Gary Austin of Fennville says it all started with a call that someone had hit a deer. He wanted to give the animal to a family that needed some help, so he took the deer to the police department to get it tagged.
“I was just going to surprise them and I thought it would have been a really nice surprise. A big chunk of meat coming your way, it makes you feel good when someone thinks about you,” Austin said.
He had no idea that he was actually breaking a law. Gary says the man who hit the deer, didn`t call to report the accident.
“I didn’t know. I tried to be as honest as I could and I said that’s why I took the deer to the police department,” Austin said.
According to officials with the DNR, the person that hit the deer should have called and reported the accident. The responding officer could have issue him a permit to take the deer, as long as they believe the deer died following a car accident, and wasn`t poached.
“He said he was going to take it and scan it. I said fine, I don`t have a problem with that. I said all I was going to do with the deer was get it tagged and pass the meat on to someone who could really use it,” Austin said.
Gary says he was going to take the deer and give it to a family that need some help.
“It feels like you take one step forward and three steps back. It`s always about how we should be taking care of each other. We should be paying it forward. Why leave an animal on the side of the road that`s just going to rot, when that would be a meal for somebody,” Austin said.
Gary was issued a ticket for $190 for possession of road kill deer without a permit. He plans on fighting that ticket.