A group of men in North Carolina are charged with poaching 26 deer.
North Carolina wildlife officials have charged five people, including three juveniles in the poaching of 26 deer.
“In the early stages of the investigation, it does not appear they were trying to feed their families,” North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Lt. Sam Craft told WRAL.com.
Wildlife officials discovered the waste when they followed up on a tip at a house. It was there they discovered the heads of 16 deer; most of them were bucks. Further investigation by officials revealed 10 more deer dead in nearby fields. At least one deer was still alive, but had to be put down due to its injuries.
Facing charges in the incident are 18-year-old Christopher Jernigan and 19-year-old Timothy Stamatis. Officials would not release the names of three others who were charged because they were minors.
North Carolina’s deer season ended on Jan. 1. Officials believe the deer were shot at night.
“The deer were in various states of decay,” Craft said. “Some were just heads with antlers and others were whole deer left to lie in the field.”
In spite of the extremely wasteful nature of the crimes, the charges are only misdemeanor in nature. Each could face fines of $500 and restitution to replace the deer if convicted. Officials are saying these costs would be around $15,000.
It appears that even the wildlife officials involved in the investigation are taken aback by the amount of waste of natural resources seen in the incident.
“You don’t know what to say to people who commit crimes like these,” Craft said.