A trophy-sized mule deer buck who made a habit of visiting a residential neighborhood in Pocatello was found shot to death with a pellet gun a few weeks ago.
Idaho Fish and Game officers are seeking information on the illegal killing with tipsters being eligible for a reward.
“Idaho Fish and Game received a call about a dead deer located on the 900 block of Bryan Road in Pocatello in a residential yard,” said Jennifer Jackson, regional communications manager with Fish and Game in a statement. “Fish and Game personnel thought they were responding to the aftermath of a deer/vehicle collision — an event that happens all too often in the Pocatello and Chubbuck communities. However, after further investigation, officers determined that the buck had been killed with a pellet gun.”
Jackson said killing the deer consists of at least three violations: Taking a big game animal during a closed season, taking a big game animal with an unlawful weapon and discharging a firearm within the city limits.
“This is the second time in two years that we have investigated an illegal killing of a mule deer with a pellet gun in Pocatello,” said senior conservation officer Tyler Peterson. “Not only is it tough to see a deer killed in such a way, it’s also scary to think that a pellet capable of killing a large buck was actually discharged in a residential area not too far from busy streets and a school.”
Neighborhood residents reported seeing the buck, a frequent visitor to the area, alive at 7 a.m. Aug 29. Though officers are not sure when or where the deer was shot, the deer was reported dead at 4:15 p.m. the next day.
Anyone with information on the crime can contact Peterson at 208-251-4515 or call the Citizens Against Poaching hotline at 1-800-632-5999.