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2 adults, 3 juveniles charged in illegal killing of 26 deer in NC

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PINETOPS, N.C. — Two adults and three juveniles were charged in the illegal killing of 26 deer in Pinetops.

According to WRAL, a tip led wildlife officers to a home where they found 26 dead deer on Sunday morning.

“The deer were in various states of decay,” Lt. Sam Craft, with North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, told WRAL. “Some were just the heads with the antlers, and others were whole deer left to lie in the field.”

Wildlife officers found the heads of 16 bucks in the yard. Then 10 additional deer were found in fields across the county.

One of the deer, which was shot and left for dead, had to be put down after officials found it wandering in a field.

“You don’t know what to say to people who commit crimes like these,” Craft told WRAL. “In the early stage of the investigation, it does not appear they were trying to feed their families.”

Christopher Jernigan, 18, was charged with night hunting and Timothy Stamatis, 19, was charged with night hunting and unlawful possession.

Three juveniles also face night hunting charges.

According to WRAL, if convicted, each would have to pay a $500 penalty and the cost to replace the deer. Officials said it would cost an estimated $15,000 to replace the deer.

The deer hunting season ended Jan. 1.