A 70-year-old Ashland man was cited on a charge of firing a pellet gun inside the city after he shot at a deer eating his plants and later found the deer dead.

A 70-year-old Ashland man was cited on a charge of firing a pellet gun inside the city after he shot at a deer eating his plants and later found the deer dead.

Donald Morris called Ashland police about 8 a.m. Friday to report a dead deer on his property in the 1600 block of Ross Lane in Ashland. He told police that he shot at the animal with his pellet gun earlier and it took off running, but he had just found it dead.

Ashland police and Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division troopers responded to Morris' home within a day of the deer's death. OSP Sgt. Kirk Meyer said that the deer might have also had an infection as it was already smelling very bad and decomposing.

Morris said officials took the dead deer away.

Morris was cited on a charge of discharging a pellet gun inside the Ashland city limits, a citation that carries a $427 fine.

"It was the correct thing to do," said Morris of his citation. "Because of unexpected consequences, any pellet gun or BB gun that discharges a projectile can be dangerous, even bows and arrows."

According to Ashland city code, within the city limits, no person shall fire or discharge a firearm, crossbow, bow and arrow, blowgun, or other gun including spring or air-actuated pellet guns, air guns or BB guns, or other weapons which propel a projectile without the consent of the chief of police. Discharging a weapon is a Class A misdemeanor if the weapon discharged is considered a firearm under Oregon law.

"I think its a good rule," said Morris.

OSP also issued Morris a warning for taking the deer unlawfully.

Sometimes the meat can be donated to a charitable organization, said biologist Steve Niemela of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

"We try to make good out of a bad situation," he said.

In this case the deer would not have been salvageable for human consumption so it was probably taken to the landfill or disposed of in another way, Niemela said.

Anyone having problems with deer can call the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to discuss options, including a hazing permit, he said. Otherwise harassing deer with out a permit is illegal.

— Mandy Valencia