The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has released a homemade video that shows what the agency believes is a case of deer poaching along the Cannonball River south of Mandan.
The department hopes to learn the identities of the people involved.
A warning – the video may be unsettling to some viewers.
Screams of a group fill the air as four men jump into the water of the Cannonball River in October.
The scene is part of a home video obtained and released by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.
Chief Game Warden Robert Timian says the video appears to show the illegal taking of a deer.
(Robert Timian, Chief Game Warden) “find this distubring.”
In the video, the men first watch and, apparently, keep the deer from swimming to shore.
Three of the four who swam in, then drag the deer to shore and use a knife in an attempt to kill it – we’ll avoid showing you all of this part, but at one point one man stabs the deer repeatedly in the neck as the animal thrashes on the shore.
Another man then holds the deer’s antlers and poses for a photo.
Then, with the animal still showing signs of life, that man holds its snout in the mud to suffocate it.
All the while, there are shouts of excitement ringing along the river.
(Robert Timian, Chief Game Warden) “most people seeing this wouldn’t consider it a humane dispatch of an animal – and it appears to be in violation of law.”
Timian says it appears the incident happened on the north side of the Cannonball River, west of the Highway 1806 bridge, near the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camps.
He asks anyone with information on the incident to contact the Game and Fish Department or through the Report All Poachers anonymous tip line at 800-472-2121.
Click here to see the Game & Fish Department press release on this incident.
Click here to see the full video at the department’s YouTube page.