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Minnesota man charged, accused of harassing deer until it drowned

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A Minnesota man has been charged with animal cruelty after witnesses say he circled a buck with a pontoon boat until it drowned in a northwestern Minnesota lake.

Steven Timm, 55, of Moorhead, was charged Tuesday with two misdemeanors, the criminal complaint says. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Oct. 29, The Associated Press says.

The incident happened Sept. 6 on Tulaby Lake in Mahnomen County. Witnesses told the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources the man followed a deer that was swimming in the lake, circled it with his boat and prevented it from getting to shore. The deer then became exhausted and died.

However, Timm says he wasn't trying to hurt the deer. He told the DNR he had been fishing when he noticed something swimming and went to check it out.

When he got closer to the deer, it began swimming farther out in the lake, so he attempted to turn the deer back towards shore using his pontoon, he told the DNR.

Richard Sprouse of the DNR told BringMeTheNews that reports of animal harassment are not common, noting he has rarely heard or seen it in officer reports over the past 20 years.

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