That disturbing deer punching and abuse video from Pennsylvania is being investigated.
Most hunters have probably seen the disturbing video by now. A viral deer torturing video that hit the Internet last week has many people outraged.
It shows them punching and kicking an obviously dying deer on the ground. The whole video is permeated with the sound of laughter.
At one point it appears one of the young men is standing on the injured deer's back legs to keep it from moving. It also appears they break one of the buck's antlers off.
The wounded deer videos immediately sparked outrage not just from anti-hunters, but from hunters as well. CBS 2 Pittsburg reports the video hasn't gone unnoticed by authorities. "Our dispatchers were getting call after, after call, after call making sure that we knew about it," Chip Brunst of the Pennsylvania Game Commission told the station.
He also told the station their investigation may have identified two suspects. "We do have two suspects in mind, so far," Brunst told the station. "Indications are that one of them may be a juvenile."
In the wake of the video's release, alleged names of the suspects were circulated on social media channels. We will not share them here as those names have yet to be confirmed by proper authorities.
Brunst also told CBS 2 they are still working to determine where this incident occurred, but they've determined the suspects in the video are from Brookville, which is located in Jefferson County.
Over the last few days, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has received an overwhelming public response regarding the...
The Pennsylvania Game Commission is feeling extreme public pressure on this case. It probably didn't help matters when their first statement on the matter drew criticism: "The Pennsylvania Game Commission is aware of a video purporting to show individuals assaulting an injured deer. The conduct portrayed in the video is reprehensible and potentially a violation of the law."
That last part seemed to draw the ire of a lot of people due to the obvious and graphic nature of the video. Today they were forced to make another statement about the video in a Facebook post.
"The matter is still the subject of an active investigation being conducted by our state game wardens in cooperation with county law enforcement officials," the statement read. "While we understand the desire for a swift response to the conduct displayed in the video, the proper legal steps must be followed in an investigation of this manner."
Meanwhile at least two Change.org petitions are circulating the Internet as a result of this incident. One is calling for federal animal abuse and animal cruelty criminal charges to be brought against the two suspects. The other asks Pennsylvania Wildlife authorities to ban the two from hunting for life.
Many hunting groups are also making a point to distance themselves from this video and to make sure people understand this is not who hunters are. "It's not who we are as hunters," Bob Chase told CBS 2 Pittsburgh. He's the vice president of Pennsylvania Hunting and Fishing Addicts. "It sickens me to find out that something like that gets out, and a lot of people think 'hey, this is what these guys do in the woods,' and it's not at all like that."
Many people on social media have been calling for the two men in the video to be made examples under the new animal cruelty bill President Trump signed into law just over a week ago. The new bill makes animal cruelty a felony offense.
Meanwhile the Pennsylvania State Game Wardens are asking for anyone with any additional information on the video to contact them through their operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-888-PGC-8001. You can also contact the Game Commission's Northwest Region Dispatch Office. Their number is 814-432-3187
We will keep an eye on this case as the investigation continues and bring you any breaking news.