Minn. man charged with animal cruelty for chasing deer with his boat until it drowned
A Minnesota man accused of chasing a deer swimming in a lake with his boat until it drowned was charged on Tuesday with animal cruelty and using a motor vehicle to chase wild animals in a hunt, authorities said.
Steven William Timm, 55, of Moorhead, was accused of chasing a large male deer in Tulaby Lake in northwestern Minnesota over the Labor Day holiday weekend in early September. He could not be reached immediately for comment on Tuesday on the charges, which are both misdemeanors.
Timm told a state conservation officer he saw something swimming while he was fishing and went to investigate and said he was trying to steer the deer back to shore, according to a complaint filed by the Mahnomen County Sheriff’s Office.
A witness told the officer he had seen a deer swimming a couple of hundred yards from shore earlier in the morning and then saw a man drive a pontoon boat toward the deer, forcing it out into the lake and then circling it, the complaint said.
The witness, who took photographs of the boat driver and the deer, said the boat seemed to speed up and follow the deer, which he later saw floating belly up, the complaint said.
Another man told the officer he saw the deer swimming toward a public access ramp on shore when the pontoon driver started the boat and drove alongside the animal between the deer and shore, forcing it out into deeper water.
Timm was summoned to appear in Ninth Judicial District Court in Mahnomen on Oct. 29 on the misdemeanor charges. If convicted, Timm could be sentenced to up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine on each count.
(Reporting by David Bailey; Editing by Eric Beech)