No suspects after deer found shot dead in Bellingham

A two-point buck was found dead within city limits from a gunshot wound Saturday, Aug. 1, and the Department of Fish & Wildlife is asking for help identifying the poacher.

The deer likely was illegally shot around 3 a.m. Saturday near Barkley Boulevard and Chandler Parkway, according to Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife Officer Jeff Lee. There are no suspects so far.

“Whoever shot this animal knew what they were doing,” Lee said. “They knew it was illegal.”

A neighborhood resident heard two gunshots at 3:21 a.m. Saturday, Lee said. The buck was found dead with one gunshot wound to its abdomen, and neighbors reported it to the Department of Fish & Wildlife that afternoon.

Marlene Bolster, who lives in the condominium complex where the deer was found outside, said many residents are disturbed that somebody fired a gun in their neighborhood. It wasn’t the first time gunshots have been heard in that area recently, she said.

“Somebody is discharging a firearm illegally within city limits, which is a big deal,” Bolster said. “Who knows how far this will go? Whether it could hurt a person, a car, whatever, it’s very unsafe and dangerous.”

Bellingham police have not assisted with the investigation of the incident, said Lt. Bob Vander Yacht. However, shooting a gun within city limits is illegal, he said, and there would be an additional violation for poaching.

The buck had been known to walk around the neighborhood with another deer, Bolster said. Not everyone was thrilled that the deer hung around the neighborhood, but she doesn’t think anybody in her complex would have shot it.

“We live in an area that’s inundated with wildlife,” Bolster said. “If people don’t learn how to get along, or live with them, then they shouldn’t be here.”

Anyone with any information about the deer shooter should call Officer Jeff Lee at 360-708-9858.

Reach Wilson Criscione at 360-756-2803 or