A Paengaroa deer farmer is baffled - and extremely concerned - about damage to his fences alongside State Highway 33.
Kelvin O'Hara says on both occasions - once in the middle of last month and once last week - fences have been cut in two similar locations where they are visible from the state highway. He also found a dead hind and a dead young stag at the time of the damage.
''Last month on the 15th we had a bit of a panic with people around us ringing and saying there's deer on the road, so we called the police because traffic flow past our place is pretty rapid.''
He says with neighbours' help all the deer were returned to the paddock.
''I couldn't figure out what the hell had gone on,'' he says.
He discovered that the fence had been cut in two places.
He also found a dead hind that may have been shot.
''I found [it] in the paddock where the hinds and fawns had been. But I couldn't find any evidence of blood or guts or anything in either of the paddocks.
''Normally if people are going to flog something, they'll knock the thing over, take the guts out and take the minimum - I couldn't find any evidence of that.''
Kelvin says while he believes no animals are missing, it's not easy to tell for sure.
''The problem we have at the moment is that we are in the middle of the rut, so the last thing you want to be doing is try to pin a whole load of stags in a shed - you'd get yourself killed.
''I've done a head count at a distance, but not been able to physically get them in and read the tags.''
He says everything seemed to be back under control when, last week, a neighbour arrived saying there were a couple more deer out.
Initially he wondered if they were escapees that had been missed last month.
''We went and had a look and rang the police and ended up with three cop cars out here.''
He had to cut the fence to get the hinds back into the paddock.
''I went and checked all the fences again and found they had cut it close to both places where we had done the last repairs.''
He also found the dead young stag. He says it was not possible to say with any certainty it had been shot, and trauma could have caused both animals' deaths.
''All I can say is we had two dead animals and they came to light at about the same time the fences had been cut.
''The big concern is if deer get on the road ... if somebody hit a deer, the deer is dead, that's a given, but the deer could easily go through the windscreen of the car that's hit it or people could swerve to miss it and you've got dead people as well.''
Kelvin says he isn't aware of any reason he could have been targeted.
''I'm beggared if we can figure out why the hell it has been done.''
The fences have now been professionally repaired and Kelvin is looking into the installation of cameras.
Te Puke Police Sergeant Mike Owen says the danger of having stock wandering on or near a highway is obvious.
''It astounds me that someone would be that irresponsible to not consider the safety and wellbeing of other motorists having, not to mention that somebody owns that stock and it's their livelihood.''