OSP: Teen rides ‘exhausted’ deer, charged with harassment

Crime

The fate of the deer is unknown

An 18-year-old was recorded riding a mule deer buck in Harney County, according to Oregon State Patrol, Dec. 10, 2019. (OSP)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — An 18-year-old caught on camera riding a mule deer is facing wildlife harassment and animal abuse charges, according to Oregon State Police.

Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife received a tip on Dec. 6 about a video shared on social media showing a young man climbing onto the back of a mule deer buck.

The deer had trapped itself in a fenced area on a rural ranch in Harney County, investigators said. The buck, which troopers said was “exhausted” and could be heard “grunting and/or bleating” was ridden around the enclosure before it escaped the rider and repeatedly jumped into a fence to try and get out.

The buck was eventually freed. Authorities said it was unclear if it was injured.

Troopers identified 2 suspects. Eighteen-year-old Jacob Belcher was arrested and booked into the Harney County Jail on charges of wildlife harassment and 2nd-degree animal abuse. A second suspect is accused of recording the video and could be charged with aiding in a wildlife offense.

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