Someone just trolled the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources – and a number of the state's residents – with a master-level hoax.
In an update on its Facebook Tuesday, the DNR makes clear that it is absolutely not asking anyone to remove decorative concrete deer from their lawns – after many were informed the ornaments interfere with the state's head counts of actual deer.
The announcement, which the agency titled "DISPELLING A HOAX" (their caps, not ours), comes after the circulation of a rather official-looking letter telling residents their fake lawn deer were getting confused for real ones.
"To the citizens of Wisconsin," it reads, "please remove any concrete deer ornaments from your lawn by November 1, 2015. "The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will be conducting a state-wide deer count and some yard ornaments may have been counted over the past two years by mistake."
The real DNR was quick to disown the memo Monday afternoon.
"This letter is a fake," their Facebook states. "It was not crafted, nor distributed by DNR. DNR is not asking the public to remove concrete deer ornaments or any other lawn ornaments from their yard."
So, who is responsible for this crafty put-on?
MPR News theorizes that the "anti-concrete-deer crowd is likely behind" the joke (though this is the first BringMeTheNews has heard of such a movement).
The station – which calls it "the Great Concrete Deer Hoax of 2015" – points out that "it’s not known if the hoax has resulted in many people falling for it," though the DNR update mentions "several" residents contacting the agency about the letter.