Residents of a neighborhood not far from Cheyenne Canon, accustomed to wildlife wandering through their yards on a regular basis, tell 11 News they are saddened and want answers after a possible deer poaching Sunday night.
As Tina Cavataio pulled into her home near Cheyenne Boulevard and 8th Street, she says she saw a group of guys grab a deer carcass from her neighbor's front yard, toss it into the back of their SUV and speed off. She noted that the vehicle was "swerving" while driving out of the neighborhood.
Wildlife officers are still investigating the incident, and have not definitively determined that the incident was poaching. As of Sunday night, investigators believe the deer was either shot with a bow and arrow or hit by a car and then stabbed.
If it was the latter, investigators tell 11 News it's not illegal to take the carcass home, but you must report the incident to wildlife officials within 48 hours. But if the men did indeed shoot and kill the deer, they could face jail time or a hefty fine of $10,000 or more. Investigators did find a target on Cavataio's neighbor's driveway, and took it in as evidence.
Cavataio says poachers have hunted in her neighborhood before.
"Three years ago, someone...killed three trophy bucks and their carcasses were found in the neighborhood." She says a bow and arrow was used in that incident.
If you have any information that could help in this investigation, call 1-877-265-6648. You can remain anonymous.