During public deer hunt last winter on Assateague Island, one of the wild horses emblematic of the popular vacation spot was found fatally shot.
Two people have been charged, but not identified by Park Rangers, in the death of the horse.
Each violation carries a maximum of six months in jail and $5k fine.
The first, apparently a resident of Easton, MD, was charged with illegal taking of wildlife, use of a weapon that endangers persons or property, destroying from its natural state living wildlife and knowingly giving a false report.
The second, described as being from Preston, MD, was charge with giving a false report.
The horse in question was identified as a 28 year-old mare. Initial reports said the horse was found dead by a hunter on Saturday and the incident reported the next day. It is unclear which part of the initial report led to the false reporting charges filed against the pair.
Most national parks do not allow hunting, however hunting on Assateague Island was authorized by Congress when the park was created in 1965.
Sika and whitetail deer population control is given as the reason for the occasional hunt. The horse population is also controlled but by different means. Assateague Island in Maryland uses contraceptives. On the Virginia side of the border surplus and young horses are auctioned off annually.