Forest Lake Homeowner Angry After Police Shoot Deer

FOREST LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) — A Forest Lake family is upset after two fawns that made a home on their property were shot by a police officer.

The Forest Lake Police Department said the officer was acting on behalf of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, who believed the two fawns posed a health risk to other animals.

On Jan. 3, police say they received an email from the DNR advising them of two collared deer near the area of Highway 97 and North Shore Trail. The email advised officers to shoot the deer if they were located, saying they were likely captured and collared illegally.

Around 7 a.m. on Jan. 14, an officer said he nearly hit the two deer while driving near that location. The officer noticed the deer were wearing collars, as stated in the DNR email. He removed his department-issued shotgun and shot the first deer. The second deer ran into the backyard of a home on North Shore Trail.

The officer said he followed the deer and shot it. He said both deer were shot about 50 to 60 yards from the residence.

Jeff Carpenter said he woke up early Saturday morning to the sound of gunshots.

When he went to investigate he discovered a Forest Lake Police officer standing over the dead deer holding a shotgun.

Carpenter said the two fawns roaming in his backyard just kind of made themselves at home.

“She got her name by Abbie, the abandoned baby, and she showed up in our doghouse one day,” he said.

First Abbie and then Pinkie, both became a fixture throughout their Forest Lake neighborhood, even the family dogs got along with the deer.

“We never pinned them, never were raising them to be,” Carpenter said. “They were independent wild animals coming and going on this property as they please.”

That was until last Saturday, when Carpenter woke to the sound of gunfire.

“I heard a loud pop or bang but I didn’t think it could be a shotgun,” he said.

Minutes later he heard another shotgun blast.

When he went to investigate he found a Forest Lake police officer standing over Abbie with a shotgun.

Pinkie was found feet away in the front of the house, she too, had been shot.

Carpenter asked the officer why, and he said the DNR told them to kill the deer.

The DNR says they asked Forest Lake to help them destroy the animals.

They say the deer were collared, leading them to believe they escaped from a facility, and with the threat of disease, they had no choice.

“And that’s what it’s all centered around,” said Capt. Gregory Salo of the Minnesota DNR. “We’ve had the scare up north with bovine tuberculosis. We just had a scare in 2010 with chronic wasting disease.”

The DNR says it is illegal to raise wild animals. The deer will be tested to see if they were diseased.

Carpenter says he put collars on the deer so he could identify them from the others.

The DNR will also be conducting an investigation on the incident.

  • Swamp Fox

    What goes on here? Did this homeowner have proper DNR permits &/or local licensing to keep deer as pets? Did the homeowner have the proper facilities: IE-containment, fencing, facilities, etc.; to keep deer? Why did he put collars on the deer?

    A lot of legal questions and no answers. WCCO we need more information on this story. Something isn’t right here!

    • linda

      What a stupid comment, have a little compassion.

      • Chris Jackson

        Compassion for people who enjoy breaking the law?

    • Ricky

      You’re correct; WCCO is doing a terrible job reporting on this one. But they’ll just censor this response anyway.

    • Bee

      They didn’t keep them as pets, its like putting out a bird feeder, just putting collars on them.

      • kat

        it still is illegal to collar them.

    • Dead on ... kinda

      Pets are under control or contained – these deer were not using either criteria.
      I have no issue with the officer doing what he was told to do. I once again do have an issue with the bush league DNR in this state. We have deer here mowing down everything we plant in area – everyone screams about it. They are protected – to bad. The city (Mtka) protects them – I have a herd of 17 that sleep on the rear berm on my lot almost every damn night. I want them thinned – but nooooooooooooo.
      Here – evidently all wanted them and they say take them out. What a messed up DNR from top to bottom

      • Kat

        They will stay in an area that people are feeding them in… I would take a look around your neighborhood, Someone has feeders out.

    • Matt

      clearly states why he put the collar on. Maybe you need to learn how to read the whole story.

      • Ralph

        clearly state putting a collar on a deer you don’t own is ilegal and keeping illegal deer endangers EVERY deer within 50 miles!

  • Chuck

    Sorry Rusty, but it is illegal to collar and keep deer without a permit. Law is what it is!!!! One may not agree with the law, but it is the law.

    • Rocket Scientist

      What constitutes keeping them? There was no fence. The deer were wild. The collars may have prevented a hunter from killing them during the recent season. The “collars” were not for ID purposes. Look at the picture. I am not sure we want cops who are not observent enough to ask questions when this scenario plays out.

      • Ricky

        You hit on an important part of this story that WCCO left out. The cops didn’t even go to the home owner’s door. They just drove up and shot. Everyone is calling them ‘collars’. Well, go over to the pictures at and see the pictures of the so-called collars. Not what you are going to expect. These were fawns that no longer had a doe to care for them. They sought refuge in the home owner’s garage, first one, (and they moved that one back out to the wild), then they both came back. The homeowner no more “captured and collared” these fawns than you did to your children.
        No, the DNR should have some explaining to do, but they won’t given the special treatment they get. Unbelievable budget, no accountability. They’ve done such a great job keeping the Japanese Carp out of our lakes and rivers. NOT!!!!

        • Ralph

          Ricky these were NOT fawns, they were legal adults as of the opening of bow season (sept?)These people ilegaly fed and cared for them and have now endangered EVERY deer withing 50 miles. The DNR may have to kill all those deer (just like they should have done with the caro) BEFORE the CWD gets put of hand and kills ALL the deer in the state

          • Steiny

            Ralph your a moron…
            ya the dnr found cwd in a deer near rochester… then the hired sharp shooters to kill another 200 deer and test them for cwd… guess what none of them tested positive for cwd…. nice job dnr….it isnt cwd thats going to kill all the deer in minnesota its the dnr… they cant even control the asian carp…im a life long hunter in minnesota and the DNR mismanages everything……..

            • Ralph1

              they cant even control the asian carp BECAUSE they let the situation get out of hand. and didn’t kill every fish withing 50 miles of the original outbreak which was caused by the same issue as the deer, PEOPLE keeping wild animals they should not have.
              NOT finding CWD in the 200 test deer is a GOOD THING. Had they found even 5 or 6 positives they wouls have had to kill EVERY deer within 50 mlies to have ANY chance o preventing the total colapse of the deer heard. google it

      • kat

        “Carpenter says he put collars on the deer so he could identify them from the others.”
        Read this again!!!! It comes from the story and the video… Yes Carpenter collared them to ID them.
        I have friends that have hit at least 3 deer this year coming home from work on NST.

      • Ralph

        “The collars may have prevented a hunter from killing them during the recent season”
        That is THEFT of public property, these people had NO right to take the publics property for their own use, If they had collars they were not wild and endangered ALL wild deer with chronic wasting disease, There would be no seer left in Minnesots if we allowed there iresponsible people to make their own rules.

    • DougT

      Ya, and if you do it they will come and shoot the animals!!

      Really, I think this was badly handled by the DNR and the local governmental representative. And there is the property rights of the owner…You cant just march onto someones property and start shooting animals – please the state has gotten a bit full of itself….

      The Progressive fascists – totalitarianism with a smile…..

      • Ricky

        I agree with all you wrote, except the term ‘Progressive fascists’. I think you will find that Progressives and fascists are opposites of each other. Fascists tend to be corporates and the politicians that support them. Progressives are anti-corporatocracy. Please look up the definitions and you will see the difference.

        • DougT

          Oh no, historically Fascists were the progressives. Nice book to read is “Liberal Fascist” By Joana Goldberg – very well researched and a good read

          It goes through the history of “The Progressives” – including such things as their ideas on sterilization of “undesirable” and weak groups of people ect…Why do you think they are so gung ho on abortion? Oh yess they are Fascist – even though most do not understand these roots.

          Unless you prefer Stalin’s definition of Hitlers socialism – but then they were fighting for the same socialist progressive niche

          And that’s why over time Progressives and Liberals change back in forth with their name – it gets a bad rap so they change back to progressive or liberal depending on the times


          • What?

            If what you’re saying is correct does that mean that black is white and night is day?

      • Rex Hamann

        This in no way equates with anything “progressive” so go and teach yourself what progressivism is and we’ll all be better off.

      • Ralph

        These deer were NOT the property of these people, you CANNOT steal the publics property because you think they are cute..
        Bovine tuberculosis, chronic wasting disease DEAD people due to auto crashes, do you understand any of these?

  • Swamp Fox

    Read the story! I realize it leaves much to be desired for information sake but if read the story the officer was only doing his job. Also, the deer wore collars? Why? The homeowner call these deer his pets(?) is that legal? Read the story and let’s hope more information is forthcoming!

    • AndY

      First thing, do you now how much horror has been inflicted on people by government agents using the excuse “I was just doing my job”? Second, guess what? The constitution and the 4th amendment apply to the Dnr also. Fish and wild life agencies are allowed to violate the constitution and people’s civil rights far to often and this was a perfect example. Say what you want, but no government agent had any right whatsoever to criminally trespass on someone’s property . This so violated the 4 th amendment it’s actually comical! Can you say federal law suit! Again you and me the tax payer will foot the bill again in civil damages because another government agent thought the law didnt apply to them. Thanks!

      • Real Talk

        Thats some nice armchair lawyering there Andy.

        Unfortunately the government has duty and right to protect and serve the state. Including ensuring that natural resources are presevered in a manner as consistent with community values (ie. the elimination of any animals that the governmetn has reason to believe maybe a danger or hazard to other animals, resources or the general public.)

        As far as you or anyone else is concerned the state of MN own the deer. And you pay them every fall to try and take a couple of them.

        The government agent in this case did NOT enter a dwelling or establishment for the purposes of searching or arresting anyone. Period. Second…how do you know it was criminal trespassing? You know, just because a government agent sets foot on your property without an invitation does not make it criminal tresspassing right?

        Anyway…good luck with your federal lawsuit Andy….LOLOLOLOLOL

        • Andy

          Hey dumb a$$ have you ever read the fourth amendment? The state of mn owns the deer ? That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard, with that mentality if the state owns them we the tax payers own them. The point I was making is the wildlife agents have way to much power to violate people’s rights. It is criminal trespass, the officer went on someone’s private property and discharged a weapon on top of it. People like you scare the hell out of me because you are the ones who think everything the state does is ok even when they violate the law. Badges don’t grant extra rights to violate the law, period! They wanted to shoot the deer on someone’s private property they should have got a warrant that’s the law and it applies to everyone! Guess what smart guy I am a lawyer and a very successful one. The homeowner takes this to court he will win for violation of his civil rights and again we will foot the bill.

          • Real Talk

            If you are a lawyer…i am an rocket scientist. And only a moron would indicate he is a “successful” lawyer in an anonymous chat room. That is the funniest thing I’ve heard all day…thanks Kid.

            For arguments sake, lets say you are a “lawyer”, you seem unable to grasp the basic concept of criminal trespassing…which did not occur in this instance. Neither did an unlawful search or seizure of private property…no 4th amendment issue. Period. And vehemently insisting it does…doesn’t change the facts and doesn’t make it so.

            Your “point” as you say is that “wildlife agents have way to much power to violate people’s rights.” What rights of this individual were violated smart guy? His right to collar wild animals and have them visit his yard? He wasn’t arrested, searched, detained or restricted in anyway.

            Again…an officer coming onto your property uninvited does not equal criminal trespassing. You cannot own private whatever you want and think they only way the cops can come onto your land is with a warrant. That is demonstrably false. How dumb are you? Where are you even getting that from?!?!?!?

            Second…the if not the state of mn, who “owns” or controls the deer and other resources in this state? You said I’m stupid and wrong…so please correct me smart guy. Do you own shares of deer and fish the rest of us are blissfully unaware of?

            • Andy

              Again dumb a$$’, you can own private property and if you have not committed a crime on your property you are protected under the 4 th ammendment., and to the other dumb a$$ below, warrant was needed the man did not commit a crime. Hot pursuit, are you kidding me. You act like these deer were wanted felons. The cop should have at least gone to the door and asked permission. He is lucky he is alive and the homeowner wasn’t armed. Again morons like you are scary because you know nothing about the rights afforded to you in this country. I can’t wait until one of you idiots gets assaulted, trespassed on, or illegally arrested by the ever growing police state. Last thing moron, I stated, the state does not own the deer, we do because we pay the state tax. The state just regulates it! Ignorance is bliss I guess.

              • Real Talk

                “The cop should have at least gone to the door and ask permission”

                How, smart guy? Run the tabs on the deer and see who they belong to? Go knocking door to door at 7am to find how if anyone knows who put the collars on them? The were wild animals you nitwit.

                Second…you dont know what the 4th ammendment is do you? You said, “if you have not committed a crime on your proerpty youare protected under the 4th ammendment” Guess what…even if you do commit a crime on your are still protected by the 4th ammendment. Wrong again boy wonder. Finally for the last time you slow here…the fourth ammendment protects you form unlawful search and seizer. In this case the cops didnt search anything and didnt seize any private property.

                let that sink you numb skull

          • Ralph

            There is NO civil right to STEAL the publics property (these deer) first year law student should know that, I call BS on Andy being a highly succsessful lawyer! The deer crossed a public road, officers responded in hot pursuit, no warrent needed!

          • Katie

            Andy I hope you can help the family. Thank you for reminding everyone of the fourth amendment!

        • Realist

          You have no clue what you are talking about either.

  • Monica Nyblom

    Again, the dnr!!!!! Those deer were COLLARED!!!!!! Doesn’t that tell you something??? “Just shoot”!!!! is that the dnr’s motto?? Evidently it is. Every bear that has shown up in the area has been killed. I hope the land owner goes through with this. The dnr needs to put their guns away and find other solutions!!

    • Ace

      It’s terrible, killing a defenseless fawn is just cruel, mean and arrogant. Killing is not a solution, it is the problem. Shame on them

      • Bee

        Amen! They are innocent. It isn’t their fault for being there and needing a helping hand. After all, deer were here before humans invaded their space. Every animal that is seen is shot, according to the DNR. The “Department of Natural Resources” should be called Killing Innocent Animals.

        • Dan Boone

          I just threw up a little bit in my mouth

          • something stinks

            I think I just messed my britches a little bit. Not alot, maybe a teaspoon full.

            • kat

              The only way these deer would survive is with humans feeding and caring for them. It is illegal to collar deer. We as hunters pay for tags and are subject to the rules and regulations of the DNR. Like it or not, that is just the way it is. I think they are cute too. However they are very tasty and when they get bigger I will shoot them and tag them and register them just like everyone else. It is sad that they were shot but they would not have been shot if the idiot wouldn’t have collared them and brought this attention to them!!!!!. Yes the officer shot them but Carpenter is responsible,

    • Ralph

      Those deer were COLLARED!!!!!! Doesn’t that tell you something??? .
      Yes it tells me these people STOLE the deer from the people of Minnesota, they had NO right to collar these deer, in fact it was illega,
      EVERY time you feed a wild animal you are sentencing it to DEATH, one way or the other!

  • Jim

    Meanwhile car accidents are occurring, burglaries are in progress and other crimes are being committed. Good to see that they have their priorities straight.

  • Don'tget-it

    How is it he ended up with 2 fawns, what happened to their mother, what kind of fool thinks you can just collar anything you want and name it as a pet? I hate that they were shot, but c’mon collaring fawns as pets.

    • Rockford

      The mother was hit by a car. The young deer just showed up and stayed. The homeowners did their best to keep them in the wild. Pioneer PRess has a better story on it.

      • kat

        You cannot keep any animal “wild” by feeding it… So if you see a little bear and start feeding it do you really think it will go away?? No once you decide to stop feeding it, it looks for other food close by. Deer do the same thing, they will look for another feeder,..but most likely will trash peoples gardens and trees. Or get hit by a car and poeeibly cause a fatal accident.

    • Ricky

      Because you didn’t get the entire story (because WCCO didn’t bother to get it), he didn’t catch, or collar it as you are thinking he did, nor did he keep them at pets. Please go to and read the more informed story there.

      • Karen

        Anyone who has acreage usually has little friendly visitors: bunnies, sqirrels, deer, racoons, birds of all kinds etc. If your property is a safe haven, such as ours, these creatures become regular visitors and almost friends of the property. If there isn’t a serious situation of danger on my property, I will assume anyone carrying a gun who comes on my property, is trespassing with intent to harm. If someone can’t contact me as a homeowner, discussing with me the reason someone is coming into my sanctuary with a weapon, I assume I have the right to defend my property and home against that trespasser/intruder. The DNR’s lame excuse involving chronic wasting would be about as applicable as me hearing of a murder or break-in in our neighborhood. giving me the right to shoot on sight, any trespassing, gun-toting intruder. Why would the neighbor woman call the DNR about the deer? It seems the deer had been in the neighborhood for a while. I’m so sorry for the homeowner who enjoyed his visitors. Policies are supposed to be guidlines with human discernment always trumping “one-rule-for-all” type policies. This foolishness was so unnecessary.

  • PJO

    I know the people in the piece, and are awesome and compassionate people. THE DEER WERE NOT PETS. they had been feeding the deer since they’re momma was hit and killed by a car last summer, so because of this they had no fear of humans. the deer came and went as they pleased, they weren’t penned in at all.

  • Unsafe!

    How can they shoot near homes without notifying the residents? What if someone had run out of their house to see what the commotion was and got shot accidentally? Sounds very irresponsible!

    • Jess Ryan

      You hit this one right on the head. You are not suppose to discharge a fire arm so close to residential homes and yet the police did it any way. If you had done this as a hunter with in the hunting season you would have gone to jail. The police and the DNR acted irresponsibly and that is the bottom line.

    • Ricky

      You’re right, very irresponsible. At the least, they should have gone to the home owner’s door and informed him. Then they would have discovered what moronic behavior they were about to carry out. They did not THINK AT ALL!!!
      Glad I don’t live in Forest Lake.

  • Doh!NR

    Shoot first, ask questions later?

  • PJO

    I know the people in the piece and they are awesome and compassionate people. THOSE DEER WERE NOT PETS. They fed the two deer because they’re momma was hit and killed by a car last summer. The deer came and went as they pleased and had no fear of humans because they were fed by these people. Pure b.s. if you ask me!!!!!

  • angus

    Someone is lookinng for a bit settlement

    • Pennie

      settlement for what?????????????

    • Ricky

      What are you possibly trying to say? No one but you has mentioned such a thing. Certainly not the homeowner. All they wanted was to be left alone helping two fawns reach an age where they could be on their own.

  • Serpico

    “…who believed the two fawns posed a health risk to other animals.”

    Sure, fawns savagely attack other animals all the time.

    Beside, we’re the police. We can do anything we want and not get fired.

    Since they closed the Metro Gang Task Strike force, we’ve been itching to mess somebody up.

    • Ralph

      1 There are NO fawns in January, they were fawns in June,now they are legal adults.
      2. “Chronic wasting disease” does savagely attack other deer all the time. google it

  • Elizabeth Troester

    Pathetic…..just should have left them alone. I don’t care what the law says, it was heartless.

  • Gangsta

    Gangsta deer, oh maybe not if they were gangstas they would have to get rehabilitated and put back on the street where they can rob and kill again and get food stamps.

  • Ricky

    Now, on the other television station website, they are quoting the DNR as saying, “If domesticated deer are not recovered by owners, they are destroyed to protect the wild herd from disease.” Seems they are changing their story or the the reporters aren’t listening very well. Either way, none of it is anything more than silliness and ‘cover your butt’. For that logic to be true, that would mean that all deer that roam into suburban areas and are exposed to domesticated pets should also be shot otherwise it would possibly endanger the rest of the wild herd. Seems the DNR likes to kill stuff, period. What a mentality. No more contributions from me!

    • Can't believe the waste of precious life

      Ditto for me, Ricky. I have been sickened by the DNR for some time now. Wouldn’t you think they would care about animals? A visit to the vet and being let go somewhere else, makes more sense than purposely shooting or as I remember it stated; MANAGING the herd. There are wildlife agencies, that probably would have gladly taken them.

    • Will

      From an epidemiological point of view, if we are to conclude that they two fawn in particular are a risk or threat to the health of our free ranging animals you would have to conclude concomitantly that all deer in the particular area are of a similar threat or risk. I seriously doubt that any rational well trained DNR employee instructed the Forest Lake police to single out these two deer. This action seems to support suspicion of some other social interaction between the home owners and said police officer or officers and perhaps someone within DNR, the killing of the deer then could be a retaliatory response.

  • Ken S

    You need to have a h*ll of a lot better reason for going around discharging a shotgun in a residential neighborhood than two orphaned fawns.

  • dennis

    if they came on my property to shhot the deer i would give them the ammo, collars on or not ,, deer are not pets just like snakes. and bears. they live in the wild and if on my property i will shoot

    • Bee

      No innocent animal deserves to be shot.

      • meg


      • SHOOTEM

        PETA, plez…..

  • Mr D

    I don’t know why he wasted good ammo shooting the fawns. It sounds like he could have walked right up to them and slit their throats.

  • Jackie Du Charme

    Sorry this happened Jeff.
    Why the DNR think they are so smart I have no idea. They are idiots. Why would they think these deer have the brain disease. There was no indication/sx of it.
    Why the police followed orders that were complete idiotic we have no idea. How sad.
    The one that gave the order and the one that followed need to get out of their so called profession. What goes around, comes around. Damn bums.

    • Ricky

      If I lived in Forest Lake I wouldn’t dare call the police for anything. I’d be afraid they would have some stupid orders or rules from some other moron, and come in blazing. With the great number of rationale, well-trained, professional cops who are looking to get hired, I would think that Forest Lake could do a lot better by replacing some of their police department.

  • Ricky

    Watched the 5pm news article on this. Interesting how the DNR stated it ASSUMED that since the fawns had the cloth wraps on their necks (which they still call ‘collars’), they were PROBABLY escaped from a facility. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? How about going to the door of the home owner or the neighbors and asking some questions? Let me see, …. the cops SUPPOSEDLY patrol the area; and, the neighbors are quoted as saying they were well aware and comfortable with the fawns, yet the cops knew nothing about any of this. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN? Sounds to me like the cops in that community are WAY OUT OF TOUCH with their citizens. Nothing like being shotgun-firing law enforcement, but being unaware of the neighborhoods you serve. There’s something really, really wrong in that township. Wonder what happens if someone’s dog gets loose…… DNR could have stopped by the homes in the area and asked some questions before ordering a shoot-to-kill order. Oh, I forgot. They don’t answer to anyone.

  • Bee

    THe DNR and the “police” think that just because they are involved with the so called govt of minnesota, that they can shoot anything, and do anything. Those were poor fawns that just needed a helping hand. Its just like if there’s a dog without a collar, it automatically has rabies. Someone needs to stand up for these animals, because they don’t have a voice.

  • Merango

    3000 wolves have been ripping live deer flesh apart in Minnesota and nobody seems to care.

    • Chumlee

      I have watched live fawns and other young deer get ripped apart by both wolves and coyotes right in front of their mother. It is more horrible than anything I have ever seen.

  • Captain Logic

    If it’s OK to shoot animals that MAY have a disease to protect the herd, then when does the season open on people with Aids?

    • Captain Kangaroo

      Why? Are you worried about people hunting you?

  • Al

    Too bad the cop had to do it at the request of the DNR. I am sure it is something he/she really didn’t want to do. The law unfortunatly is the law. Wonder if 2 coyotes were shot would anyone care – probably I am sure.

  • Ronski

    I’m a hinter and I am outraged by the conduct of the police officer and DNR. You don’t go unannounced onto somebody’s property and home blasting away with a shotgun. This was just plain cruel and down right stupid actions by the police officer hiding behind the authority of the DNR. Yea, this comment is coming from a deer hunter.

    The police officer should be completely ashamed of himself for this incident. But he won’t even think a second thought, as long as he gets to kill something (and not even us it for meat or leather).

    • Mr D

      What’s a hinter?

      • tko

        Maybe it’s a hunter with one eye.

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