Some East Texans looking for the thrill of a good hunt are going outside the boundaries of the law to get it. Authorities in Smith and Van Zandt counties are now investigating several poaching cases. The latest case happened in west Smith County. Parks and Wildlife found a decapitated deer laying next CR 1147 Saturday morning.
Game Warden Chris Green hopes a bullet found inside the carcass will help tie the incident to other poachings. "Several of these cases occurred over in Van Zandt County, so where trying to link them all together," he says.
Green says people are poaching anytime they hunt out of season or on property without the landowner's permission. Penalties for poaching run the gamut. A hunter who kills an animal on the road could face a Class A misdemeanor charge and a $400 fine. If the animal is killed on private property, landowners have the right to press felony charges. Under such circumstances, poachers could receive a $10,000 fine.
Gina Shipman owns property near one of the latest poaching cases and says it's not the first time she's witnessed illegal hunting.
"Living in the country we have a lot of them (poachers) around, and I do have children around and it's scary."
"We're dealing with someone here who likes to kill and gets pleasure out of collecting antlers," says Green. "It's not ethical and we frown upon it because it's dangerous."