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Charges: A man in the BWCA took a baby deer to eat, but was full so kept it as a pet

The “extreme survivalist” who last year wandered into Canada via the Boundary Waters is in police custody, after authorities say he captured a baby deer and held it for three days.

Aaron Nathaniel King, 27 years old, has been charged with taking big game out of season after a citizen reported seeing him holding a deer fawn on the portage between Tin Can Mike Lake and Sandpit Lake in Lake County on June 7.

According to a criminal complaint:

Police canoed into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness on June 8 where they met a family who said they’d startled King a day earlier. During their exchange, he admitted he was holding a deer, and that he was “walking to town to get milk for it.”

Officers eventually caught up with King the next day, June 9, in the Ely Public Library, where he told them he had jumped on the fawn with the intention of eating it, “but was unable to do so because he was full.”

Instead of eating it, King said he “decided to keep the fawn as a pet,” and told officers he’d had the fawn for three days. He said he’d left it at the side of the road because it got weak, and he thought he’d get into trouble if he brought it into Ely.

The police couldn’t find the fawn, which King said had likely starved to death.

King was arrested by police on Aug. 15 on a separate charge of trespassing at a grocery store, but he didn’t appear in court. A warrant was issued for the deer charge on Sept. 12, and he was arrested again on Saturday.

Last year, King prompted the closure of the Quetico Provincial Park in Canada when he wandered across the border, without a passport, with authorities keen to find him to ensure he had the provisions to survive.

The Duluth News Tribune reports King has been seen regularly in and around the Ely area in recent months, with conservation officer Anthony Bermel saying he has been “scrounging food, panhandling and living in ‘stash camps’ in and just outside town.”

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