On December 19, 2016, Kim Mcgaughey of western Kansas was issued a citation for “unlawful possession of wildlife without a permit.” The ticket was for keeping a mule deer doe as a pet after it showed up at their rural home as a fawn two years prior. The family named it Faline and quickly developed a relationship with the muley—it would play with their dogs, hang out in their house, and wore a collar during gun season to deter hunters from shooting it.
Mcgaughey argued that she wasn’t confining the doe, making her 22 months of interactions with the deer legal. The game wardens that visited her home didn’t view it that way, citing human safety and CWD concerns for dispatching the animal.
Should the family have been inviting a muley into their living room and making it wear a collar? No. Should the wardens have shot the deer in Mcgaughey’s driveway 45 minutes after writing the ticket? Nope. This was an avoidable situation handled poorly by both parties.
For more information on this story, check out The Wichita Eagle’s coverage of Faline the muley.