Lago Vista residents find poached deer right in their backyards

Neighborhood worried someone with a bow and arrow could be putting children and pets in danger

Lago Vista neighbors find a dead dear shot in their backyard. (KXAN Photo)
Lago Vista neighbors find a dead dear shot in their backyard. (KXAN Photo)

LAGO VISTA, Texas (KXAN) — People who live in the usually quiet North Shore neighborhood in Lago Vista say they’re worried their homes, pets and children could be in danger after finding deer which appear to have been shot by a bow and arrow.

“This is the second deer I’ve come across that was apparently shot with either a crossbow or a rifle,” homeowner Chris Davison said as he stood over a carcass Tuesday afternoon.

Davison said he found the deer, which had a precise wound appearing to be from some sort of a shot, about 20-feet away from his neighbor Elaine McLauchlan’s home.

“That’s pretty close to the side of my house” McLauchlan said, adding it could have easily put a hole in a window or her siding, or worse. “They’re going to hit somebody, you know. Eventually, there’s going to be an accident.”

Joanne Smith, who also lives in the neighborhood, says people are talking about similar cases across town.

Deer found shot in the North Shore neighborhood in Lago Vista. (Courtesy/Chris Davison)
Deer found shot in the North Shore neighborhood in Lago Vista. (Courtesy/Chris Davison)

“It’s beginning to be quite the concern online,” she Smith said, telling a KXAN crew several incidents have been reported on Facebook and Nextdoor. “I had read maybe a week, week and a half ago that there was another dead deer that was shot by a bow and arrow, and that somebody had damage to their car.”

Davison said he called police out when he found the most recent deer shot, but was told there wasn’t much they could do. Now, he says all he and his neighbors can do is stay watchful.

“I can’t even get in someone’s mind to understand why someone would do something like this,” Davison said. “Even if you don’t like animals, you have to know there’s a chance that passed through bullet or arrow can kill someone else’s dog or kid or another person.”

A spokeswoman for the city of Lago Vista sent a statement to KXAN, reading in part:

The city of Lago Vista is also surrounded by unincorporated areas of Travis County. Some portions of these unincorporated areas, which are outside of the city limits of Lago Vista, can be lawfully used for deer hunting. Because of this, the police department has seen, over the years, a few deer that were injured by arrow or gunshot. We are not currently investigating any incident of hunting/poaching within the city. We aware of a deer which appears to have been injured with an arrow, but we have no information or evidence that would indicate this happened inside the city limits. As far as a penalty for someone caught hunting inside the city limits; each investigation would be handled on an individual basis and appropriate charges filed for each specific violation of law. Depending on the circumstances of the investigation, Lago Vista Police Department may request the assistance of Texas Parks and Wildlife.

The North Shore neighborhood, where the most recent deer was found, is within Lago Vista city limits, close to the city center. Even during hunting season, the city of Lago Vista says it’s never legal to shoot deer within city limits, regardless of the weapon used.

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