THIS was the horrific scene as one of two once beautiful stags lay butchered in a field yesterday.
The two animals were shot and abandoned by poachers in Co Donegal.
People living nearby the village of Laghey heard a number of shots ring out and went to investigate.
When they did they found vehicles in the area.
The startled poachers jumped into their vehicles and managed to flee the scene, without their prey.
However, some vital information on the movement of the vehicles has now been passed onto Gardai and the wildlife services.
Hunting stags is now illegal after the season closed in December.
However , the season is still open in Northern Ireland and the stags can easily be sold on there.
A member of the public who came across the dead stags said “It was just a horrific sight.
“To see these two magnificent creatures just lying there dead for no reason just made me sick.
“Only for the fact that people heard the gunshots and went to investigate, the stags would have been taken away and sold on.”
Anyone who has information about the poachers is asked to contact Gardai immediately.