SATSUMA, La. (BRPROUD) – Residents of one Louisiana neighborhood are outraged after a deer they considered a community pet was shot and killed.
“It’s heartbreaking knowing that she ain’t here no more,” cried Patt LeBlanc, a neighbor who witnessed the doe’s shooting with his children.
For the past three years, a deer known as Butterbean become a part of this Livingston Parish neighborhood’s family. LeBlanc says Butterbean was everyone’s pet. Different residents would pitch in to feed her and make sure she was taken care of.
“She was such a sweet deer,” said LeBlanc. “She tried to come in my house to try to play with the animals, she plays with the kids. It was really a joy.”
He says even as a hunter he could not shoot Butterbean himself. One neighbor did not get the memo.
While LeBlanc’s kids were playing with Butterbean, he says a neighbor came outside and shot the deer with no permit. A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agent also says he witnessed the incident and had been trying to catch the deer to return her to a potential owner.
“Exactly 10:00 on the dot is when it happened. It was like the [game] warden was there. It was it was surreal,” said LeBlanc. “I mean, it’s like, ‘No, this didn’t just happen in front of me and the children.”
Now the community wants justice.
“If you’re over the age of 18, you’re going to need a basic hunting license, a deer license and deer tags,” said Michael Blanchard, a senior agent with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The department says it’s pressing charges.
Blanchard said the person responsible could face civil and criminal fines.
“Civil restitution may be involved — where you’d have to go to court, whether it be in a criminal jurisdiction or civilly with our department,” Blanchard said.
An area man reportedly confessed to killing Butterbean with a .22 caliber rifle, according to authorities.
LDWF says the man was cited for hunting deer without basic hunting licenses, hunting deer without deer tags, and hunting across a public road. He could be jailed for up to 90 days and or have to pay up to $2,824.