The Glencoe family is calling on deer hunters to exercise caution after the tragic shooting of a pet, Bambi.

A grieving rural family in South Australia is appealing to feral deer hunters for caution after their beloved pet Bambi has been shot and their property damaged.

Limestone Coast resident Matt Burdon – who works on farms in Glencoe – described the incident as “horrific” and traumatic for his children.

“Yesterday morning was very emotional in my house…what happened devastated our little family,” said Mr. Bourdon.

He said their pet deer, six-year-old Bambi, was collared and was in the midst of a herd of cattle.

“Anyone who has done a good job hunting will realize that it wasn’t a wild deer, it was a child’s pet.”

A young orphan “Bambi” enjoys a drink on the family farm.(Supplied: Matt Bourdon)

He said Bambi was an orphaned deer that was adopted by the family and named after a character from the Disney movie.

“I grew up on our small property outside of Lake Lake,” said Mr. Bourdon. “I grew up in a chicken cottage with chickens.”

Mr. Bourdon said his 13-year-old son checked the cows that were giving birth before heading to school.

“I’ve already done some research in the paddock, and I’ve seen where they’ve shot it, they’ve thrown it in the paddock—they’ve been dragged into the corner of the field, they’ve run over the fence, they’ve dragged it down the road.”

man with deer in the ring
Bambi was shot in a soil field on Mr. Bourdon’s property.(Supplied: Matt Bourdon)

He said it looked like Bambi was shot from the road with some kind of high-powered rifle because she was a fairly big animal.

“She weighed 140 kilos. This is the last place I saw her…I suppose she was shot and taken away to be slaughtered.”

While Bambi was initially wandering around the yard of the house, she migrated to a small herd of cattle at the back of the property.

“So, I stayed there for about five years. Every time we went into the field, she would come over for a cuddle or a scratch. Yes, she was really quiet, really friendly.”

Close-up of a gazelle's face
Bambi was an orphan deer born about six years ago on the Bourdon family’s farm and raised in a chicken coop.(Supplied: Matt Bourdon)

Police said they are investigating the incident and have asked anyone with information that might help to contact Stoppers at 1800333000.

Mr Bourdon said the family called the police, who said wrongdoing in this incident could include property damage and trespassing.

“We received some information this morning, which has given us some closure. We are taking the matter private,” he said.

But he said he wanted to remind the fishermen in the area to take the rules into account.

“I’m a hunter myself. We hunt most of the time in the winter. I’m not a deer hunter but everyone cares what they’re doing. It’s just a disrespect for people’s property,” he said.

“Especially on the larger estates, we call it poaching. But there are a lot of unethical things going on for sure.”

Mr Bourdon said he was overwhelmed by the community’s support, with his Facebook post shared nearly 500 times.

“A lot of people I don’t know have reached out to us, they have put some trust back in me,” he said.

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