Ryan Manchester did not need camouflage or a tree stand to kill his first deer. He was shirtless and standing behind his living room couch, less than 10 feet away.

On Dec. 5, an eight-point buck busted Manchester’s front door open and ransacked the Walkersville High School senior’s home. After calling 911 and feeling he had no other choice, Manchester shot the deer twice — once in the head and once in the shoulder — and killed it.

Manchester figures it all started when the buck wanted to mate with his family’s Christmas tree.

His family dragged the tree through the front door, and thinks the scent of doe urine lured the deer to come in, the same way they brought in the tree.

As Manchester stood in his kitchen of his Dearbought home at about 1:30 p.m. that day, he heard a banging at the door.

“It sounded like someone was trying to break the door down with a sledgehammer,” he said.

The deer knocked two holes in the front door and broke the door frame to get inside. Manchester peered around the corner from the kitchen ready to fight if there was an intruder.

That’s when he spotted the deer in the left corner of his living room in between a window and the Christmas tree.

Manchester took out his phone and took video. The video shows the deer seemingly trying to get out of the house through the window.

As he squeezed back behind the tree, the deer knocked over the tree, shattering close to 40 ornaments and the Manchesters’ angel tree-topper, Manchester said.

The family has since replaced the tree-topper with a paper angel that Manchester’s sister, Daniella, made in elementary school.

With the deer back in the corner, Manchester locked his dog in the bathroom and made a beeline for the stairs. He hopped over the Christmas tree and went up to his room to call 911.

“I told them what was happening and they didn’t really seem to have any urgency,” Manchester said. “I don’t think they knew how much damage it was doing. So I asked them if I should shoot it. They didn’t tell me to shoot it. But they didn’t tell me not to shoot it. So I was like, ‘I’m probably gonna shoot it.’”

Manchester then called his father, John, to ask for the key to his gun cabinet. When he got off the phone with his father, he received a phone call from animal control, Manchester said.

Manchester recalled the animal control person saying he was still 15 minutes away. Rather than wait, Manchester grabbed his father’s Smith and Wesson 9 mm handgun and went downstairs to figure out how to kill the deer.

Initially, he tried to get a shot on the deer as it ransacked the kitchen. By this time, Manchester said, every window in the house had blood on it.

The deer must have been cut as he broke into the house or after knocking the tree down, Manchester said. Manchester determined he couldn’t get a safe shot and tried to wait for the deer to calm down.

The deer made its way back to the living room and Manchester followed, standing behind his living room couch. The deer was about 20 feet away, but Manchester refused to shoot.

“The gun is kind of a piece of a junk, so I knew that far, I was going to miss,” he said.

He let the deer get closer and make its way to the middle of the living room, just feet from Manchester. Manchester took aim and for the first time since it entered his home, the deer noticed Manchester.

“He saw me and stopped,” Manchester said. “Like a deer in the headlights. So I shot him right between the eyes.”

The deer didn’t go down immediately, Manchester said. He took one more shot, hitting the deer in the shoulder and killing it.

Manchester said his immediate concern was the neighbors hearing a gunshot coming from his house. He called 911 to let them know what happened, and to “not send the SWAT team.”

Shortly after, police arrived, along with animal control. Police took a report and checked Manchester’s father’s gun to make sure it was registered.

Manchester said the police didn’t have a problem with what he did. They took a photo of Manchester holding the deer’s antlers — a non-hunter’s first kill. Someone from the Department of Natural Resources came out and issued Manchester a tag for the kill. A DNR representative confirmed that.

Manchester’s family and friends arrived a short time later. Word made its way to school quickly; no one was missing this.

“We drove straight over, laughing the entire way. We could barely keep the car in the lane, we were laughing so hard,” said Manchester’s close friend Dylan Mudd, who lives in the neighborhood. “I thought it was amazing.”

Manchester dragged the deer outside, and gutted it in his backyard. Manchester’s hands were covered in blood up to his wrists. He painted marks on his face using the blood.

In the moment, Manchester thought he had only one choice. After the deer broke in, the door slammed behind it. There was no immediate exit.

In hindsight, Manchester, who assisted the school’s athletic trainer and helped out with the football team this year, realizes he may have been able to open the back door and the deer might have left. But he has no regrets.

“I’m glad I shot it,” Manchester said. “It caused a lot of damage. I know people will judge me for it, but I don’t care. If it happens to them, they don’t have to shoot it. But after it did all that, it wasn’t leaving alive.”

Follow Allen Etzler on Twitter: @AllenWEtzler.

(26) comments

John C

“The gun is kind of a piece of a junk, so I knew that far, I was going to miss,” he said. Is it the Gun that is the problem or the shooter? Smith and Wesson make quite good firearms. Of the Guns I own they are some of my favorites and every one of them works very well. There 10 MM, which they foolishly stopped making were some of if the best 10 MM Pistols ever made. Their 9MM are quite good and are used by many Police departments.


Fredmd, so quick to (mis)judge. If you pause the video at :35 you can clearly see the antlers. The deer is heavily backlit, making them more difficult to see, but clearly not a doe and impossible to count how many points in that poor lighting situation. My daughter, a gifted student in grade school, never attended a full day of high school after her freshman year. She opted to take required course for a half day and work at internships related to her field of interest the other half of each day. It was a far better education and better preparation for real life than she was getting at school, where curriculum is dumbed down to the lowest comon denominator and teachers mark assignments without even reading the content.. Why so quick to criticize a young man who contacted several authorities for advice and permission before doing what he felt was necessary? There is nothing in this article to indicate why he was not at school, but there are many legitimatte reasons why he might be. Maybe he was home sick? I don't know - neither do you. And to those criticising his decision to kill it, just what do you imagine the anmal control officer was going to do when he arrived?


the video was paused, no antlers.


I decided to watch the video again, that is clearly a DOE, no points at all, except 2 ears.


One last time:

1.) Open the YouTube version of the video --https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApQlPklYDHU

2.) View on full screen (on a decent screen).

3.) Change speed to .25.

4.) Begin at 0:28 and quickly start and stop, stepping through slowly. At both 0:29 and 0:32, you should be able to see the rack.

5.) If you still can't see it, it's likely a function of your device or your vision.


[smile] The comments here are the best part of this story. Not sure what state this is in but anything breaks into your house in most every state is fair game for a slug. The deer is a young buck. Looks like around two years old. or maybe a year and a half. It is an eight point buck buck not the trophy buck in the photo that many see. Young bucks, just like human teenage boys haven't learned to control their man parts yet. Practice makes perfect. The raging with new hormones buck thought it was after a doe, and became a wall mount and Christmas dinner instead. LOL


Why wasn't he in school? Why did his friends leave school and drive to his house? His friend said he was laughing so hard he could hardly drive, then he shouldn't have been driving. He gutted the deer and painted his face with the blood? That is disgusting.


A lot of seniors have credit to graduate and have half days and go to work or home instead of additional classes. or leave for CTC which has different hours than FCPS.


He is a neighbor and It was definitely an 8 point buck.


were their two deer, because the one in the video was clearly not an 8 point.


I was so impressed with the kid - not a hunter but he had the coolness to call the police and his dad and shoot the deer. Then we find out he wanted to kill it because it damaged his house and he gutted it and spread its blood on his face. And his own video shows it appeared to be a small deer, rather than the big buck he described to the reporter. He killed Bambi. Terrific story.


As Fredmd said, the deer looks like a doe -- it clearly is not an "8 point buck".

Seems kinda pointless to make a claim like that and then post a video that shows otherwise.


Not quite sure whose "claim" you're talking about: The article's or Fredmd's? In any case, near the end of the linked video (0:32) you can see that it's not a doe. Then looking adjacent to the video on the Twitter site, some pictures taken of the kid with the deer show it had 4 points on the left side and at least 3 on the right).


not according to the video.


This is a fun story! Really, with all the other "news" out there........ this kid is pretty funny and took his time to make a sensible decision :)


I have no objection to action. I only would ask if FNP to add to this story. Are firearms permitted to be discharged in the City of Frederick? Are those under 21 year of age able to fire a handgun? I would hope my own sons took similar action. This young man certainly followed protocols. Just curious if the FPD and DNR are giving a pass.

Comment deleted.

For someone who is always quick to try and correct people you got this one way wrong. Please read the story. This took place in Dearbought (City of Frederick) not Walkersville. and he used his dads Smith and Wesson 9 mm handgun, not a hunting riffle. I suggest maybe reading a little slower next time.


Walkersville High (county). not in school (playing hookie) friends left school (playing hookie) part of Dearbought is actually county.


Thank god he got a deer tag issued. I was worried about that.


Their new tree topper should be the antlers.




"Manchester dragged the deer outside, and gutted it in his backyard. Manchester’s hands were covered in blood up to his wrists. He painted marks on his face using the blood." Uh what? A budding Patrick Bateman right here in Frederick County, how precious!


Well done young man.


at the end of the video, it was clearly not an eight point anything, looked more like a doe.


This makes me sad.


I agree. Hose off your tree before bringing it in. I was never so grateful for allergies to the molds that grow on a real tree all season long. But if a fake buck storms in here after my fake tree, I am ready with my fake gun.

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