Man Kills Landscape Eating Deer with Air Rifle

A California man was arrested last week for killing a doe and her fawn with a Gamo air rifle. Mark Thomas Dickinson, a 54-year- old pilot, had just redone his yard with new landscaping just a few weeks before. Apparently the deer had taken a liking to the new plants, because Dickinson was waiting for them to return.

According to the Marin Independent Journal, A neighbor called police after hearing shots and seeing a flashlight beam outside. Police arrived to find the injured deer and called in Marin Humane, the animal welfare organization, said Tiburon police Sgt. Steve Hahn. Both deer died before an animal control officer could reach the site of what the was described as “side wounds.”

After finding the deer the police contacted Dickinson, who said the deer were eating his landscaping. The weapon was a high-powered Gamo pellet-gun with scope, laser and flashlight

Dickinson was booked into Marin County Jail on an animal cruelty count, police said. He was released on bail pending further review by the Marin County District Attorney’s Office. Dickinson did not respond to a request for comment but referred the inquiry to his lawyer,

Charles Dresow. “The Tiburon police should not have arrested my client and booked him into jail,” Dresow said. “He had no intent to be cruel or to harm the deer. Rather he was simply trying to scare them away from consuming new landscaping.”

Marin Humane took the dead animals for examination, said spokeswoman Lisa Bloch. The organization will conduct X-rays to see where the pellets penetrated the deer, she said. Bloch called the incident “really sad and disturbing.”

“It did cause great suffering,” she said. “There’s all kinds of ways to keep deer from eating your landscaping. Their only crime was eating vegetation. They weren’t menacing anyone. No one was in danger.”

Just a couple of observations of the story, first there is no way he was just trying to scare the deer. You do not make kill shots on a deer on accident he purposely shot those deer. The only thing I can think of is that he did not realize how powerful a Gamo air gun can be. He may have thought he was shooting a little BB gun that would just give them a sting.

Second it sounds like his neighbors knew what he was up to and were watching him. I doubt you hear an air rife if you are not looking for it. I think they were watching him.

I know some people are going to read about this story and say, What is the difference between what this guy did and what hunters do every year? I will tell you what the difference is. Hunters strive to make a clean quick kill with as little suffering as possible.

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