New Brunswick’s Department of Public Safety is investigating allegations of illegal hunting on Saint John’s west side.
Spokesperson Coreen Enos confirmed the investigation in an email to Global News after a Facebook post Sunday showed an image of a deer with an arrow lodged in its side. It’s not clear if the image prompted the investigation.
Lisa Jeffrey discovered the animal near Sand Cove Road and Kean Road while driving with her husband on Sunday. She declined an on-camera interview, but told Global News they had seen the deer with others earlier in the weekend.
Jeffrey’s original post was shared more than 2,900 times, with many comments condemning the incident as cruelty to animals.
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“What is wrong with people!” wrote Aisha Trentowsky.
“That is the real definition of plain scum,” said Ken McCormack.
“It’s a shame to see an animal suffer like that,” Jeffrey said. “And it’s also a shame that incidents like these give responsible hunters a bad name. Even the best hunters have a bad shot sometimes, but you never leave an animal that way.”
The deer population has long been a concern of residents.
Several communities, including Saint John, have instituted a deer management program, which was launched in 2019. It gives permits to property owners to allow hunters to bow hunt on their land.
But it’s only permitted during hunting season in the fall.
Ward 1 Councillor Blake Armstrong, who represents the area where the deer was found, said he’s concerned about the safety of the animals, and people who live there.
“I hope they find people that are hunting illegally, for sure,” Armstrong began. “Especially with a bow and arrow because unless you’re an absolute professional, you should never be using a bow and arrow. And you shouldn’t be hunting this time of year anyway. It’s illegal.”
Armstrong also noted that he has not noticed any difference in the deer population in Saint John.
“Intentionally injuring a deer would be considered a major poaching offence that carries a minimum fine of $2,000 and one week of jail as well as a 5-year prohibition on hunting and fishing in New Brunswick,” Enos said.