If drivin' 'round 'n' shootin' stuff is wrong, there are four dudes in Leon County who don't want to be right — or at least that's what authorities there say.
State game wardens say they closed the book on "one of the most egregious poaching cases on record" after the arrest of four adults and two minors in a three-month spree that killed at least 68 white-tailed deer, "numerous other wildlife species and livestock, and the indiscriminate and widespread destruction of public and private property," according to a Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife press release.
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Game wardens say the group had nine firearms, including a .22 "fitted with a homemade suppressor." But they apparently had another weapon as well — they allegedly hacked a cow to death with a machete.
The release also states, "While some of the deer killed had portions of the carcasses retained by the suspects for consumption – loins and hindquarters – most were simply left to rot in the field." Yikes. The men are also accused of shooting vultures, squirrels, foxes, feral hogs, doves, ducks, cormorants, blue herons, alligators, white egrets, armadillos and raccoons.
And that's just the critters; the group also allegedly shot road signs and mailboxes. Officials say they also burgled hunting cabins.
Department spokesman Carter Smith called it a "reprehensible and senseless killing spree" that had "no resemblance to hunting," according to the release. "And I know sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts everywhere will be appalled to learn of this thoughtless waste of life. It is fitting to see these violators brought to justice, thanks to an observant landowner who provided the initial tip and the diligent work of our Texas Game Wardens working with the sheriff’s office.”