Tanks with Antlers: Weaponized Deer Unleashed on East End Cull

Local deer just got a lot scarier, and they’re packing heat.

As the Great East End Deer Cull commenced on private land around the North and South Forks last week, Manny Fabrele put the finishing touches on his most controversial creation to date. The former Marine Corps Scout Sniper and inventor of the bulletproof DeerVest and DeerHelmet, rolled out his first working D-MAWS (deer-mounted assault weapon systems), or DeerGats, on Monday—and federal sharpshooters are not happy about it.

“We’ve strapped the first DeerGat to one of our North Fork-based deer, who was already fitted with a DeerVest and DeerHelmet, essentially transforming him into a very fast, high jumping tank with pointy antlers,” Fabrele said from an undisclosed location on Tuesday. “Those hunters better watch their butts, this thing is no joke.”

In hiding since feds got word of his latest project, the inventor said that, along with kevlar body armor providing protection to the deer’s torso and head, the DeerGat adds an “offensive piece” to his anti-cull strategy. “The D-MAWS is a fully automatic, 30 caliber machine gun, designed to begin firing as soon as gunshots are heard in the vicinity,” Fabrele said. “It’s sound-activated and includes a sensor that will ensure the carrier deer does not shoot itself during exchanges with nearby hunters,” he continued. “It’s time we evened the playing field.”

Agents raided Fabrele’s Montauk home and workshop, acting on a tip over the weekend, but the deer advocate had vacated days before. Now, operating on the run, Fabrele said he intends to get “as many DeerGats as possible” made and installed before his inevitable capture. “I’m perfectly willing to do the time,” he said, “but not until my mission is complete.”

Currently, Fabrele and a veritable army of volunteers have fitted 812 deer with bulletproof kevlar vests, and 153 of those deer also have the accompanying helmets. He expects to strap DeerGats on at least 50 weaponized deer, all of which will also be wearing vests and helmets.

“It’s probably not enough to stop the deer cull from happening, but just the chance of running into one of our deer should be enough to keep a lot of these sharpshooters from coming into work,” Fabrele said. “I just can’t imagine any of them signed up to hunt deer that shoot back.”

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