Poachers Who Swam After and Stabbed Deer Reveal What Hunting Really Is

Published by Zachary Toliver.

Authorities are tracking down four individuals connected to what the North Dakota Game and Fish Department (NDGFD) has called an “apparent deer poaching incident.” But if you can actually stomach this violent video, you’ll realize that “poaching” doesn’t even come close to capturing such malice.

Warning: This video contains graphic images and language.

In the video, four men can be seen jumping into a river to catch a helpless white-tailed buck. They drag him to shore by his limbs, and while the defenseless animal remains immobile and half-submerged in the water, one man calls for a knife.

At around the four-minute mark, a man stabs the motionless buck, who’s frozen with fear. Then the knife is passed to another man, who stabs him repeatedly. The psychopathic behavior continues as another uses the deer’s antlers as leverage to bash his head against the ground. Laughs are heard as the animal’s face is shoved into the muddy riverbed in an attempt to suffocate him. During the last horrifying moments of his life, his legs begin to quiver.

The NDGFD received the video from a concerned citizen who saw it on Facebook. The department then released it to the public and media in an effort to get more information and identify the individuals involved. Anyone with information about the men in the recording is urged to contact the department.

Authorities said that, based on current information, the incident took place during the fall of 2016 in the vicinity of the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camps. Investigators said that the individuals could face charges for cruelty to animals, among other offenses.

It’s Not Just Poaching—This Is the Reality of Hunting

People who use weapons to massacre a living being for kicks feel a rush of power that they want to experience again and again. A mental health professional might recommend counseling for anyone who chases down and mutilates a helpless living being while cheering and giving high fives.

History is replete with serial killers whose violent tendencies were first directed toward animals. Albert DeSalvo (aka the “Boston Strangler”), who killed 13 women, first trapped dogs and cats and shot arrows at them in his youth. Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer impaled frogs, cats, and dogs’ heads on sticks. Dennis Rader (aka the “BTK killer”), who terrorized people in Kansas, wrote in a chronological account of his childhood that he hanged a dog and a cat. During the trial of convicted sniper Lee Boyd Malvo, a psychology professor testified that the teenager, who killed 10 people with a rifle, had “pelted—and probably killed—numerous cats with marbles from a slingshot when he was about 14.”

It takes a very small person indeed to enjoy traumatizing, hurting, and killing animals.

The vast majority of Americans oppose hunting—like most blood sports, it’s dying out quickly as more people recognize that animals are sentient beings with distinct personalities who love their families, value their own lives, and don’t want to die.

What You Can Do

Both poaching and legalized hunting tear families apart and leave countless animals orphaned or badly injured when hunters fail to kill them quickly. Inform others about the cruelty of hunting, encourage your legislators to enact or enforce wildlife-protection laws, and insist that nonhunters be equally represented on the staffs of wildlife agencies.

While it’s too late to save this deer, you can help bears, elephants, rhinos, and other animals around the world by calling on UPS to end its practice of shipping hunting “trophies.”

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind