First there was the call from a good Samaritan who saw a car in the ditch and stopped to offer help. She told 911 dispatchers that she saw a live deer in the trunk and smelled alcohol.
A Kootenai County Sheriff’s deputy found the car and a young man trying to get it unstuck. There were thumping sounds coming from the trunk – even as 20-year-old Ryan Caples told the deputy it was empty.
The sun wasn’t even up and Sunday was off to a bad start for Caples, who was arrested on charges of driving under the influence and having an open container of Bud Light in the car. But it was an even worse day for the live and still-kicking doe that authorities found in the trunk of Caples’ 1991 Buick Century.
A deputy “dispatched” the deer, which had broken legs and several open wounds, according to a report from the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department.
Caples was released from jail on bond and couldn’t be reached for comment Monday.
According to the sheriff’s report, Caples said he was a passenger in the car when the deer was hit about 4:30 a.m. Sunday, sending the car into the ditch off Strahorn Road in Hayden.
The driver, Caples said, was a man named Travis who left the scene after helping Caples put the deer in the trunk.
Caples told the deputy they were planning to take the deer to another location but couldn’t get the Buick out of the ditch.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is investigating possible game violations involving the deer, according to the report.