Man's unusual method of killing a deer shown on Snapchat

Francis X. Donnelly
The Detroit News

A Potterville man used an unconventional method to kill a deer, and his acquaintances made an unconventional decision to show the killing, said state officials.

Two unconventional moves, like two wrongs, don’t make a right. What they do make are possible criminal charges.

The Eaton County Prosecutor’s Office is mulling whether to charge the 23-year-old man for allegedly killing the deer with a hammer. His name will be released by authorities if charges are filed.

This image is from a recorded Snapchat video that was posted Wednesday night. The video documented a 23-year-old Potterville man striking a deer in the head with a hammer multiple times until the buck succumbed to its injuries, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The prosecutor knows about the death because the man’s acquaintances posted it on Snapchat and it circulated on Facebook Wednesday night.

During the video, which lasts less than a minute, the deer is standing in the middle of a road in Eaton County, blinded by vehicle headlights. The animal is then struck repeatedly in the head while laughter and words of encouragement can be heard.

A state conservation officer learned about the video from a relative at 10 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

More:Michigan deer firearm season is nigh, interest high

The officer, Todd Thorn, who was off-duty, tracked the man to a friend’s home on Doane Highway, which was near the site of the attack.

Grand total of time it took Thorn to find the alleged culprit: one hour.

When Thorn arrived, he found the deer partially butchered with its head severed, according to a DNR press release.

The man admitted killing the deer but told Thorn it was an act of mercy. The man said he was on his way home when he came upon the deer, which he described as disoriented from being struck by a car.

“(He) decided to put the deer out of its misery,” said the DNR.

The man told Thorn he and his acquaintances loaded the carcass onto a vehicle and passed police as they were leaving the scene.

“I didn’t want to get the police involved,” he told Thorn, according to the DNR.

Anyone who suspects poaching is encouraged to call or text a DNR hotline at (800) 292-7800. The calls can be made anonymously. Information that leads to a conviction could result in a monetary reward.

And don’t forget to check Snapchat.

(313) 223-4186

Twitter: @prima_donnelly