Deer shooting brings loaded questions

DNR defends FLPD in killing of collared fawns

Clint Riese
Staff Writer

An incident early Saturday morning in eastern Forest Lake left police surprised, a homeowner infuriated and two fawns shot dead.

Dispatching of deer by law enforcement is a common occurrence. However, what appeared a routine case for the DNR this weekend came together in such a fashion that Capt. Greg Salo, a regional supervisor for the DNR’s enforcement division, said he has never seen anything quite like it.

New Arrivals

A quiet summer Saturday morning quickly turned exciting last June for Jeff Carpenter of 10010 North Shore Trail. Into the dog house had wandered a baby fawn. It appeared to be just days old, so Carpenter felt obligated to help. He led it to the woods past his back yard, but the deer returned close to his house. At dusk, Carpenter once again took the animal to the woods, thinking her mother may be looking for her there.

He recalled seeing two dead does in the area over the prior few days, and when the fawn came back again, he began to think she was an orphan.

That night, Carpenter and his wife, LeeAnn, heard two animals bleating. A venture by flashlight revealed a second baby fawn.

“I assumed they had nowhere to go and were just trying to survive,” Carpenter said. “I thought ‘Okay, let’s keep them alive and in a great situation  where there is deer passing through all the time. Maybe one of the other deer that comes through here might let them latch on.’”

Jeff Carpenter pets two fawns he cared for at his property on North Shore Trail. (Photo submitted)

As days became weeks and weeks became months, the fawns not only stayed, but became popular throughout the neighborhood and took on names.

“They kind of got to be everybody’s friend,” Carpenter said. “There are four or five of us in the area with corn feeders out for deer. The deer make a big loop. It’s a unique area for deer to roam around.”

When Pinkie’s namesake hoof turned to black from the color she was named for, the local Realtor tied ribbons around her and Abbie’s necks to tell them apart.

The pair came by nearly every day, foraging for oak leaves, acorns and apples. They won over Carpenter’s two labradors in the process.

“It was almost like they were one of their own kind,” Carpenter said. “Those four were the best of friends.”

For being raised without a mother, the fawns seemed to be in good shape. As far as Carpenter could tell, they were only different from the other deer in that they were friendlier.

“They were doing great, as healthy as healthy can get,” he said.

Worlds Collide

Unbeknownst to Carpenter, he and his neighbors were not the only ones keeping an eye out for Abbie and Pinkie. The DNR had received numerous calls about a pair of deer in that area wearing bright collars. That set off a standardized process in which Salo’s department checked with DNR officers and the Department of Natural Health to see if any local deer farmers had reported an escape.

No reports came in, and on Jan. 3 the DNR advised the Forest Lake Police Department to dispatch the deer if located.

“They have the potential to carry a lot of diseases,” said Salo on Monday. “Between the bovine tuberculosis to the north and the positive chronic wasting test down by Rochester a couple of years ago, we have zero tolerance regarding escaped deer.”

The body of one of the fawns awaits pickup after a Forest Lake policeman shot it. The deer had been moved from its original location before the picture was taken. (Photo submitted)

While driving in the vicinity of Carpenter’s property near 7 a.m. on Saturday, a Forest Lake police officer nearly struck a pair of fawns with his squad car. According to FLPD captain Greg Weiss, the officer, whom Weiss declined to name, recognized the collars from the DNR’s description and took out a department-issued shotgun. The officer confirmed the order with a shift sergeant before dispatching one deer about 10 yards off the roadway. The other deer ran off, but the officer followed it and dispatched it in an area he deemed to be safe.

Carpenter was in his home office when he heard the shotgun blasts. He rushed outside to find the officer standing over  the second deer. Carpenter said he did not realized the man was a police officer, and that he became even more outraged upon receiving no response to his initial flurry of questions. Once Carpenter realized the man was a police officer, his wife and son convinced him to return indoors.

A conservation officer transported the deer to a DNR center. They will be tested for disease this week, Salo said.

By the Book

The situation played out in a way FLPD could not have foreseen, said Weiss, who acknowledged it might have been handled differently had all the information been available.

But Salo assured that the Forest Lake authorities handled everything by the book.

“We ask for help a lot from local law enforcement and they do the same for us,” he said. “They have coverage 24/7, and we wanted to get these deer sooner rather than later. They were only acting at our request. We told them, ‘Shoot them if you see them.’”

Though the location was not ideal, Salo said the officer had no choice but to fulfill his order when he came across the deer.

“We’re opportunistic in this kind of thing,” he said. “When we see a [targeted] deer and have the chance to destroy them, we do.”

Weiss reviewed the case and found no wrongdoing on the part of his officer, who remains on active duty.

“You’ve got to put yourself in the officer’s position,” Weiss said. “At the time, and with the information he had, they were to be dispatched. We take [the DNR’s] information and we put it into play.”

The case remains under investigation. The DNR plans to meet with the county attorney to discuss the possibility of bringing charges against Carpenter for raising the deer without a permit.


Carpenter on Monday said he had had no further communication with FLPD or the DNR. The sides remain at odds over details from the incident and actions that led up to it.

The law enforcement representatives feel Carpenter’s handling of the deer crossed the line from discouraged to illegal when he affixed the collars.

“The part that sealed the fate of the deer is when they put collars on them and didn’t tell us,” said Salo. “We would’ve just said to cut them off. Based on the information we had and the research we did, it all led us to believe that captivity was involved with these two deer.”

Carpenter said the fawns were never penned or tied up, and the collars were merely ribbons used for identification. He doubts that authorities truly felt the animals escaped from a deer farm.

“I don’t know of any deer farms in a 10-mile radius from where we live, and deer don’t travel that far,” he said.

Carpenter also disputes FLPD’s version of the shootings. A police statement describes the dispatchings as taking place approximately 50-60 yards from the residence. Carpenter said he would “bet anything” the distance was more like 30 feet.

“I’m a contractor by trade, so I know my distances,” he said.

Officers are trained to carry out such orders in a safe manner and that is a main reason why the Carpenters were not given advance notice, according to Weiss.

“We don’t go knocking house-to-house and tell people we’re about to dispatch deer,” he said.

Weiss estimates the department dispatches about 25 deer per year. Most are injured from vehicle collisions, and many are put down on private property.

In Carpenter’s mind, there had to have been a better way to resolve the situation.

“The result we can’t change, but it should’ve been thought out, it should’ve be been talked about,” he said. “The way it was handled was ridiculous.”

In the end, all agree the case is an example of good intentions that butted into the letter of the law, however harsh it may seem.

“Let’s get real here – don’t put a collar on a wild deer,” said Weiss. “Our officer did what he was supposed to do.”

Carpenter is left to cherish seven months of fond memories.

“It was really a lot of fun while it lasted,” he said. “We were just trying to do what we thought was right.”

  • Dave Madison

    to bad but maybe Carpenter should have salled the DNR whe he found them and also the collars just made a target out of them. some time you have to just let mother nature take it’s course.

    • Ricky

      What does shotgun fire have to do with ‘mother nature’? Salo is the problem. He’s given different answers to television stations, one of which was ‘We don’t have time to deal with individual cases’.
      There are no deer farms in the area and he knows that. It appears, he just doesn’t care; and this is from an officer of the DNR. He should be fired.

    • Rod M

      if they identified there targets first they would of questioned the collars

      • cisco

        yea… but the thing is it they were all told to take out the fawns wearing bright colors he did nothing wrong just his job

    • Michelle

      It makes me absolutely furious how Forest Lake Police Dept and DNR handle the wild animals that we have! For Example:The baby bear that was shot just last year. And now the two baby fawns that they killed this year. The fawns could have had their blood tested, they didn’t have to be put down! The baby cub could have been moved up North. We need to protect our wild life not destroy it! So many states do what they can to try to save a animal at almost any costs, and we just kill them! It breaks my heart and everybody that hears about it! My first year I moved to Forest Lake I called the Forest lake Police Dept, because my daughther had friends over and some of the neighbor men weres shooting and drowning some baby racoons. They said that it was legal. Real nice thing to have your children witness.

      • Chet

        Michelle, in order for the deer to be tested they would have had to have been terminated.

  • E. Baylor

    Well, this is one of those things that, for lack of a better word, sucks all around. I feel for the officers who were doing their job. I feel for the Carpenters who seem like nice folks. But why put a collar on a wild animal? Then again, for you conspiracy buffs, I don’t see a collar in the picture of the deceased animal.

    • Ricky

      These were community police officers. They are suppose to consider the community in every action. They should have gone to the door of the residence. This whole bunch of crap that just because they received orders from the DNR, they had to fire without any input or consideration. All circumstances in all situations are to be considered, and those officers are trained in that. No, they fired without consideration. It’s a VERY POOR reflection on your community, your city government, and the management of your police department. Would hate to see what happens when a stray dog is found in the community….

  • F.L. Resident

    Maybe the DNR could have gone about this differently, but, the fact of the matter is that if anyone is at fault here, it is the Carpenter family. They could have 1)Left these deer be alone, 2)Called the DNR when they first noticed them or 3)Taken them to a wildlife preserve. It may seem innocent enough to try to take care of these deer, but it is also dangerous. Since when does a wild animal in your yard make it yours? He is lucky that this didn’t continue and had some unlucky person, including himself, attacked somewhere down the line. Mr. Carpenter needs to put on his big boy pants, quit crying about what happened and admit the he himself was also in the wrong.

    • Ricky

      None of your points are relevant here. In fact, they have been addressed in many different articles in various papers and television websites. They didn’t consider the fawns ‘theirs’. They didn’t ‘keep them’. You really need to read closer.

    • Hockeymama

      Before commenting on the story, make sure you have all the facts. The Carpenters did not raise the deer, or seek to do so. They found the first fawn curled up inside their dog’s outside kennel, with the 2nd fawn in their yard. We’ve known Jeff and Lee Ann for 15 years. Their only error in judgment was being compassionate from the get-go. The DNR is squarely to blame. Most everyone in town knew about the deer that lived near their house. We have a DNR rep that lives in town. Total lack of communication We are extremly disturbed about the “shoot first, ask questions” later mentality. This is NOT what the Forest Lake community is about. If a policemen stood in your yard, at 7 am, with a loaded shotgun, in a non-life threatening situation, you might have a different response.

      • Rod M

        Thank you Hockeymama!!! Well said!

    • F.L. Resident

      Well Ricky and Hockeymomma, you too need to get your story straight and read articles besides what the media puts out. I have read the article and my point is relevent. Yes, they may not have considered the fawn “theirs”, but they were taking care of it as if it was “theirs” hence the domesticating part. Why do they say not to feed the animals when you go to the park? Because when you do, the animals become friendly, cute. But the problem is that they have their wild streak in them, hence making them dangerous down the line when they get territorial or during mating. The media didn’t mention this because they ran with the DNR’s point of diseased deer which is also relevent. Either way it is the law and it was dealt with properly. If MOST people in this town knew about, then why wasn’t the right thing done so all of this could have been avoided? Because MOST people didn’t! So no, Hockeymomma, the DNR along with MOST people in this town didn’t know. People just need to be responsible for their actions and think a little before they stuff. Shooting them may not have been the right solution, but it was their solution.

      • Hockeymama

        FL Resident.. Unfortunately, you believe everything you read in the papers as truth. “Spin” is a better word for this fiasco from the DNR and FL Police. Yes, I’ve got my facts completely straight. We know Carpenters and we knew about the deer that lived near their property. I know the FL police well, including Chief Peterson. We have great respect and gratitude for their dedication to protect and serve this community. This incident is not indicative of what the police in FL are about. If you’ll reread their statement, they admit the situation could have been handled differently. Next time, protocol and good judgment should be coincidentally used in the situation. Stop berating the Carpenter family. The DNR, if this is the way they do business, has bigger issues to be dealt with. Our taxpayer dollars at work? Disgusting!

        • F.L. Resident

          Apparently you don’t have “your” facts straight and maybe you should look at how you are viewing the media….and what others write. I beleive that my origional statement said that maybe this situation could’ve gone a different direction. I was adding to the fact that they shouldn’t have been feeding and getting friendly with these deer.
          As far as their statement, of course they’re gonna say that when they’re blasted like that. Doen’t change the fact that if the Carpenters, as well as the general public and YOU, would better educate themselves, this would have never happened.

          • David Conklin

            As you can see by my using my name, I’m not a coward who has to hide. The article clearly stated that a number of people in the area were feeding the deer. There was NO excuse for killing the deer. Now the kids in the area will fear the police and not report any wrong-doing that they see for fear that those involved would be killed. THINK of the freaking consequences!

  • marshall garneau jr

    Just like in a police state-police coming on private land without notifying homeowner-and shooting at an animal.
    And then the police are getting terribly defensive-and thinking of charging the
    man with breaking a law! Outrageous!
    And, to me, this is another example of how the DNR, is, in my mind, getting
    out of control, also.
    Finally, let me ask these questions: 1) Since the man did not at first know that the shooter was a police officer, what would have happened if the man got out a gun and shot at the police officer? 2) What if the officer had shot at one of the dogs, if they
    had gotten mad? Would people have defended that too?

    • Ricky

      The way your city is handling this gives any employer reason to take your city off of any list of locations to open a new branch. If the city’s attitudes are so ridiculously disrespectful, “Why bother dealing with it?” Backwards; but they will never admit it. Just terrible.

  • Jay McHue

    This is what happens when people let their emotions rule their actions over intelligent, rational thought. Instead of perhaps informing the DNR about these wild deer, the property owner, with the encouragement of his family and neighbors, tried to turn them into pets.

    • Ricky

      You are not reading any of the previous articles. THEY WERE NOT TRYING TO TURN THEM INTO PETS! JEEZ!!! DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!!!!

      • Jay McHue

        Oh, right. They were only feeding them, naming them, petting them, taking oh-so-adorable pictures with them, and putting colored ribbons on them to tell them apart so that they’d remain purely wild. Just how stupid do you think we are?

        • David Conklin

          Since you asked: You are quite stupid.

    • James Johnston

      Pet, domesticated?? Hogwash! I live in the neighborhood and enjoyed seeing these two deer run, play and try to stay inconspicious. If they saw me or the nearby neighbors out they would run off. I am guilty of picking up apples from a neighbors yard and placing them in the near by woods and grass. My next door neighbor several week before the shooting saw the two deer trying to reach up into the nearby apple trees. They could not reach high enough so she went out. The deer ran off. She shook the trees and knocked off apples that were still on the top of the trees hoping the deer would come back. Yes, we are guility of “aiding and abetting” Shooting a deer on private proberty next to a house at pre dawn. C’mon let us use a little comon sense. DNR is considering bringing charges agaiinst the Carpenters?? What audacity!!! Had we as neighbors known as I am sure if the Carpenters had known that it was against DNR’s rules and regulations not to put a collar on a deer there wouldn’t have been one, The deer would be alive and we would continue to believe that the police are there to use comon sense in protecting us and DNR to also make wise decisions. The Carpenters are nice caring people. Did they make a mistake in placing collars on the deer?. Certainly. Did they know what there actions would cause? Of course not. It is something that perhaps you and I would have done??

  • Rabid Troll

    America lost the right to declare itself as the land of the free long ago for outlawing so much that harms none. The keeping of deer as pets does no harm to any one yet some meddling ass holes felt the need to interfere for no good reason. I have learned from similar situations, never get the law involved in anything because it always ends tragically. The American legal and regulating system is a laughable disorder which makes us ripe for parody and shame for our hypocrisy.

  • Rod M

    Come on now, pull your heads out of your rear. Just like stated above about deer not traveling that far is correct. I can almost bet that the police and the DNR officers are hunters and would know that deer would not of traveled this far from a deer farm and that those collars looked nothing like the collars that would of been on them from a farm. If they were doing there job properly and do as a law officer should and that’s know your surrounds and identify your targets before just pulling the trigger they would of thought it over more and would of noticed those collars are not that of a farm raised deer. Stop looking for ways to make it ok that you did what you did and accept that you should not of taken the shot. They were caught up in the excitement of being able to shoot a deer while on duty. And for you idiots that think he should have charges pressed on him for doing the right thing and having a little compassion for our wild life ought to be thrown in jail for being so stupid and not thinking outside the box of the law. As if those deer were harming anything or anyone nor is it a big deal to raise them as if they were one of your own children or pets. This is just another example of how horrible our government and government agencies are. Use a little common sense here people, would you shoot a child if it’s parents were killed and the child was left in a dumpster?? I didn’t think so…………….just disgusted with the whole thing. Those officers should be punished for not identifying there targets (aka:Collars) before pulling the trigger.

    • Ricky

      Totally agree.

      They’re just trying to paint this all with a ‘happy brush’.

      The only way they can bury it is put charges on someone else for some non-sense. Then it goes to court, the accused wins, and the city spends tens of thousands on legal fees, and even more to settle a wrongful arrest civil case. Then again, the city hasn’t shown any common sense yet; why would they now?

    • Jay McHue

      Oh, good gosh. THEY’RE DEER, NOT CHILDREN!!!

      • JDK

        I hate when people like Jay act like humans are more important than other animals.

        • David Conklin

          Especially when the humans are the one’s causing the problems and the “animals” did nothing wrong.

  • Ricky

    Quoting from the article:
    “You’ve got to put yourself in the officer’s position,” Weiss said. “At the time, and with the information he had, they were to be dispatched. We take [the DNR’s] information and we put it into play.”

    Are you kidding me? Anyone in law enforcement, the military, or any other such office, knows that not all orders are to be followed to the letter. Extenuating circumstances are always considered. Two yearling deer, near a home, with a neighborhood full of people that were aware of the history, and these police are so out of touch with the neighborhood they serve, that they didn’t bother to talk to anyone. Just ‘follow orders’. I did combat in Vietnam, and I can tell you, following orders without consideration of the circumstances, for the situation, can get you mistakes, stupid mistakes; mistakes you can never take back.

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

  • Nyneve

    I would be rather angry if ANYBODY came onto my property at any time of day or night and shot a non-threatening deer. Just because the individual is wearing a badge doesn’t make it all right.

    • SMB

      Well said Nyneve!

  • Jo. Honl

    The entire situation makes me sick. The DNR has too much say in our lives and if they werent the most powerful department in our government I would love to be involved in a lawsuit with the Carpenters. You who say they are to blame are just as sick as the DNR. No reason in the world justifies what happened to the fawns, not a g.. da.. thing. Diplomacy and compassion were lacking in the situation and the DNR and that officer were just power hungry when he pulled the trigger. Pitiful, pitifu, pitiful.

  • Stan

    The way this incident was handled by the MNDNR and the FLPD was at best, poor. Further, I find it appalling (but, not surprising) that Mr. Salos would consider pressing charges via the (Washington) County Attorney’s office; Salo has the authority to issue a citation himself. Were I in Mr. Carpenter’s place, I would welcome a citation so that a jury of my peers could mete this out, not some A-Whole beaureucrat whom it appears, couldn’t be bothered to investigate the facts of the matter himself. Oh wait, he did; Salos discovered that Carpenter raised these fawns without a permit. See you in court, Salos.

  • Brenda

    I also live on North Shore Trail and these deer with collars have been in my yard eating off our apple trees etc. since summer. They were awesome to watch and we found the collars very interesting. We assumed the DNR had tagged them as some sort of deer they were tracking for a good and meaningful reason. Now I hear this story and can’t believe it. Poor deer and poor Carpenter’s and all neighbors that were helping feed them. I also feed the deer and all the animals I possibly can in the winter. I don’t believe in survival of the fittest and I will help any animal I can get through the cold winter……including wild cats, birds, raccoons and anyone else that wants to come to my house to eat. I agree that those officers and the DNR should have gotten close enough to those deer before shooting that they would notice the scarves were personal. It should have been further investigated as it wouldn’t have taken much to find out where the deer are hanging out and get more info from the neighbors. This was a simple kind-hearted mistake by the Carpenter’s that any animal lover would have done the same. There was no reason those deer had to die. To all the people sticking up for the cops, you obviously leave your animals outside to fend for themselves, don’t get them fixed and don’t care if they don’t have fresh water….. or never had animals and never should. Cruel people in this world!

    • RodM

      Thank you Brenda

  • blip

    If I caught someone, uniformed or not, shooting an ostensibly harmless herbivore in my yard, that someone would find themselves with the business end of a claw hammer buried right between their eyes. Announce your intentions before killing things on people’s property, oh mighty police officers: is that too much to ask? I guess it is.

  • Bambi

    “They have the potential to carry a lot of diseases,” said Salo on Monday. “Between the bovine tuberculosis to the north and the positive chronic wasting test down by Rochester a couple of years ago, we have zero tolerance regarding escaped deer.”

    Mr. Salo, there was one deer that tested positive CWD in the SE area of MN in the fall of 2010. This year, 2300 deer were sampled and not one of them have tested positive for CWD ( There isn’t a deer feeding ban in Washington County. A deer feeding ban remains in effect in Dodge, Goodhue, Olmsted, and Wabasha counties for the foreseeable future. So Mr. Carpenter had every right to feed the fawns.

    Mr. Salo, regarding bovin tuberculosis: The Minnesota Board of Animal Health today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved Minnesota’s application for statewide bovine Tuberculosis (TB) Free status, effective October 4, 2011. The approval comes six years after the discovery of an infected beef herd in July 2005. The Department of Natural Resources will also continue management of deer populations and surveillance of hunter harvested wild deer in the bovine TB area until testing indicates that the disease has been eliminated in deer. 2010 was the first calendar year since 2005 with no confirmed bovine TB positive wild deer detected (

    Mr. Salo, how can you defend shooting a shotgun close to a private residence at 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning? If a person would have been harmed, I’m sure you wouldn’t be so smug in your interviews.

    • JJ

      Thanks for your research

      • David Conklin


  • PoliceAdvocate

    This is purely a situation where everyone thought they were doing the right thing, but there were flaws on all sides.The Carpenter’s did what I imagine any of us would have done in treating these deer the way they did, the DNR was simply following protocol, and the FLPD was following an order that they get frequently.
    There are two things that I would like to mention, however. A lot of you are speaking as if you believe the DNR and FLPD KNEW who these deer belonged to. They did not. The DNR has a protocol that they follow with collared deer. When a collared deer is spotted, it HAS to be assumed that they have escaped from somewhere in captivity. Disease has the potential to run rampant in some captive areas, and the DNR had to assume the worst. Their protocol is to give farm owners 24 hours to reclaim their deer, and if they do not, the deer are dispatched. Keep in mind that it, hypothetically, would take LESS than 24 hours for a diseased deer to spread that disease to entire wildlife populations, and would interrupt an ecosystem. The second thing I want to remind you of is that the police are utilized by the DNR all the time. This is not some sort of random occurrence. Police have the right to use their judgement in the dispatch of a deer whether on private land or not – and this officer did so accordingly. If you are in your car and hit a deer that flies into the air and lands in someone’s ditch, is shaking and suffering, a police officer will do the same thing to put it out of its misery, whether it is on someone’s private property or not. You act as if these officers are running around like crazy people shooting off guns, when in reality they go through numerous trainings to know and understand how to use these items appropriately. Just because these two deer ran onto the Carpenter’s property does not mean the officer needed to knock on their door. How was he supposed to assume that these collared deer MUST have run “home”. Jeff said himself they live on “ten” wooded acres. I happen to know that Jeff and LeeAnn are wonderful people. It is very sad that this all had to take place, but we cannot confuse the cuteness and sweetness of these “baby” deer with the facts and the law. Hopefully everyone can learn from this situation.

    We are all entitled to our opinion – that is the beauty of this country, but sometimes things need to be thought through a little more before reprimanding the people who spend their lives keeping us safe, and who would take a bullet for a stranger (yes, even you) any day of their lives.

    • Brenda

      Well “Police Advocate”, these deer were not in a ditch shaking around and suffering and were not in misery. Knitted collars? Come on, obviously they were being taken well care of. You must be the wife or relative of the cop that shot the deer. A knock on one door (any door) where the deer were would have saved these deer and all the anger and frustration of the people of Forest Lake and any other area that has heard of this ridiculous situation. We are not reprimanding ALL cops. If it were a different cop and he saw the knitted collars, he may have questioned this….felt a little compassion and knocked on a door before killing. It’s different than someone pulling a toy gun out on a cop and end up getting shot and killed. These deer were no threat and were not going anywhere soon. There was time to knock on a door.

      • PoliceAdvocate

        Protocol. That is the word you are not understanding here. No, I have no affiliation whatsoever to the officer who shot the deer. I couldn’t even tell you his name, however, I do respect our law enforcement and their judgement 99% of the time, this being one of those times. These were wild animals. They were not someone’s pets. I just cannot understand why such a big deal is being made over this. Go ahead and read only what you want to read, and as I said, you are entitled to your opinion, but the FLPD was absolutely in no wrong in this situation. Charges would incur and actions would be taken if they were.

        • JJ

          Thank you for your previous comments. I agee that the officer did his job in the line of duty. Obviuosly he was not privy to the complete reason for the shooting. Had he known the entire story I am sure the outcome would be different. Did he use good judgment in going on private property at around seven in the morning while still dark and discharging his shotgun? In his shoes I would not have. A knock on the door letting that person know what he was going to do and not to be alarmed. If someone would discharge a shot gun by your house at that same time what would your reaction be? Hypothetically, what would happen if Mr Carpenter’s dog was out and in protecting his property he charged the officer? Would the officer run or do we now have three dead animals? This whole situation started and continues with DNR”s if not incompetency then insenitvity. This matter needed to be handled delicately and not with strct protocol The lady who reported and sent picures to DNR has apologized and stated she made a mistake in informing them. Captain Greg Salo of DNR statements are in the contents of the newspaper article. One statement “Salo’s department checked with DNR officers and the Department of Natural Health to see if any local deer farmers had reported an escape”. Lets see now. With pictures in hand was it asked about if they kept deer with orange and pink ribbons. These deer are normally ear tagged. Their excuses for putting the deer on the hit list was adequetly addressed in Bambi’s research. Catain Salo in his statement “. The case remains under investigation. The DNR plans to meet with the county attorney to discuss the possibility of bringing charges against Carpenter for raising the deer without a permit’ is ridiculous and just adds “more fuel to the fire” We need to move on. The deer are dead,lives have been changed. A upper mgt DNR representative should step up to the plate and publically apologising for any mistakes they may have made for such an unsual situation. A little sensitivete training on the part of FLPD and DNR would certainly help…

        • Columbus Resident

          I love our men in uniform, and also very much respect our police. But to trust their judgement 99% of the time?? Right. Because they are only human and can never make mistakes. Got’cha.

    • David Conklin

      >” it HAS to be assumed that they have escaped from somewhere in captivity.”

      It has already been noted, repeatedly no less, that there are no deer farms within miles of the place.

  • SMB

    It still boggles my mind why they would not have the sense to talk to someone in the neighborhood to find out the story. So the cop almost hit one..well welcome to the club mr officer. I have hit one in my life as have other family members. That does not justify shooting them, unless you did hit them and they were suffering. Are you going to shoot every deer you almost hit? I’m so damn mad over this…grrrrrrr

  • Ranger I

    This is what happens when the Forest lake City takes over the Township and gives us token drive bys. They have not developed repore with the residents, do not know who we are. Except for a few of us. Lets see if the police can get out here in the former Township and know some of us in the country. The Sheriff knew us very well. He was able to handle certain situations without causing so much strife. Right or wrong its still very dangerous to have a shotgun slug being shot off near your residents or even 50 yards away. I am assuming it was a slug or was it buck shot number 4? The police carry both? Was he trained to look beyond the target? I say yes, but slugs can be dangerous. We just do not expect someone coming near us or around us shooting off a gun. The DNR does not want hunters to shoot near or around a house. 500 yrds correct? As far as Salo there will not be a charge from the County attorney otherwise he will be fired the next time his term is up. Salo is just blowing hot air. I’m sure we can organize a group to hire someone else. Please next time lets make sure we have the information of an escaped deer, if not lets seek to find out from many of our neighbors whats up Dude. We might find out working together will help. The Forest lake police have a good Chief I’m sure this will not happen the same way.

  • Townshiprez

    Wow, still bitter about annexation. No wonder this town is so backward.

    • Ranger I

      Just the facts. Just the facts. How has it worked out for you?

  • CO Support

    #1 – it is not illegal to feed deer in MN
    #2 – they were everyone’s friend – no one’s pet and certainly not held captive, they were raised on their own with assistance of the community
    #3 – standardized processes is what is to blame; that and how an administrative agency (DNR) has control over an executive branch (local police) blows my mind
    #4 -There are tests to see if these deer were diseased that could have been done prior to their murder
    #5 – they have a standardized practice for escaped deer but no research was done to determine if these were escapees – in fact they state no one reported any missing – this should have been a huge red flag that something else was going with these deer
    #6 – there was research, easy research available to try to get to the bottom of this and solve this, however every one was too lazy to do it
    #7 – officer has some obvious confusion about who is boss is and who he is employed by – it is the City of Forest Lake – not the DNR – but apparently they are too busy delegating the dirty work to others with an incomplete investigation – good thing forest lake citizens are smart enough to try to hold the appropriate person accountable – Salo!
    #8 – the DNR are going to waste yet even more time looking into charges for Jeff “raising the deer” – playing with deer in your yard and having a legal feed I do not believe would qualify under the statute for any charges – sounds like DNR is trying to make a point – that they are never wrong and that they have the power
    #9- the DNR and police want to do nothing more than to place blame on Jeff who is very nice, honest and hardworking man – someone doing the right thing someone who if approached would have taken the collars off of the deer, someone who has probably lost a lot of sleep having to deal with this and someone who always does the right thing

    • Columbus Resident

      Agreed to all. Especially on them just wanting to make a point. Or as I think, an EXAMPLE out of him.

  • Columbus Resident

    The fact of the matter here, is that a firearm was discharged on someone else’s private property. I don’t give a damn who you are, I would be pissed if anyone unloaded a shotgun in my back yard, kids home or not. How would they like it if we went up in their yard and did the same?

    Meeting with the county attorney to get him on a technicality? Because “technically” he needed a permit to raise deer on his property? Why don’t you start catching some real criminals? One example is at Running Aces. Please!

    I am OUTRAGED by this article! And I hope this brings alot of light to citizens about the DNR and their mentality of we can do whatever we want. I don’t even care about the deer, I care about the fact that the Carpenter family’s rights were intruded on. I guarantee you this guy will no longer hunt or fish, along with his kids. I for one will not too. My husband and neighbors are also outraged, and we have all agreed never to give the DNR a dime again. Hit them where it hurts and what their world revolves around: MONEY.

  • Columbus Resident

    In Edina, the DNR says you must have your bird feeder a certain height off above the ground, or risk getting ticketed.

    Why have we allowed the DNR to get so out of control?

  • bob palmer


  • http://forestlaketimes bill

    It boggles me that people have been so outspoken on this issue when there are much more important ones out there – These are deer! Not people. First of all, the Carpenter family are responsible for the death of those deer. Don’t put collars on wild animals without telling the people who are supposed to manage them and they won’t get killed. Second, the FLPD are doing what another agency is asking them to do in terms of their policies etc. I would image the DNR got some of their info from the Dept of Agriculture as well before making the decision to have them shot. Bottem line is this, Don’t mess with mother nature.

  • Kate Ellis

    This is a situation gone bad. . . especially for two fawns and a family. The DNR got what they wanted – they always do at our expense and on our expense. I’m really not a fan of the attitude our DNR has taken towards the community. You are not innocent until proven guilty you are simply guilty which is the attitude they are taking towards the Carpenters. I personally have called the DNR on two occasions regarding wildlife in our area. On one I was trying to find out what they recommended as a solution as a homeowner but instead they accused me of wanting to shoot a federally protected animal (NOT!). The agent (Dave) wouldnt’ stop attacking me verbally. I have never been so degraded by any other person in my life as by the DNR agent Dave. By the way I don’t hunt, don’t shoot and don’t like guns. I simply called to find out if the plastic owls actually worked in scaring away hawks from chicken coops and if the owls didn’t work what they would recommend. Yeah, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The DNR has way too much power. . . and we pay them to be rude to us and assume we are guilty. Both calls I was trying to be a responsible steward and do the right thing. I know one thing it will be a cold day in a hot place before I will call them again.

  • http://ForestLakeTimes Sophia

    it was known the Forest Lake Police Dept lacks adequate supervision. Give a forest Lake Policeman a gun, tazer and a badge and they are a menace to our town.

  • Where’s the Beef

    But the real question I have is where did the meat go?

    Mmmmmmm…. Tasty, tender venison.