Three charged with shooting albino deer from truck in West Virginia
Three alleged poachers have been charged in the illegal shooting death of an albino deer in Boone County West Virginia. The names of the men were not released.
The West Virginia Department of Natural Resources had been on the lookout for two suspects since an albino deer was found shot dead in a person’s yard around 5:00 p.m. last Sunday.
“The shooters didn’t get the deer,” DNR Officer Dakoda Chattin told reporters. “They were going to get it, but somebody scared them and they drove off.”
The DNR decided to put out a request for help on social media. The post was shared more than 7,000 times and law enforcement was soon provided with names of possible suspects.
Once Officer Chattin found the suspects, they quickly admitted to illegally shooting the animal.
It also turns out they had shot the snow-white deer from a vehicle. The individuals were hit with charges for hunting out of season, hunting without a license, carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle, shooting from a vehicle and using an illegal firearm for hunting.
“They were using a .22 mag,” Chattin told reporters. “Even when it’s deer season you can’t use that.”
While few details of how he found the suspects were given, Chattin credited social media with helping in cracking the case. “A lot of times these people like to brag,” he told reporters. “Even though they did it illegally, they like to brag and that was kind of what I was hoping for.”
The West Virginia DNR said Facebook has becoming a valuable tool in fighting wildlife crimes since they began using it earlier this year.
“We continue to be impressed with how we’ve been able to solve crimes with the public’s help,” Natural Resources Police Col. Jerry Jenkins said in a press release.
It was not stated what was done with the rare animal’s body in the wake of the shooting.