2008-01-08 / News

Illegal deer killing noted near Lometa

PHOTO BY DAVID LOWE Game warden Jim Lindeman holds a set of antlers taken from a 16-point whitetail buck illegally killed south of Lometa. Two Evant men could face as much as 10 years in state prison and up to a $10,000 fine for alleged Texas Parks and Wildlife Department felony code violations. Two Evant men could face state jail confinement for their alleged involvement in an illegal deer killing near Lometa.

A landowner with a high-fenced ranch about five miles south of Lometa called game warden Jim Lindeman Dec. 17 to report a decapitated whitetail buck carcass in one of his fields.

Lindeman's investigation revealed that two Evant men shot the buck from a county road on the morning of Dec. 8, left the scene and returned after dark. The men then climbed the fence, removed the head on the 16-point buck -- which earned 182 Boone & Crockett points -- and jumped the fence with the head.

"They just left the carcass in the pasture," the game warden said.

A few days after visiting the landowner's property and taking tissue samples of the deer, Lindeman received a report from a game warden in Hamilton County about the killing of a large deer.

"Something this big and this unique, it's hard to keep secret," Lindeman said.

The whitetail had a 17-inch inside spread and featured a double tine on one side of the antlers. The antlers alone weigh eight pounds, said Lindeman.

"It's been several years since we have handled something this big," he said. "It's obviously a mature deer. It's gotten to its full potential."

After Lindeman completes his work related to the killing, arrest warrants will be issued, and the men may face grand jury indictments.

Possible charges include a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department code violation state jail felony, punishable by not more than 10 years in prison and as much as a $10,000 fine, and Class A Parks and Wildlife code violation misdemeanors for hunting from a public road and waste of game. Both Class A misdemeanors could carry up to one year in the county jail and as much as a $4,000 fine.

The men also exceeded legal bag limits by three deer, Lindeman said.

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