A motorist hit a deer in Anoka County late at night, and, in what police are calling an inhumane act, killed it with a baseball bat as part of his plan to keep the animal, authorities said Tuesday.

The collision occurred about 12:30 a.m. Sunday in the northeastern part of the county, where the driver loaded up the deer in his pickup truck, drove to nearby Wyoming and called police in hopes of receiving a tag in order to keep the animal, said Wyoming Police Chief Paul Hoppe. 

The driver, a 56-year-old man from Forest Lake, was directed to return to Anoka County and call authorities there.

Hoppe said the man should have called a law enforcement agency from the collision scene and waited for an officer to arrive and kill the suffering deer. The officer would then issue the motorist a tag, allowing him to keep the animal, the chief said.

Hoppe said authorities do not want people to move injured deer because poachers are known to shoot a deer and then try to claim they hit it with a vehicle in order to illegally claim a tag.

Authorities also don’t want people to shoot an injured deer. “Otherwise, we can’t verify it was killed with your car,” the chief said.

Hoppe also pointed out that “to dispatch the deer with a baseball bat rather than a firearm is not a humane way at all to dispatch an animal.”

He said the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office was handling the investigation because the collision occurred in that county. He did not know the whereabouts of the deer’s carcass.

No charges have been filed.