Celebrity Mule Deer Killed by Poacher
(Image via Twin Falls Times-News)
Celebrity encounters can go one of several different ways. Sometimes the celebrity you meet will be rude and dismissive. Other times the celebrity may try to hide in a sea of bodyguards. It is also possible that the celebrity you see may instead be friendly towards you and gladly pose for photos. It is celebrities such as this we grow to love the most, even if those celebs live in the body of a mule deer.
In the town of Twin Falls, Idaho, one such celebrity was known to exist. He was a trophy buck with an impressive rack that most any hunter would be glad to have mounted on their wall, but this particular creature exhibited behaviors different from those of typical deer, setting him apart and making him a part of the community.
You see, this deer, dubbed the Rock Creek Monster, was well known in the area of his home range. It was nothing unusual for the deer to walk up to homes and snack on flower gardens, standing for photo ops rather than fleeing at the sight of people like most deer would. It was this same behavior and lack of fear of people, however, that seem to have brought about the deer’s demise.
It was at the hand of Jacob Pool that this deer was killed out of season back in January of this year. Pool claimed he shot the deer because he needed the meat and found the deer’s rack to be impressive, yet he went on to only harvest a portion of the animal after shooting it with his daughter’s .22. He also cut off the deer’s head and tossed it, along with antlers and some leftover meat, into a nearby river after placing it in bags weighted with dumbells. He also admits to shooting the deer at night and it is all of these actions for which he is now facing charges. Pool gave an expletive-laced statement regarding the incident for which he’s being charged with felonies for hunting big game with an unlawful weapon, killing or wasting a trophy mule deer during a closed season, and concealing evidence.
A witness who also bore a fondness for the deer kept track of its presence on a calendar. The deer stopped being seen around the time a man was seen throwing something around the area where the deer was usually seen. This is what led investigators to Pool, who then went on to admit to previous incidents of poaching prior to this incident.
As of now, there is no confirmation the deer in question is the famed local celebrity Rock Creek Monster but suspicions are strong and people are angry. The deer killed was in an area frequented by the Rock Creek Monster and divers were able to recover a leg belonging to the animal in question which was a DNA match to other portions of the carcass recovered at the kill site. A reward has been offered for the unsportsmanlike killing of the deer locals knew and loved, a deer which would not flee from them but instead stood there watching humans as they went about their daily lives.
Though Pool has gone on to apologize for the incident, admitting that he robbed the community of an animal they knew and loved, his apology is too little too late for the Rock Creek Monster. It also gives other big game hunters a bad name, implying a not only disregard for not only laws but also a wasteful nature. Although it may be a fair assumption that Pool or anyone not familiar with the Rock Creek Monster did not know of the deer’s celebrity status and the love the community had for this animal, he did know enough about the law to realize what he was doing was wrong to the point of trying to hide it. Now the law is coming to make it right.
Thought Rock Creek Monster was one of at least three deer Pool admitted to poaching, hopefully receiving felony charges for doing so will put an end to Pool’s poaching practices for good.