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UFC's Lesnar faces hunting charges

MEDICINE HAT, Alberta (AP) -- Former UFC heavyweight champion and professional wrestler Brock Lesnar has been accused by Canadian wildlife officials of shooting a mule deer buck in southern Alberta but keeping only the trophy head.

Lesnar, 34, and his hunting guide are facing three charges related to leaving meat to rot, improper tagging and illegal possession of wildlife.

Lesnar wasn't present during Thursday's hearing at Medicine Hat provincial court. According to court documents, he has yet to submit to the jurisdiction to be arraigned and has so far only been represented by a legal agent.

A home phone for Lesnar, who lives in Alexandria, Minn., could not be found. A message left for Lesnar's agent Friday was not immediately returned.

After 14 months away from mixed martial arts while he recovered from a lower intestinal ailment, Lesnar will return to the octagon Dec. 30 against Alistair Overeem at UFC 141 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas. Lesnar is the UFC's biggest pay-per-view draw, largely thanks to his fame from his former career with World Wrestling Entertainment.

In an article on the 2010 hunt by Alberta's Professional Outfitter Magazine, Lesnar was described as needing medical attention for a severe arm injury after the deer's antlers punctured his biceps as he packed the head out.

A video shot by North American Hunter Television showed Lesnar shooting a mule deer buck at the bottom of a steep coulee under heavy snow cover, as his guide stood nearby.

"I'm very happy with him. Nice, old, mature mule deer," Lesnar said in the video after shooting the buck. "Now the work begins."

Lesnar is then seen with a ruck sack packing what he describes as nearly 150 pounds of meat. The clip didn't show any other parts of the animal being harvested.

"Baddest man on the planet. With the horns and about 150 pounds of meat on my back for about 500 feet, living the dream -- this is what I live for," Lesnar said at the end of the video.

The director of the Alberta Professional Outfitters Society said it's unethical to leave edible meat in the field.

"Wasted game is a very serious crime in the minds of hunters because most everybody is hunting for meat at the outset," said Owen Voaklander. "It's sort of paying reverence to the animal that they harvested and you're not wasting."

Both Lesnar and the guide are scheduled to make their next court appearance Jan. 19.

Lesnar was an NCAA champion wrestler at the University of Minnesota before his career with the WWE. He won the UFC heavyweight title by beating Randy Couture in just his fourth professional MMA bout in November 2008, but lost the belt to Cain Velasquez in October 2010.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.