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Pet mule deer mauls two boys, dog

| December 12, 2006 11:00 PM

By GWEN ALBERS Western News Reporter

A Troy man pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a mule deer that attacked two boys and a 130-pound dog.

David Kyriss, 56, of 851 Lake Creek Road, who was fined $135, admitted to "locking the deer in his garden area (during the hunting season) so it wouldn't be shot," said Justice of the Peace Gary Hicks.

One day after the five-week season closed, the buck gored the 13-year-old boy and attacked his dog and another boy, said Jon Obst, game warden with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. A man who attempted to get the deer away from the boys shot and killed it.

"The deer had been a pet," Hicks said. "It used to come in the house and watch TV, and the neighbor would play with it with an older pair of horns."

Hicks suspects the deer was in rut, which is the breeding season when bucks are more aggressive.

"He (Kyriss) was very apologetic," Hicks said. "I understand the deer saw the boys and that's the way the deer played. You can't expect a wild game animal to become a domesticated animal."

Kyriss had no comment.

The injured boy, Andrew Selle, received several stitches for a puncture wound to his back and suffered bruises to his face and a lump on his head. Lawson was not hurt. The dog - a Rottweiler mix - was bruised.

Brady Selle, who is Andrew's father, said the boys on Nov. 27 were sled riding at the Selles' home on Hummingbird Lane in the Wilderness Plateau housing development off Lake Creek Road.

"They were in our front yard building a little sled riding hill," said Brady Selle, superintendent of Troy Public Schools. "The next thing they knew, there was a buck deer right there. It came up and knocked Andrew down. The deer continued to push him and hit against him."

The 115-pound Andrew Selle grabbed the deer's antlers.

"The deer shook him just like a rag doll," said Brady Selle. "Then they started yelling for us."

Selle and his wife, Cathy, and son-in-law Travis Urdahl heard the boys from inside the home. Cathy Selle looked out to see her son's coat wrapped in the deer's antlers.

"She yelled at us to get out there, and said 'a deer's got Andrew,'" Brady Selle said.

Urdahl ran out with no shoes and gave the deer a hard kick. The family dog was next.

"Our dog had been inside and flew into the deer, hitting it full blast," Brady Selle said. "The deer turned to him. The deer put his head down and pinned the dog into the hillside."

The diversion allowed the boys to run inside.

"Travis and I went to the side of he house to get inside and this deer came after us," Brady Selle said. "It came right up on the deck up to the door. We thought the deer was going to come right through the window. I yelled 'grab the gun.' We decided it was a crazed buck in rut. Then we called 911."

With no good answers, Urdahl killed the buck with one shot.

Obst determined the deer was killed in self defense.

"It was in rut," he said. "This deer was raised by somebody with good intentions. He didn't want it shot during the hunting season to they had it penned up. They let it out, and being a buck, it did what bucks are supposed to do. It had enough aggression and just wanted to spar."