‘Deer of a lifetime’: Game Commission laments poached trophy buck

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YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – The search is on for the poacher who shot and killed a 10-point buck out of season in York County.

“Walked into the middle of the cul-de-sac and basically took its last breaths in the middle of the cul-de-sac,” Steve Knickel, a wildlife conservation officer with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said.

It happened late Saturday night or early Sunday morning in front of a house in Spring Garden Township.

“What we would consider a trophy-class buck,” Knickel said.

Local police thought it had been hit by a car. Wildlife officers realized Sunday it had been shot three times.

It’s something Knickel deals with a lot.

“What we don’t usually deal with is that they’re deer of this size and that it’s basically off of a golf course,” Knickel said.

Investigators think someone shot the buck on the Country Club of York property right through the trees from the neighborhood.

“With the wounds that it had, it did not travel far,” Knickel said.

The private club doesn’t allow any hunting on its grounds, but they do see plenty of wildlife.

Mark Sindicich, whose sons found the dying deer in front of their house, said they see deer all the time. The animals like to bed down in foliage next to the home.

He’s disappointed the buck went to waste.

“Probably 85 percent of your hunters, this would have been a deer that they probably would’ve paid good money to have mounted,” Knickel said.

Even if the deer had been on nearby state game lands, firearms deer season doesn’t start until Nov. 28, so either way, it’s illegal to kill the buck and, in Knickel’s view, deprive a legal hunter of the chance.

“Probably the deer of a lifetime,” he said.

Anyone with information is asked to fill out a report at http://bit.ly/PGCOGT or call the Game Commission’s Southcentral Regional Office at 814-643-1831 or 814-643-9635.

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