Oh deer! Beloved community deer shot dead
A RED deer stag affectionately known as "John Deer" which made the hinterland town of Eudlo its holiday home has been shot and killed.
And despite the anguish of Eudlo and Palmwoods residents who have loved watching the lone deer in their rural backyards, it appears its execution was perfectly legal.
The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has a "feral deer management plan" which includes shooting of a feral deer on a property as a control option.
But even the RSPCA couldn't understand why someone would want to kill it.
"I can't understand the mentality of why someone would shoot a lone deer everyone seemed quite fond of in the district," RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty said.
"It seems sad. If a property owner has feral animals on their property, they are legally entitled to shoot them, whether it be a deer, rabbit or pig. We would urge it to be done as humanely as possible.
"In this case it didn't appear the deer had been bothering anyone. It was also shot where other livestock was and you have to wonder about the mentality of that."
Della Briais heard the single gunshot echo across her rural farm 9.30am last Tuesday.
She went to have a look and found her neighbour, Gavin Reid with another man over the deer's carcass and it appeared like they were inspecting its long, beautiful and valuable antlers.
She contacted the Sunshine Coast Council who "knew nothing about it".
"They said it wasn't one of their people."
She was later advised by police the killing had been authorised.
But Mrs Briais and several other neighbours, including Beate Lantzsch, were at a loss to understand why anyone would want to kill such a beautiful creature who only came to visit occasionally.
"It's been around here since 2013," Ms Lantzsch said.
Then, to make it worse, the deer's carcass was left to rot uncovered in the hot sun for four days.
"It is a complete lack of respect of animal and to all the neighbours who dearly loved it," Ms Lantzsch said.
When it was finally disposed of, the neighbours who were watching noticed its head with the beautiful antlers had been removed.
"We saw when they lifted the deer, its head was off," Ms Lantzsch said.
Ms Lantzsch feared they might be on the market as they could fetch a price of anywhere "between $500 and $1000".
Mr Reid declined to comment to the Daily's questions.