No, we did not count lawn ornaments in deer tally: Wisconsin

Wisconsin officials have responded to a rumor that they included the state's myriad of charming lawn ornaments in the annual count of deer: No, no we did not.

Reuters reports that the hoax was refuted this week by the Department of Natural Resources.

It was not immediately clear who wrote the letter, which directs residents to "Act NOW!" but the culprit used the department's letterhead and signed it as department's deputy secretary, Kurt Thiede.

The DNR had posted its response to Facebook, including a copy of the letter.

Several of you have contacted us regarding a document that appears to be a letter (pictured here) from DNR asking people to remove concrete deer ornaments from their yards. This letter is a fake. It was not crafted, nor distributed by DNR. DNR is not asking the public to remove concrete deer ornaments or any other lawn ornaments from their yard.

The letter, on convincingly shabby state letterhead, reads: "To the citizens of Wisconsin, please remove any concrete deer ornaments from your lawn by November 1, 2015. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will be conducting a state-wide deer count and some yard ornaments may have been counted over the past two years by mistake."