AUGUSTA – Four males have been charged in connection with the illegal killing of at least four deer in April. All four deer found were does, believed to have been killed at night in open fields and left to waste in the towns of Chesterville, Livermore Falls/East Livermore, Livermore, and Leeds.
Last week, Maine game wardens issued summonses to four males, two of whom are juveniles. Zachary Black, 19, of Jay, and Kyle Elliott, 19, of Fayette, were both charged with night hunting, along with two juveniles from Livermore.
“Additional charges are likely in this case,” said Cpl. John MacDonald, spokesman for the Maine Warden Service said on Wednesday. Black, Elliott, and the two juveniles are scheduled to appear in Androscoggin and Franklin County District Courts in February.
On April 22, wardens responded to a complaint of an injured deer near the intersection of Bragdon Road (a.k.a. French Road) and East Road in Chesterville.
Wardens responding located the deer and found it had died of a gunshot wound to the spine in a field posted with no trespassing signs. The doe was pregnant with twin fawns.
Three more deer does were subsequently found and left to waste. A doe deer was shot on Route 106 in Leeds, another was shot on Route 133 near Dodge Road in Livermore Falls (East Livermore) and a third doe was shot on River Road in Livermore. The four doe deer all appeared to have been killed under similar circumstances and left to waste, MacDonald said at the time. It was suspected that other deer may have been killed but were not located.
“This was an extensive six-month investigation,” MacDonald said. Wardens conducted several night surveillance operations in the area as part of the investigation in an attempt to find those responsible.
“This case proved very detrimental to Maine’s deer herd in that area,” said Warden Dave Chabot, the lead investigator in the case. He added, “The public once again worked with us and provided very helpful information. We appreciate their help very much.”
MacDonald said, “the Warden Service wishes to thank the Maine State Police for their assistance, the countless members of the public who provided information, and Maine Operation Game Thief for its participation in helping bring awareness to this case.”
Operation Game Thief offered a reward of up to $3,500 for anyone who could provide information that leads to a conviction for those responsible in this case. Wardens are currently working with OGT to determine reward eligibility.