Neighbors in Austintown Township are concerned about possible poaching. Poaching is the illegal practice of trespassing or shooting a wild animal on another's property outside of hunting season and without a license.
People who live around Evelyn Street are worried but did not want to talk on camera. They point out that bullets can travel through walls.
Over the weekend, the peace and quiet of a residential neighborhood in Austintown, that borders some woods, was pierced by gunfire as a family watched a mother deer or doe and her fawn out their window on Sunday.
Mahoning County Commissioner David Ditzler said, "A family on Evelyn Street was looking out their kitchen window, and later they heard a gunshot. Later that morning, the fawns were wandering around their backyard, crying. The family called the Ohio Department of Natural Resources wanting someone to care for the fawns still wandering around."
Tom Frank, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Officer who covers Mahoning County, said, "The deer was shot outside of hunting season and on someone else's property, and that is illegal. Hunting season was established to cut down on vehicle crashes, and fatalities, and so does who have young fawn are not killed this time of year. If someone ends up shooting doe out of season, you've got young one's nursing, many of them struggle to survive. Then, of course, you have a safety issue if you shoot guns in a residential neighborhood."
Although the fawn without a mother is not nursing and are mobile, their odds of survival have decreased due to the death of their mom.
Right now there is not much information for investigators, but the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is hoping someone saw something and calls. Frank added, "This is where you sit and wait and hope responsible citizens who may have seen a flash coming out of a car vehicle, or saw a vehicle sitting there, and we can follow it from there. We believe someone shot from a vehicle."
Poachers who are prosecuted can face thousands of dollars in fines, penalties, court costs, and jail time. Shooting out of a vehicle window is a felony. The number to call or text tips about this poaching case or any other poaching is 1-800-POACHER.