MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Moorhead man is facing potential charges for allegedly playing a part in the drowning death of a buck on Tulaby Lake earlier this month.
According to the incident report, around 10 a.m. on Sept. 6 the Department of Natural Resources received a call of a boater harassing a deer on Tulaby Lake in Mahnomen County.
Upon arrival, a DNR officer spoke with a resident of the lake who had witnessed the pontoon interacting with the deer.
According to the report, the resident states he saw a deer swimming in the lake earlier in the morning.
The resident said the deer appeared to be a buck and was a couple hundred yards from the shore. Nearby, a man in a white pontoon was fishing near his dock.
The resident said he observed the man in the pontoon head toward the deer.
The deer then began swimming toward the shore, but as the deer swam the pontoon drove between the deer and the shore. The deer then swam further into the lake.
According to the report, the resident said at one point the pontoon circled around the deer and prevented it from going toward the shore.
The resident decided to get into his own pontoon in attempts to stop the other driver. By the time he arrived, the deer was dead.
The report states that the resident then confronted the driver, but eventually left to avoid any trouble.
A separate witness reported the same interaction between the pontoon and the deer, telling the DNR officer that it appeared the boat chased the deer.
Further investigation revealed that a boat had pulled the deer into the public access. According to the report, there were no injuries on the deer.
According to the report, during the investigation officers were able to locate the pontoon based on the description given. They learned it belonged to a Steven William Timm.
During an interview, Timm told officers that he had been fishing when he noticed something swimming. He wasn’t sure of what it was, so he drove his pontoon out to see.
He told officers as he got closer and realized it was a deer, the buck began swimming deeper into the lake.
The report states that Timm said he only got between the deer and the shore when he was attempting to turn his boat around.
He said he stayed 50 yards from the deer the whole time and that he wasn’t trying to hurt the deer.
He also reported another boater coming out into the lake to confront him about the incident. Officers obtained a third witness statement on Sept. 24 that was similar to the previous two.
They were unable to make contact with Timm again.
Charges are currently pending.