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At least 6 deer illegally shot with crossbow in Northwest Austin neighborhood

At least 6 deer have been shot with a crossbow in Austin's Great Hills neighborhood, according to the TPWD. (Cici Smith/Facebook)

The Parks and Wildlife Department is investigating the killing of at least six deer with a crossbow in Northwest Austin's Great Hills.

Four deer have been found dead and two others haven't been found, TPWD reports, after residents of the neighborhood saw injured deer walking around with injuries, with some animals reported with arrows still in them.

A resident-led GoFundMe page said the arrows were "blunt-ended, target practice arrows, not broadhead hunting arrows" and that the deer were shot between Dec. 10 and Dec. 27, 2021. But some members of a Facebook group dedicated to solving the case estimate that the toll is much higher, with resident Daniel Wilson claiming to have found up to nine deer shot by arrows as early as September 2021.

"I'm a hunter myself but I hate to see game going to waste and lives being ended for no reason and against the law," Wilson said in a post. "People like this make it harder for those of us who are hunting lawfully and ethically and they should be held responsible."

Anyone with information on the killings could receive two separate rewards—including nearly $4,000 from the GoFundMe so far and $1,000 through TPWD's Operation Game Thief investigation.

Game warden Scott Jurk told KXAN he believes someone on foot or driving a vehicle may be behind the killings, a crime that includes felony and misdemeanor crimes.

“In Texas, if you kill a whitetail deer without landowner permission, that is a felony,” Jurk said. “So, if the landowner pursues charges we can file felony cases. Hunting deer at night, hunting deer from a vehicle or on a public road, those are all class A misdemeanors so they all hold jail time.”

TPWD has some leads but is also requesting that Great Hills residents check their video cameras for more evidence.


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