Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS > 2007

PA: Pet deer killed, two confess

Pet Deer Killed, Two Confess
Friday, December 28, 3:58 p.m.
By Norm Jones

A family pet was killed inside its pen and now investigators say two men have confessed to the brutal crime.
Troopers said the men crept into a barn near Hughesville and shot several arrows into the deer, all in the name of revenge.

It was no ordinary deer, or even a farm animal, for that matter.

Janice Temple of the Hughesville area hand raised the buck, a three-year-old deer she fondly referred to as one of her own. She retraced the steps of the men who police said killed her pet deer, Chester.

She said the big buck was as tame as a dog.

"They shot an arrow and it didn't die right away, so they walked around, broke through the door walked around came in here, and they each shot two more times," Temple said of the Wednesday night attack.

She added the men then dragged her buck out of his pen and through a field.
Two days later, tufts of deer fur still cling to corn stalks.

Temple and her fiance learned of the attack Thursday night when they came to feed Chester and his mate, Remi. When she was the only deer to greet them they knew something was wrong.

"Chester I got three years ago, as a fawn from a local deer farmer. I bottle fed him. He was like a kid of mine," Temple recalled.

She said her buck was taken to a local butcher shop where state police were able to track down the men who took it.

Troopers said those men confessed to killing the buck.

"It's rotten. Takes a cold-hearted person to be able to do something like that," Temple added.

"When Chester would hear my truck or the four wheeler come up around the road, out of the pen he'd come to come see what we were bringing him, spend some time with him. So you know, no different than any other pet," said Ryan Messner, Temple's fiance.

While the couple got Chester's antlers from the butcher they may not display them, saying the loss of their beloved buck is hitting them hard.

State police said they've talked to the two men they believe are responsible and plan to file several felony charges against them. Those charges could come next week. They said the men may have targeted the buck because they were upset about not being able to hunt on Temple's land. 

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