Exposing the Big Game

Forget Hunters' Feeble Rationalizations and Trust Your Gut Feelings: Making Sport of Killing Is Not Healthy Human Behavior

Exposing the Big Game

Decline In Deer And Wild Horses Kindling Catastrophic Wildfires

Large herbivores, such as deer and wild horses have over evolutionary time evolved to control and maintain the grass and brush that is ubiquitous across the landscape. The now prodigious grass and brush that has resulted from a significant decline in our native herbivores is fueling and kindling catastrophic wildfires, makes them abnormally hot, resulting in the incineration of everything in their path.

And as these devastating wildfires burn for weeks and months at a time, the air quality in many areas reaches a ‘hazardous’ level due to extreme particulate concentrations combined with gaseous toxins that are deadly.

During this 2020 wildfire season, the air quality in many areas of California and Oregon (and elsewhere in America) reached levels where people are made seriously ill, while others who are exposed to this deadly air are then preconditioned and made more susceptible to a myriad of health issues down the road, and that is especially true for our children.

As a result of the ongoing mismanagement of large herbivores, this letter was penned to the Bureau of Land Management managers in the Medford, Oregon District offices by William E. Simpson II, a naturalist-researcher who studies the effects of herbivores (specifically wild horses) on wilderness landscape and wildfire.

TO: Elizabeth Burghard – BLM District Manager Medford, OR

Lauren P. Brown –

Manager – Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument

CC: Et. Al.

RE: Who Should Americans Blame For Incinerating Flames And Deadly Smoke From Wildfire?

Dear Ms. Burghard and Ms. Brown:

Enjoying our “hazardous air”? It stems from obtuse management policies that fail to observe the reality of science instead of politics, egos and money.

At a time when we need all the fuels (grass and brush) reduction and maintenance we can muster, here we discover that the Bureau of Land Management (‘BLM’) is removing large herbivores (nature’s grass and brush mowers) from our landscape locally and nationally, which is already deficient in large herbivores according to the best science.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-1227307663574741&output=html&h=280&adk=2608271695&adf=2437803625&pi=t.aa~a.829776362~i.57~rp.4&w=640&fwrn=4&fwrnh=100&lmt=1622913282&num_ads=1&rafmt=1&armr=3&sem=mc&pwprc=9818545385&psa=1&ad_type=text_image&format=640×280&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.valuewalk.com%2F2020%2F09%2Fwild-horses-removal-wildfire%2F%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR3_Kp6Fysuv6XlPJLPWIhnX-YjmMog5kZd9RWoLrqvclVwq1vIzpJpWKCk&flash=0&fwr=0&pra=3&rh=160&rw=640&rpe=1&resp_fmts=3&wgl=1&fa=27&adsid=ChEI8MHshQYQ5PCP54y7qNiNARI9AHrZIcfPygrQDYGhQoBHe0GW9B4Pnbi72rZuDsVrklnKKnDh1YPkK29FgEInFXhefuPHUzywQxN2sbPIiQ&uach=WyJXaW5kb3dzIiwiMTAuMCIsIng4NiIsIiIsIjkxLjAuNDQ3Mi43NyIsW11d&dt=1622913273351&bpp=12&bdt=10194&idt=13&shv=r20210601&cbv=%2Fr20190131&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3D81320396d220691a-224bdd61e9c70067%3AT%3D1622913267%3ART%3D1622913267%3AS%3DALNI_May8IVXWnwcl6JI7Ggb7t01SLhXcw&prev_fmts=0x0%2C300x250&nras=3&correlator=7277685408563&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=371416190.1622906261&ga_sid=1622913267&ga_hid=613557061&ga_fc=0&u_tz=-420&u_his=1&u_java=0&u_h=640&u_w=1139&u_ah=607&u_aw=1139&u_cd=24&u_nplug=3&u_nmime=4&adx=71&ady=3583&biw=1123&bih=537&scr_x=0&scr_y=1700&eid=44744007%2C44744015&oid=3&psts=AGkb-H-w-xXCkoT5lMP_1xZEaA50xORYygGZwwkAJHZaqMv09ieplvYaYtv_5ejtmPWw5RkQlSZw6nDf509SMA&pvsid=4320925660688057&pem=550&ref=https%3A%2F%2Foutlook.live.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1408&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C1139%2C0%2C1139%2C607%2C1139%2C537&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7Cs%7C&abl=NS&fu=128&bc=31&jar=2021-06-05-17&ifi=6&uci=a!6&btvi=2&fsb=1&xpc=Czy9KwzYsb&p=https%3A//www.valuewalk.com&dtd=9188

The following statement is relevant in regard to the removal of wild horses from the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument and areas surrounding the Monument, like the Soda Mountain Wilderness Area and the Pokegama Herd Management Area, where the BLM is idiotically rounding up wild horses (aka: large herbivores) this coming week.

Jozef Keulartz:

“The removal of large herbivores has adverse effects on landscape structure and ecosystem functioning. In wetter ecosystems, the loss of large herbivores is associated with an increased abundance of woody plants and the development of a closed-canopy vegetation. In drier ecosystems, reductions of large grazers can lead to a high grass biomass, and thus, to an increase in the frequency and intensity of wildfires. Together, with the loss of a prey base for large carnivores, these changes in vegetation structures and fire regimes may trigger cascades of extinctions (Bakker et al., 2016; Estes et al., 2011; Hopcraft, Olff, & Sinclair, 2009; Malhi et al., 2016).” http://oxfordre.com/environmentalscience/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780199389414.001.0001/acrefore-9780199389414-e-545

Additionally, you should be taking more of a leadership role in controlling your subordinate, Mr. Joel Brumm of your Bureau of Land Management (‘BLM’) office and his obtuse rantings (in public) that are both scientifically and legally incorrect, when he says: “wild horses are trespass animals in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument (‘Monument’)”. Mr. Brumm’s blathering in this regard is just nonsense in the face of real science and arguably incorrect in the face of the law.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-1227307663574741&output=html&h=280&adk=2608271695&adf=3999567714&pi=t.aa~a.829776362~i.65~rp.4&w=640&fwrn=4&fwrnh=100&lmt=1622913348&num_ads=1&rafmt=1&armr=3&sem=mc&pwprc=9818545385&psa=1&ad_type=text_image&format=640×280&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.valuewalk.com%2F2020%2F09%2Fwild-horses-removal-wildfire%2F%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR3_Kp6Fysuv6XlPJLPWIhnX-YjmMog5kZd9RWoLrqvclVwq1vIzpJpWKCk&flash=0&fwr=0&pra=3&rh=160&rw=640&rpe=1&resp_fmts=3&wgl=1&fa=27&adsid=ChEI8MHshQYQ5PCP54y7qNiNARI9AHrZIcfPygrQDYGhQoBHe0GW9B4Pnbi72rZuDsVrklnKKnDh1YPkK29FgEInFXhefuPHUzywQxN2sbPIiQ&uach=WyJXaW5kb3dzIiwiMTAuMCIsIng4NiIsIiIsIjkxLjAuNDQ3Mi43NyIsW11d&dt=1622913273390&bpp=12&bdt=10226&idt=12&shv=r20210601&cbv=%2Fr20190131&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3D81320396d220691a%3AT%3D1622913267%3AS%3DALNI_MYyGFZlR7oZi_8Kc-CzgVwc6PX0HA&prev_fmts=0x0%2C300x250%2C640x280&nras=4&correlator=7277685408563&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=371416190.1622906261&ga_sid=1622913267&ga_hid=613557061&ga_fc=0&u_tz=-420&u_his=1&u_java=0&u_h=640&u_w=1139&u_ah=607&u_aw=1139&u_cd=24&u_nplug=3&u_nmime=4&adx=71&ady=4913&biw=1123&bih=537&scr_x=0&scr_y=2926&eid=44744007%2C44744015&oid=3&psts=AGkb-H-w-xXCkoT5lMP_1xZEaA50xORYygGZwwkAJHZaqMv09ieplvYaYtv_5ejtmPWw5RkQlSZw6nDf509SMA%2CAGkb-H_P7fos85x85_9J5tOM6oZNhUE_o0T4B5M_lQRUZ2Usp6zMc1I5RarpivSl_mwE4Hh4U0BnoxVxT9NS&pvsid=4320925660688057&pem=550&ref=https%3A%2F%2Foutlook.live.com%2F&eae=0&fc=1408&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C1139%2C0%2C1139%2C607%2C1139%2C537&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7Cs%7C&abl=NS&fu=128&bc=31&jar=2021-06-05-17&ifi=7&uci=a!7&btvi=3&fsb=1&xpc=7dn3FoUAnG&p=https%3A//www.valuewalk.com&dtd=74943

We all need to keep in mind that ‘administrative policy’ does not supersede established law or Acts of Congress, which represent the will of the American people as a whole, as opposed to the whims of some administrative fiefdom and it’s ruler (dictatorship), as has been the case at the BLM.

The corruption and malfeasance at the BLM now seems to arguably top any other government agency… here are just three of many examples, one concerns a BLM employee from the Medford District Office:

1) Former BLM Official (Medford, OR) Pleads Guilty to Public Corruption Charges Sophisticated Contract Manipulation Scheme Defrauds BLM of Over $400,000 https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/portland/press-releases/2010/pd041610

2) Inspector General Report Confirms Mass Slaughter of Wild Horses During Reign of Then-Interior Secretary Ken Salazar: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/inspector-general-report_b_8393670

3) The BLM make a material misrepresentation to the Congress of the Unites States of America in their 2018 Report To Congress ‘Management Options For A Sustainable Wild Horse And Burro Program’, where on page-1, paragraph 5 of the Executive Summary they wrote: “Wild horses and burro have no natural predators...”. That statement is false in the face of wildlife ecology and evolution. Mountain lions, bears, wolves, and coyotes kill and eat the foals and adults as their natural prey.

Motorist, 18, ticketed for intentionally hitting, critically injuring deer with pickup truck in Old Forge


[Only ticketed?!!?]

Updated Apr 15, 2021; Posted Apr 15, 2021

A white-tailed deer.

Facebook ShareTwitter Share928sharesBy David Figura | dfigura@nyup.com

An 18-year-old driver in Old Forge was ticketed late last month by state conservation officers for intentionally speeding up his pickup truck, hitting and critically injuring a white-tailed deer.

That incident and other recent incidents below involving state Department of Environmental Conservation officers (ECOs) was reported this week by the DEC.

Intentional Deer Strike – Herkimer County

“On March 31, Town of Webb Police contacted a state Conservation Officer about a deer struck and killed by a vehicle in the village of Old Forge. Multiple eyewitnesses claimed the driver intentionally accelerated his truck toward two deer standing in the road, striking one and dragging it approximately 70 to 100 yards down the road. Due to the extent of its injuries, the deer had to be euthanized, according to wktv.com. An officer accessed video footage from a local business’ security camera that corroborated eyewitness statements. With help from Old Forge Police, ECOs located the truck and driver in the town of Forestport, Oneida County, and found deer hair in the front bumper of the suspect’s truck. After interviewing him and presenting him with the evidence, the driver, Grady Boulier, 18, admitted to accelerating toward the two deer, striking one, and dragging it down the road before stopping. The subject was issued appearance tickets to the Town of Webb Court for Environmental Conservation Law violations of taking deer from a public highway, taking deer while in a motor vehicle and taking deer during the closed season.”

There’s No Such Thing as “Wounding” a Deer With Your Car

May be an image of deer, food and nature
May be an image of deer, food and nature
Text and photos by Jim Robertson

If you’re barreling down the road safely behind the wheel of your carbon-spewing steel-cage-contraption and “clip,” “wing” or “sideswipe” a soft-bodied deer trying to cross one of the ubiquitous roadways, even if it hobbles away looking “okay” you killed the poor creature. Maybe not outright and maybe not today, but you can bet that he or she won’t make it through too many cold nights without succumbing to his or her injuries.

The fact is, there are just far too many cars, driving far too fast for conditions (which include marked or unmarked deer crossings) for any semblance of sanity.

Just this morning, I had the displeasure of having to “put down” a wounded deer who had been staying in our hay shed for the past two nights. I knew he (one of his antlers was lost when the car or truck hit him) was wounded, but it wasn’t until he limped off yesterday morning dragging his broken and mangled hind leg that I knew for certain he had no hope of any natural recovery. The bone was protruding from the compound fracture which would never heal right on its own—and no vet around here would treat an injured deer since this county fancies itself a “trophy” mule deer area and deer are just a “resource.”

As much as I hate to take the life of any animal, I was forced to do what the deer ultimately wanted of me and end his suffering as quickly and humanely as possible. After the deed (I shot using a high-powered rifle with a scope through the open bathroom window), my wife and I rolled his lifeless body onto a tarp and slid it across the snow to a safe spot for scavengers to feed.

“Roadkill” is so prevalent in this valley that signs have been placed at either end of the highways leading into what should just be a deer wintering range warning motorists that the annual tally of deer deaths are 150+ (that figure updated yearly). But more ominous to most drivers is the estimated cost repairing their precious vehicles. Still, no dollar-value or loss of non-human life would convince most drivers they should change the speed limit to 25 or 35 miles-per-hour (as it’s marked and enforced through the towns).

I’m sure it would be considered heresy these days to demand an enforced 45 mph daytime speed limit on any highway bisecting any deer winter range, but that’s the kind of “extreme” step we’ll have to take if we want to go on using the name homo sapiens, meaning “intelligent ape,” and not be demoted to something reflecting recklessness or self-centered-ness—something like homo erraticus, homo psychopathicus, homo drive-too-fasticus or whatever type of homo scientists deem appropriate.

May be an image of deer and nature

Deer Snatches Hunter’s Gun In Czech Republic

November 27, 20207:33 AM ETHeard on Morning EditionLISTEN·0:2929-Second ListenAdd toPLAYLIST

You might think twice about hunting deer if one comes charging at you with a gun. In the Czech Republic, a hunter’s gun got caught in a deer’s antlers. The animal promptly ran off.


Good morning. I’m Steve Inskeep. Hunters in the Czech Republic were following a deer when something went wrong. One of their dogs startled it. The deer ran toward them and one of its antlers caught the strap of a hunter’s rifle. It ran off. Someone later saw the deer, still with the gun, more than a mile away. Apparently, the gun isn’t loaded, but some future hunter may think twice about opening fire when encountering a deer that also appears to be armed. It’s MORNING EDITION.

Copyright © 2020 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

To Avoid Hitting A Deer, Look For ‘Eyeshine’


By CONNIE KUNTZ  OCT 28, 2020ShareTweetEmailA deer across the street from the WNIJ station on 1st St. in DeKalb.CREDIT CONNIE KUNTZ

It’s deer mating season. It’s also deer hunting season and the fall harvest. That means deer are out and about. They’re looking for love, safety and food — especially at dusk and dawn.ListenListening…0:49

Peggy Doty is an extension educator on the environmental and energy stewardship team for the University of Illinois Extension. When you are driving, she said to remember to slow down, give yourself extra space between vehicles, and, if it’s dark, scan the road for eyeshine.

“There’s a membrane in the eye right behind the retina in many animals — not in humans — and you’ll notice a lot of the animals that do have eyeshine tend to me more nocturnal.” She continued, “The little membrane acts like a mirror and bounces it [light] back.”

Doty explained that not all animal eyes glow the same.

“Deer tend to have a green reflective,” she said. “It has to do with chemicals in the membrane — you know, different substances, supposedly, and there’s varying amounts of pigments. I know for a fact that skunks have red eyes.”

Doty said you can even see this eyeshine in spiders. 

“If you shine a light in the summer in the wet grass, and you see a little itty bitty bright light, chances are it’s the reflection from that little membrane of a spider,” she said, “It’s kind of a cool thing.”

Doty said scanning for eyeshine increases your awareness of roadside animals and improves your chances of avoiding a collision. 

“I drive, looking for any shine,” she said. “Of course, then you see a reflective light on a poll and you’re like ‘Oh, it’s nothing, right?’ Some things are reflective from the Department of Transportation.”

But having that increased awareness may help you avoid a collision. Doty has never hit a deer. 

If you do hit a deer, Doty warned, “You’re going to be frazzled.” She said the best thing to do is “find a safe place to pull over and put your hazards on and regroup.”

Doty said if you feel it’s necessary, call the police for assistance, but if you don’t, you still need to document the accident. And, no matter how curious you are, stay away from the animal.

“If it’s unconscious and jumps up, and it’s a full-size deer, you’re talking about them possibly bouncing off of your body,” she said. “It’s best to stay away.”

Furthermore, it is illegal for anyone except law enforcement to kill a crippled deer, so resist the urge to put it out of its misery.

Deer killed from a vehicle collision can be claimed by any Illinoisan. Call 217-782-6431 or visit deer.wildlifeillinois.org for more information about claiming road kill.

Accidents happen, but training your eye to scan for eyeshine is a big step in avoiding a collision. And if a deer should cross your path, don’t swerve to avoid it. Swerving could cause you to lose control of your vehicle or increase the severity of the crash. Instead, try to “glance” your vehicle off the deer. This could save your life.

In 2019, there were more than 16,000 deer accidents in Illinois. Most occurred in Cook, Madison, Sangamon, Will, Fulton, Peoria, Kane, Rock Island, Jacksn and Bureau counties. 604 of the accidents caused personal injuries and four of the deer-vehicle crashes resulted in human fatalities.

Cranbrook Continues Pointless Deer Killing

There is a maxim often falsely attributed to Albert Einstein: “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Yet, that describes the lethal deer management of the City of Cranbrook, British Columbia. At a meeting in the fall of 2019, Council reviewed a report on its Urban Deer Population Management Program. In it was an accounting of the number of both mule deer and white-tailed deer killed on its behalf between 2011 and 2019. According to the report, the culling was done to address citizen complaints about deer. Not counting 2015, when vandals damaged the traps, stopping the culling of deer early; or 2013, when the cull “ended early due to loss of butcher services,” it went from 24 deer killed in 2015, to 50 deer in 2018. The last cull “…lasted two weeks due to permit delays, trap vandalism, and extremely cold weather that reduced deer activity.”

The killing, done by live-trapping the deer, holding them down, and driving a metal bolt into their brains, did not stop the complaints as there were more in 2019 than any year previous (see previous explanation for example). However, it does upset compassionate citizens who don’t like to see the deer killed. Desperation has, presumably, motivated some to free the captured deer from certain death. Other communities in that part of the province and elsewhere are trying methods that actually reduce complaints, but not Cranbrook. The city keeps doing the same thing over and over, while apparently expecting different results.

The data the city collected showed that complaints stayed essentially the same, even went up. There were 35 complains in 2016, 15 in 2017, 23 in 2019 and 38 in 2019.There were also surveys done to try to get a rough sense of how many deer of the two species are in town. What follows is the total number for each year, with the number that were mule deer in brackets and the remaining number being white-tails: November 2010: 101 (96); March 2012: 121 (74); November 2012: 96 (57); November 2013: 120 (80); December 2014: 104 (?1); November 2015: 137 (116); November 2016: 142 (120); December 2018: 98 (67). The cost of the killing worked out to $650.00 per animal.

The survey numbers (unlike kill numbers or complaint numbers, both accurate) should be considered to be estimates of numbers of deer in town during surveys. One does not have to be a trained biostatistician to see that there is no downward trend in numbers of deer counted. On the other hand, there is a downward trend is in overall numbers of mule deer in the forests of B.C., which concerns hunters and conservationists alike.

Male mule deer in rut (breeding condition) and females protecting fawns can actually be aggressive toward humans, and, most especially, toward dogs. Twenty eight of the 40 complaints listed in the city’s data involved hostile encounters between deer and residents. Thirty-two of the complaints could not identify which species of deer were of concern. Seven complaints identified mule deer as the problem and one a white-tailed deer. Each species of deer behaves differently with white-tails being quite timid. Nonetheless, the Council asked for and received an amended cull permit which allowed for equal killing of white-tailed and mule deer, 35 of each species. Despite this request, only eight deer ultimately lost their lives, five white-tailed and three mule deer.

Deer belong in British Columbia as much as do people. Short of driving their numbers down to endangered status there will always be encounters with people. But, if instead of endlessly killing them and endlessly hearing complaints about them, why not work to reduce the number of deer and the number of complaints by educating the public about garden planting that does not attract deer, providing incentives for fencing, enacting and enforcing leash laws, and taking other actions that actually work?

Keep Wildlife in the Wild,

Marineland confirms walrus death, two deer killed in opening day stampede

Marineland has confirmed the death of walrus Apollo and said the 18-year-old animal had a heart attack.

Cillian O’BrienCTVNews.ca writer


Published Wednesday, May 22, 2019 12:33PM EDT 

Controversial Canadian waterpark Marineland has announced the death of one of its walruses, days after “demonstrators” were blamed for causing a stampede that led to the deaths of two deer.

The tourist attraction in Niagara Falls, Ont. announced Apollo’s death on Tuesday, confirming the 18-year-old animal died of a heart attack in late April.

“Even with the immediate intervention of multiple medical marine mammal experts, we are sad to report that Apollo passed away,” a Marineworld release said.

“While the loss of Apollo is truly devastating for all of us who knew him, we are comforted in knowing he passed very quickly and without obvious pain.”

The park is now keeping a close eye on its last remaining walrus, Smooshi, which has been subject to “extensive additional checkups to confirm the status of her health.”

“Our team is providing her with additional enrichment and care while plans for her future at the park are finalized,” the park said.

“Smooshi continues to show her love and adoration for her favourite marine mammal trainers and appeared to be in good spirits when taking to the stage at Marineland’s educational presentation on Saturday’s opening day.”

Apollo is the fourth walrus to die at Marineland in two years.

Zeus died of natural causes on Boxing Day last year. Another walrus, Buttercup, died in the winter of 2017/18.

Female walrus Sonja died suddenly in May 2017 from a rare abdominal aneurysm, the park said.

Two deer killed in stampede

Meanwhile, Marineland said it had its busiest opening day in a decade, despite protests from animal rights groups.

The park claims two men deliberately started a deer stampede Saturday, resulting in the deaths of two of the animals.

“These individuals laughed in the face of staff as they tried to get them to stop,” a Marineland statement said.

“They refused all instruction by staff and resisted efforts to remove them from the Deer Park. We are all upset by this terrible act against innocent animals.

“In order to protect our animals, we are closing the Deer Park to make modifications to prevent this type of incident from ever happening again.”

Ontario SPCA and Humane Society has called for an overhaul to provincial animal welfare legislation, which it says is failing animals kept in captivity for commercial gain.

“The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society has formed a task force dedicated to developing ‎new provincial animal welfare legislation that reflects the need for both greater protection and social justice for animals,” the charity said in a statement.

“The task force is reviewing the need for animals to be recognized under law as sentient beings to acknowledge their ability to feel, to have subjective experiences and to be treated accordingly, rather than as property.”

hunters fined $2,000


Two Sault Ste. Marie men were fined a total of $2,000 for an illegal deer hunt.

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry received a complaint about two men hunting illegally on St. Jospeh Island in October 2016.

An investigation found Cameron Tucker and Evan Thorne were hunting a white-tailed deer when Tucker shot and killed a buck deer without a licence. The pair took the deer to a nearby camp to process. Tucker repeatedly gave false information to a conservation officer, a release says.

Tucker was fined $500 for unlawfully hunting a deer without a licence and $500 for obstructing a peace officer.

He was also handed a two-year hunting prohibition in addition to a three-year ban for another hunting offence.

Thorne was fined $1,000 for unlawfully possession an illegally killed deer.

Justice of the Peace James Bubba heard the case in Ontario Court of Justice in Sault Ste. Marie on Aug. 9.

Flagstaff man accused of illegally hunting mule deer, search warrant reveals trophies


Investigators recovered fhttp://www.12news.com/article/news/crime/flagstaff-man-accused-of-illegally-hunting-mule-deer-search-warrant-reveals-trophies/472775299

mule deer trophies at his home, including antlers believed to be from a well-known deer who lived in the Grand Canyon.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Several state and federal agencies served a search warrant on a man at his Flagstaff home and found mule deer trophies suspected to be illegally hunted.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department have been investigating the hunting activities of Loren McReynolds for several years now.

Investigators recovered five mule deer trophies at McReynolds’ home, including nontypical antlers believed to be from a well-known deer that lived within the Grand Canyon National Park boundaries, AZGFD said.

“The department has received many complaints about McReynolds’ hunting activities over the years,” said Gene Elms, Law Enforcement Branch chief for the Arizona Game and Fish Department in a press release. “Thanks to those individuals who came forward and the diligence of our investigators, we have the evidence to pursue criminal charges for McReynolds’ actions.”

McReynolds has a previous history of alleged wildlife violations, and was arrested in January 2017 for weapons violations and for killing federally protected burros north of Williams, Ariz., according to AZGFD.

McReynolds faces possible jail time and court fines if convicted. In addition, the AZGFD has authority to seek civil restitution for the loss of wildlife to the state and suspend or revoke McReynolds’ hunting privileges.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department encourages anyone with information about the illegal take of wildlife to call the Operation Game Thief hotline at 800-352-0700 or visit www.azgfd.com/ogt.

CNY man boasts on Facebook after killing deer, now faces $11,500 in fines


State Department of Environmental Conservation officers looked into the case after they saw three Facebook posts where a man boasted about killing two 8-point bucks during the archery season.
State Department of Environmental Conservation officers looked into the case after they saw three Facebook posts where a man boasted about killing two 8-point bucks during the archery season.(Stephen Cannerelli)

A Central New York man was recently charged with 11 different offenses under the state’s Environmental Conservation Law and faces fines of up to $11,500 for illegally shooting three bucks with a bow and a crossbow.

Two of the deer were reportedly killed in his backyard over bait.

The case first came to attention of DEC officers after Dean P. Brutcher Jr., 34 of DeWitt, boasted on three Facebook posts about killing two, 8-point bucks during the archery season, according to the DEC.  A state hunting license only allows a hunter to take one buck during the archery season.

The town of DeWitt is among those Central New York suburban communities with excessive numbers of deer. The latest counts show the community has about 100 deer per square mile – at least five times the normal eight to 20 per square mile, according to figures from the state College of Environmental Science and Forestry, DeWitt officials said.

An investigation into Brutcher’s Facebook posts was initiated by state Environmental Conservation Officer Don Damrath. As Damrath was attempting to locate Brutcher, the man posted a photo of a third buck taken on his Facebook page, the biggest of the three deer.

The ECO caught up with Brutcher at his home “late in the evening (on Dec. 22) and the man produced three, 8-point racks to go along with a poorly concocted story about how and where he killed the deer.”

According to the DEC, “ECO Damrath determined two of the three deer were killed over bait in the backyard of the man’s house in a nearby suburban neighborhood. One of the bucks was taken with a crossbow during the archery only season, and one of the bucks was never tagged. None of the deer were reported.”

Damrath seized all three sets of antlers.

ECO Don Damrath with the three seized sets of antlers.

Brutcher was charged with taking big game in excess of the bag limit; unlawful possession of protected wildlife; failure to report deer take within 7 days (three counts);  take/kill deer wrong implement; unlawful deer kill (two counts);  hunt over bait (two counts);  entice deer to feed (within) 300 feet (of a) highway.

Five of the above offenses are misdemeanors. Brutcher faces an additional misdemeanor charge for signing a false statement, DEC said.

Along with the above charges, Brutcher also faces loss of his hunting privileges.

Meanwhile, DeWitt officials in late October approved a plan to use federal sharpshooters to hunt and kill deer in targeted areas of the community.

The town’s plan was recently approved by the DEC and culling of the herd is expected to start soon at seven undisclosed locations.