A baby deer was shot and injured by a pellet gun last month, most likely within the town limits of Coupeville where the discharge of any firearm or weapon is not allowed.
Ralph Downes, enforcement officer with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the fawn was found along Northwest Broadway. It was taken to a nearby vet where a pellet was discovered to have hit it.
The baby deer was determined to be injured beyond recovery and euthanized.
Downes added that blacktail deer don’t travel very far, so it’s likely the deer had been shot near where it was found.
He worked with the Island County Sheriff’s Office to figure out who may have been responsible, but despite occasional speculations from town residents, the culprit has yet to be identified.
The fatal injury to the fawn in the form of a pellet is a “relatively rare” occurrence, Downes said. Usually the Coupeville deer are unintentionally injured by vehicles.
“In Coupeville, we have literally developed a town perfect for deer,” Downes said.
He has not yet heard of any other reports of deer being shot by pellet guns in Coupeville.
“There’s nothing likely to lead me to believe it was an ongoing thing,” Downes said.
He added that it’s unclear whether whoever shot the pellet gun was intending to harm the fawn or to just scare it with the noise.
Downes said there are many other safer ways to scare a deer away from your property. He does not encourage using pellet or BB guns, especially when not permitted within town limits.
Instead, he recommends hollering, banging pots and pans or using legal fireworks.