what needed to be done just take the time and do things not by the book but by the way of what's right. If I were a cop with a hit out on the deer I likely would've went off duty to this guys place and tell him here's the deal. They knew where the deer were. Better yet, if open, haul those 2 squirts to the deer petting place just outside Walker, MN or I bet those that cared enough about the fawns would've or would've arranged it. Heck bring them to my hometown and put them in with the other 2 deer that are in the park. They end up croaking at some point anyway and they're always looking to have a few in there for kids or whatever to go see.

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mrklean

Why shoot pet deer without talking to the home owner first. There are better ways to handle these situation. A little common sense and communications would have helped.

Wild deer can not be pet deer, if they want pet deer get them legally and get a fence for them, then they wont get shot

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Tinkhamtown

Take the scarfs off them and stop feeding them let them go back to the wild, is what I would have suggested. These miss guided people tried to save what they thought were two orphan deer only to have them shot by the police in their yard and before even being talked too.

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