FARMINGTON — Four teens have been charged with shooting four deer and leaving them to die in Franklin and Androscoggin counties in April, Maine Warden Service Cpl. John MacDonald said in a news release Wednesday.

Wardens charged Zachary Black, 19, of Jay, Kyle Elliott, 19, of Fayette, and two 17-year-old males from Livermore with one count each of night hunting, a misdemeanor, MacDonald said. The four are scheduled to appear in district courts in Androscoggin and Franklin counties in February.

The four deer were does and are believed to have been killed at night in open fields in Chesterville, East Livermore village in Livermore Falls, Livermore and Leeds.

“This was an extensive six-month investigation,” MacDonald said. “Numerous night surveillance details were performed in the area by game wardens to help apprehend those responsible.”

Primary investigator Dave Chabot said, “This case proved very detrimental to Maine’s deer herd in that area. The public once again worked with us and provided very helpful information; we appreciate their help very much,” the release stated.

The Maine Warden Service thanked the Maine State Police for its assistance, members of the public who provided information and Maine Operation Game Thief for their help.

Operation Game Thief offered a reward of up to $3,500 for anyone who could provide information leading to a conviction for those responsible in this case. Game wardens are working to determine reward eligibility. 

The Warden Service began its investigation April 22, when wardens responded to a complaint of an injured deer near the Bragdon Road/French Road and East Road in Chesterville. A deer was found in a field posted “No Trespassing” with a fatal gunshot wound to the spine. The doe was pregnant with twins.

Three more does were found: one off Route 106 in Leeds, one off Route 133 near Dodge Road in Livermore Falls, and one off River Road in Livermore, the release said.

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