Authorities: Someone illegally shot Luke Bryan’s red stag

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FILE – A red stag deer is shown. (Maury County Sheriff’s Department/Facebook)

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (AP) — An exotic red stag owned by country music singer Luke Bryan was shot and killed on his private property outside of Nashville last week, Tennessee wildlife officials confirmed.

FILE – In this June 5, 2019 file photo, Luke Bryan arrives at the CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Sanford Myers, File)

Investigators think the deer was shot from the road, state Wildlife Resources Agency spokesman Barry Cross told The Tennessean on Monday.

The wildlife official said Bryan’s farm manager reported the shooting, which investigators think took place between last Wednesday and last Friday. The Maury County Sheriff’s Office is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible, according to a bulletin posted to Facebook on Saturday.

Red stags are not native to the U.S. — they’re a species of deer similar to elk, and are typically found in mountainous regions of Europe and Asia.

Representatives for Bryan couldn’t immediately be reached for comment by The Tennessean.

Bryan and his wife Caroline help operate Brett’s Barn on one of their properties, a petting zoo founded by the couple in memory of their niece, who died as an infant. Children can come there and interact with horses, pigs and more exotic animals such as kangaroos and an alpaca. Its unclear if the stag was involved with the zoo.

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