Minnesota Police Electrocute Deer with Taser to Save It


One Minnesota police department found that in the absence of of a tranquilizer gun, a Taser can do just fine. Officers from the South Lake Minnetonka Police Department were called in on Sunday to deal with two antler-locked bucks near a park in Shorewood, Minnesota. One of the bucks had already died, but the survivor was thrashing around in an attempt to free itself. Residents had gathered nearby and were eager to free the buck, but the animal’s erratic behavior made it too dangerous for anyone to get close.

Police officers at the scene said they were worried about the buck further injuring itself or goring someone who tried to help. In the end, the decision was made to subdue the live deer with a Taser and use a chainsaw to free it.

“Officers weighed multiple options, considering available resources, the safety of themselves and residents and the live deer itself,” the department wrote on its Facebook page. “Officers employed the use of a Taser to temporarily incapacitate the deer and, with the help of a nearby resident, quickly cut an antler, freeing it. The deer then ran off.”

You can see a video of the event below:


Jayme Pantekoek, the man who darted in with a battery-powered saw, said he first found the deer thrashing in his back yard.

“He still had a lot of fight in him. Probably drug [the other buck], you know, two houses down from our house and back,” he told WCCO.

Antler-locked bucks have been known to drag their dead rivals for days on end. There is at least one recorded case in which an antler-locked buck carried another dead deer until the latter was almost entirely consumed by coyotes. Usually these bucks fall prey to predators themselves. Pantekoek added that the two deer had already attracted the attention of some coyotes from a nearby wooded area.

“They must have been stuck together like that for hours,” Officer Ricky Syhre told the Star Tribune.

Syhre was one of the officers at the scene and eventually helped to free the deer. His partner, John Wareham, was the officer who shot the buck with a Taser. Although police officers are trained to use their Tasers on potentially dangerous animals, Wareham said it was the first time that he used the device on a live critter.

“Doesn’t happen every day that you would [Taser] a deer,” Syhre added.

The officers noted that the buck was able to run off on its own, hopefully not too affected by its shocking experience. The dead deer was weighed 200 pounds, and its rack was recovered by police.

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