WASHINGTON - A West Virginia man is facing several charges after authorities say he shot a deer in Washington D.C. It happened close enough to the Palisades neighborhood in Northwest D.C., that neighbors heard the gunfire and called police to help.
D.C. officials say hunting deer in the District is illegal and if you do it and get caught, you will be arrested.
Vernon Goyne is facing five charges that include animal cruelty, possession of unregistered ammunition, discharging a firearm and possession of an unregistered firearm.
Police said at around 7 p.m. Tuesday, they started receiving phone calls from people in the neighborhood near Sherier Place about hearing gunfire.
Law enforcement sources told FOX 5 when police arrived in the woods near Chain Bridge Road, they found a man dressed in camouflage about to hit a deer with a stick. The animal was already badly wounded after being shot, but it was still alive.
Scott Giacoppo, chief community animal welfare officer for the Washington Humane Society, which was called in to help, said the deer was so badly wounded that it had to be euthanized.
"Everyone should know that there is no hunting season in D.C.” Giacoppo said. “And I think that places the animals at an even more unfair advantage than they normally would be in an area where hunting is allowed. These animals are more accustomed to human beings being around without a threat, so they are more apt to come within a closer proximity.”
The Washington Humane Society said the male deer had 14 points on his antlers and was estimated to weigh about 250 pounds.