TOPEKA (KSNT) – People in a Topeka neighborhood say they’re scared for their safety after multiple deer were found shot and killed near their homes in Oakland.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks is investigating a person shooting, killing and leaving behind deer inside the City of Topeka.
For the past few weeks, some Topeka residents have heard gunshots in their neighborhood, and later discovered dead deer. As recently as last night, people reported hearing the gunshots just hundreds of feet from their houses.
“I hear shots down here all the time,” Neighbor Glenn Wilson said. “I mean day and night. Who knows who these people are and what they’re doing here.”
Neighbors say they are fearful that if this continues, people’s lives could be in danger.
“Everyone I talk to is scared,” Wilson said. “Who knows where those bullets can go. This is in the pitch black of night, where bullets are flying around us while we’re in our homes.”
While deer hunting is a popular sport for many in Kansas, there are strict laws that everyone must follow.
“We have a lot of conservation-based laws,” Shawnee County Game Warden Michael McGinnis said. “Our wanton waste is a lot of conservation and ethical related, where we want people who go out and hunt and harvest an animal, we want them to actually go out and utilize that meat.”
The people responsible could face several charges, Michael McGinnis, a game warden with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, told 27 News. This includes:
- Wanton waste of the deer – meaning they shoot the deer and the meat goes to waste
- Taking deer by illegal – means using a firearm in the archery-only season
- Taking deer after legal shooting hours – if they are killed between a half-hour after sunset, to a half-hour before sunrise
- Possible hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle
- Illegal hunting with the aid of artificial light
McGinnis said these crimes are misdemeanors and individuals found guilty could face the possibility of fines and/or jail time. The agency investigates several cases annually.
If you witness someone firing a gun in the city limits, or find a dead deer in your neighborhood, report it to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Park’s Operation Game Thief Hotline.