A hunter who boasted about a “big game” catch on social media had actually let his dog kill a young baby deer.
Michael Garcia filmed the fawn being attacked in rural Colorado, and posted both the video and a photo of the deer’s flayed body on Instagram.
“Got his first big game kill,” the caption on the now-deleted post said.
After the images were shared widely, Colorado Parks and Wildlife charged Mr Garcia with “several wildlife crimes” and fined him $1,372.50 (£1,127.92).
In a Facebook post that has since been deleted, but was later published by local media, Mr Garcia said he was “sorry for everything”.
“I truly am a lover of the outdoors and in no way would have thought it would get this out of hand!” he wrote.
“Gus is an awesome, kind, loving dog,” he added. “I let him chase rabbits and squirrels every day, and I promise you, this is the one and only time he’s ever caught a fawn.”
He also claimed the fawn’s death was “a freak accident”.
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Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) manager Rick Basagoitia said in a statement: “This is a disturbing case. We’ve heard from many members of the public wanting CPW to investigate.”
He said the charges were “illegal possession of wildlife”, “allowing his dog to harass wildlife”, and “unlawful manner of take of wildlife” for the hunt near the Conejos River.
If Mr Garcia opts not to pay the fine, he will need to defend himself in court next month.