Authorities search for suspects who poached a deer in Atascadero

California Department of Fish and Wildlife personnel are searching for suspects who poached a deer with a crossbow in an Atascadero neighborhood earlier this month. [KSBY]

On Oct. 17, multiple suspects pulled up on San Rafael Road in a white Chevrolet truck. The suspects shot the deer while it was on a property on the street.

After the deer was shot, the buck moved about 50 yards, then collapsed and died in a backyard. The driver and another suspect dragged the deer some distance to the roadside, but took off prior to loading the animal into the truck and hauling it away.

Amanda Ferrie, who lives on the street, said her husband came running outside to see what was going on. The suspects then became startled, jumped back in the truck and drove off, Ferrie said.

Following the incident, neighbors express outrage as they discovered the bolt that was shot from the crossbow went through the deer and became wedged in a tree. Neighbors said the bolt could have injured or killed people in the area, particularly children.

Investigators have yet to develop any leads on the suspects. The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office crime lab is processing the bolt for fingerprints.

If caught, the poachers could face misdemeanor charges as well as felony counts of conspiracy to kill a deer.