A Louisiana man was arrested final week for a slew of legal prices that embrace poaching whitetail deer, trespassing on non-public property, and alleged “looking contest fraud.” In line with the Louisiana Division of Wildlife & Fisheries (LDWF), Farrion Fletcher Jr. of Georgetown, Louisiana poached three antlered deer in the course of the 2022-23 looking season—one in every of which he entered right into a “huge buck contest.” He now faces hundreds of {dollars} in fines and restitution and greater than a 12 months in jail.

The investigation into Fletcher started in early December 2022. LDWF brokers James Bruce and Ryan Durand had been tipped off to his unlawful actions after Fletcher entered an 8-point buck, which he’d poached whereas trespassing, into a giant buck contest hosted by an area financial institution.

Large buck contests are frequent in Louisiana. One current contest, sponsored by a regional sporting items retailer, provides successful individuals greater than $150,000 in prizes. That individual contest options 15 classes that vary from “largest spike” to the biggest non-typical. Prime winners are awarded such prizes as a $10,000 procuring spree or a brand-new ATV.

The competition that Fletching entered into is placed on by Colfax Financial institution. “They offer out two completely different prizes, one for the buck that will get essentially the most likes on their Fb web page and one for the most important buck general,” LDWF Sergeant Derek Ware advised Area & Stream. “They’ve been doing this for 4 or 5 years, and it’s gained lots of momentum in central Louisiana lately. They normally give out a reasonably good prize to whoever wins the most important buck general.”

In line with Ware, Fletching is a convicted felon and is prohibited from looking with a firearm. He mentioned Fletching used a crossbow to poach the 8-pointer that he later posted to the Colfax Financial institution Fb web page. “The realm the place this occurred is a really small rural neighborhood,” Ware mentioned. “We’ve arrested [Fletching] earlier than and knew of him from these earlier prices. When he posted the image of the 8-pointer to the Colfax Financial institution Fb web page, Sergeant Bruce went and ran his validations by the system, and it didn’t present a validation for that point.” 

Earlier than coming into the Colfax Financial institution huge buck contest, Fletcher validated the unlawful harvest with “a tag apart from his personal,” the division mentioned in a current press launch. “Brokers found in the course of the course of the investigation that Fletcher Jr. harvested a complete of six antlered deer in the course of the 2022-23 deer season placing him three over the seasonal restrict of three antlered deer for this space,” the discharge states. “The deer he entered into the large buck contest was the fourth antlered deer taken by Fletcher Jr. for the 2022-23 deer season.”

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Brokers arrested Fletcher on January 3 and booked him into the Grant Parish Detention Heart. The cost for taking greater than the seasonal restrict may carry as a lot as $500 in fines, whereas his felony cost of contest fraud may value him $3,000 in fines and as much as one 12 months in jail. He’s going through a further 30 days in jail for trespassing and practically $7,000 in restitution “for the alternative worth of the deer.”

Ware mentioned he’s seen a handful of unlawful huge buck contest entries over the course of his 9-year profession with LDWF. “A few years in the past a woman killed a deer and entered it into that very same contest, and she or he didn’t actually have a license,” he mentioned. “However so far as contest fraud, I haven’t seen lots of these circumstances. That takes it to a different stage. [Fletching] is taking a look at a lot stiffer penalties as a result of he determined to enter that contest.”

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