A 20-year-old man from Rushford, Minn., has been charged with felony theft for allegedly shooting a 21-point domesticated deer in a rural Houston County pen with a bow and arrow, then claiming he killed it in the wild.
Ryan Lucas Jackson also faces three other counts of trespassing, criminal damage to property for allegedly cutting a fence to remove the trophy buck, and unauthorized release of animals. Ten other deer escaped the pen in the Dec. 8 incident; two, including an eight-point buck valued at about $10,000, are still missing.
The 21-point, 3 1/2-year-old whitetail, used in breeding, was valued at $15,000 to $20,000. The antlers scored 212 1/8 under the Boone and Crockett scoring system, meaning it was a world-class trophy animal.
According to the complaint filed in Houston County, officials didn't have any trouble solving the case: Jackson posted a photo of himself with the deer on his Facebook page.
Officials recovered the deer head and antlers at Jackson's home, according to the complaint. The complaint says that Jackson told a sheriff's deputy that he went to the farm owned by Joshua Woodard early in the morning of Dec. 8, shot once at the deer and missed, then crawled into the pen and shot the deer in the neck. He said he cut the fence and dragged the dead deer to the highway.
According to the complaint, he drove home, got his father's pickup and returned for the deer. He took the deer to a farm where he had permission to hunt, gutted it and told the landowner's daughter he had shot the deer there. He then registered it. Jackson is to appear in court Jan. 17.
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