One suspect identified in illegal deer hunting investigation in Saint John

Deer graze on a grassy area in a Saint John, N.B. neighbourhood on May 5, 2018. The New Brunswick government will launch a controlled bow hunt within the City of Saint John this fall in an effort to reduce the number of deer becoming a nuisance within populated areas. A public meeting is set for Wednesday evening to explain the program to residents of the Millidgeville area of Saint John who have been complaining about deer roaming the streets and destroying gardens. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan.

One suspect has been identified so far as New Brunswick’s Department of Public Safety investigates allegations of illegal deer hunting on the west side of Saint John.

Spokesman Geoffrey Downey said no charges have been laid in the investigation. He said public complaints of illegal hunting in the area began late last summer, with the bulk of them coming in early winter, relating to the area between Duck Cove Lane, Sand Cove Road and the Hill Cross Cemetery.

Downey said eight incidents have been investigated.

RELATED: Investigation underway into illegal deer hunting in west Saint John

“So far we only are aware of deer being targeted in this area in this manner,” Downey said, in an email to Global News.

“Weapon of choice seems to be a crossbow but there is evidence of a longbow being used on one occasion. Witnesses and complainants have been interviewed, the sites have been visited where some evidence was collected. As well, patrols have been increased in the area.”

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Click to play video: 'Illegal deer hunting investigation underway in Saint John'
Illegal deer hunting investigation underway in Saint John

In one incident earlier this month near Kean Road, a deer was found wounded with an arrow in its hip. A Facebook post, including an image of the deer, was shared more than 2,900 times.

RELATED: New Brunswick turns to bow hunt to control deer in populated areas

“Only nuisance animals or varmints can be hunted within city limits,” Downey said. “Deer aren’t classified as either.”

The Department said intentionally injuring a deer is a “major poaching offence” which carries with it a minimum $2,000 fine, one week in jail and a five-year prohibition on hunting and fishing in New Brunswick.

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