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January 7- 13, 2011

This report represents some events the FWC handled over the past week; however, it does not include all actions taken by the Division of Law Enforcement.



Officer Joe Murphy was working in the area of Blackwater Wildlife Management Area when he observed a truck enter a field where deer usually feed.  He watched the truck drive towards the back of the field and shine a spotlight.  A few moments later, he heard a rifle shot and the telltale thump of a bullet striking a deer.  Officer Murphy heard the subjects load the deer into the truck and was able to intercept the truck as its operator tried to exit the field.  Of the three subjects in the truck, two admitted to shining and killing the deer, a six‑point buck.  Both men were issued citations for taking a deer at night with a gun and light.  A rifle and spotlight were seized as evidence.  The deer was donated to a local charitable organization.

Lt. Dan Hahr was passing through Cantonment when a motorist flagged him down. The man quickly explained he had been following a man who had just stolen gas from a local gas station and the man was just down the street at another store.  Lieutenant Hahr went to that location and observed the suspect truck leaving.  He told the driver to back up and he did.  When he told the suspect it had been reported that he had stolen gas, the suspect admitted to the theft. Escambia County deputies, who were responding to the nearby gas station, were notified their suspect was being held a short distance away. They arrived and placed the subject under arrest for theft.


Officer Van Barrow observed a vehicle displaying a light in a manner capable of disclosing deer. Prior to observing the vehicle, Officer Barrow heard several shots in the direction the vehicle was traveling.  The vehicle was stopped and an inspection revealed a loaded Browning rifle.  A computer check revealed one of the subjects had active warrants in Okaloosa and Walton counties for violation of probation originating  from a bank robbery and grand theft.  Lt. Mark Hollinhead and Officer Danny Arnette responded to assist.  An interview with the subjects determined they shot at a deer prior to being stopped and also shot a deer a few nights before. One of the subjects agreed to provide the officers the meat from the deer which was stored in a freezer at a residence.  While retrieving the deer meat from the residence, Officer Arnette observed an active clandestine methamphetamine lab.  The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Department responded and properly secured the methamphetamine lab.  The three subjects were charged and booked into the Okaloosa County Jail for taking deer at night with a gun and light, hunting from a public road, and trafficking in amphetamines.  The subject with the active warrants also has charges pending for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.


Officers Ken White and Randall Brooks responded to a complaint about dogs running deer on private property.  The dogs were caught and the owner was located near where the dogs were running.  It was later determined the dogs were not registered or permitted to be used on the property.  The owner was cited for allowing dogs to pursue deer on property not permitted.


Officer Lane Kinney was checking a hunter on the Econfina Creek Wildlife Management Area north boundary after sundown.  An all terrain vehicle (ATV) running without headlights sped by and almost hit the officer and hunter.  The ATV then ran into the management area fence ejecting both the operator and the passenger.  The operator was unharmed and was arrested for driving under the influence.  The female passenger was injured and transported to the hospital.


Officer Larry Morris notified K-9 Officer Mike Guy of an illegal deer kill in north Holmes County. Both officers responded to the area and located a doe deer and a rifle.  With the assistance of the K-9, a suspect was located and a confession was obtained for taking a doe deer during closed season and armed trespass.  The Alabama resident was also cited for no nonresident hunting license.