An Antimony, Utah man is calling for a Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) officer’s badge after the officer shot his pet deer.
The deer, Sadie, survived being shot in the face, but is in rough shape.
Cole Montague took Sadie in two years ago when the deer’s mother t-boned his truck. He pulled over to check on the deer, who was dead on impact:
I walk up to her and her stomach was going crazy and I knew she was pregnant so I did a little emergency C-section.
The mother deer had two babies inside. He brought them both home and nursed them to health, but only Sadie survived. Since then, she’s stuck around his yard.
“She’s never been penned up. We don’t have a collar on her. We don’t chain her up,” Montague said.
According to DWR, it’s illegal to keep a deer as a pet in Utah. Montague said:
If you’re keeping a wild animal as a pet, it’s illegal. You can’t pen up an animal. I wouldn’t ever pen up a flippin’ deer.
Sadie had free rein of the town. Montague never thought it was a problem until two days ago when the wildlife officer showed up at his house unannounced. According to DWR, he got a report that Sadie had killed a dog.
The officer attempted to capture the deer to remove her from the property, but was unsuccessful. He then shot her in an attempt to euthanize her. His shot did not kill her and the deer took off running.
Wyatt Bubak, captain for the Division of Wildlife Resources Law Enforcement, said:
The officer is a very high performing officer, very knowledgeable in our practices.
According to Bubak, the officer was following DWR training and policies.
“When wildlife becomes domesticated or more so domesticated and losing their fear of humans or indoor pets, they can pose a public safety concern,” Bubak said.
Sadie is still alive and Montague is working to once again nurse her back to health. He said the officer failed to investigate if the allegations of Sadie attacking a dog were true.
According to both Garfield and Piute county sheriff’s offices, no dead or injured dog was found.
Montague said the officer overstepped:
I can think of 20 different ways how he could have handled this different. He needs his badge taken away from him. He needs to apologize and say we were out of line.