Chuck and Robyn Tapert of Monrovia, a suburb of Los Angeles, were walking their dogs Friday morning when a trail of blood in the street was detected by the dogs.
The Taperts, originally suspecting the deer had been attacked by a mountain lion, reviewed footage of their home surveillance camera and were shocked to discover that a bow hunter across the street shot the deer.
"I couldn't believe it," Chuck Tapert told CBS Los Angeles. "I'm like, 'You've got to be kidding me. Somebody took a shot at a deer right in front of our house in a residential neighborhood?'"
The video shows the hunter drawing back the bow and firing and the deer running down the street. The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported that the hunter loaded up his gear into his BMW and took off on foot to collect the deer, which died soon after being shot.
The hunter was identified as 33-year-old Michael Rodriguez, who promptly contacted police to report the incident.
"I took an action which I thought was the most appropriate and ethical way of handling it," he told the Tribune.
Rodriguez explained that he had shot the deer earlier in the day while hunting legally in deer hunting Zone D-11 above Monrovia in the San Gabriel Mountains, but he only wounded it.
"I didn't want it to suffer any more than it had to because of my bad shot," he told CBS Los Angeles. "It moved at the exact time I fired my arrow so I didn't hit in the kill zone. I hit it high in the back of the spine area."
The deer ran off and he tracked it to the Monrovia neighborhood in front of the Taperts’ house.
"I wasn't up there to shoot an animal in a residential area," Rodriguez said. "I was following up a wounded animal and trying to take him out so he wasn't suffering any more."
He told the Tribune he waited well over an hour for the animal to position itself in front of a wall so he could shoot safely, even though he knew he was within the 150-yard minimum hunting distance from homes mandated by law.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife seized the deer carcass and the hunter's equipment pending the outcome of the investigation, the Tribune reported.
Monrovia police Sgt. Sarah Covarrubias told the Tribune it's illegal to hunt deer within city limits regardless of the season or whether a hunter has a hunting permit.
Read more about hunters behaving badly on GrindTV