Several illegal hunting cases in east Tennessee have been recently adjudicated resulting in the forfeiture of weapons, vehicles, and the loss of hunting privileges, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). The cases were a few of many that were made in TWRA’s District 42, which consists of 10 counties in upper east Tennessee.
In Johnson County General Sessions Court, Christopher J. Bunn, 30, Herman D. Campbell, 43, and Steven D. Roark, 40, all of Mtn. City, pled guilty to hunting bear with the aid of bait. Bunn and Roark were also convicted of placing bait on a Wildlife Management Area and hunting bear during the closed season. General Sessions Judge William Hawkins assessed Bunn and Roark with $558 each while Campbell paid $186 in fines and court costs. All individuals were allowed to keep their hunting privileges in exchange for the forfeiture of two crossbows, a compound bow, three tree-stands, and a game camera. Wildlife Officers Corey Jones, Keith Thomas, and Captain Tim Sain, along with U.S. Forest Service Agents Scott Cairnes and Nick Vines, charged the men with 14 violations while hunting bear illegally on the Cherokee National Forest during the deer archery season.
In Cocke County General Sessions Court, Ralph Breeden, 59 of Newport pled guilty to over the limit of white-tailed deer, transporting illegally killed white-tailed deer, a big-game tagging violation, falsifying a state document, and possession of illegal wildlife. General Sessions Judge John Bell ordered Breeden to pay $3,181 in fines and court costs and suspended his hunting and trapping privileges for two years. Breeden also forfeited a 1998 Toyota Tacoma truck, a 2004 Honda Grizzly ATV, a Remington .243 caliber rifle, a red-tailed hawk mount, and 26 packages of processed deer meat. Wildlife Officers Shelley Hammonds and Scott Hollenbeck received information that led them to James H. Barrett (59), also of Newport, who possessed three deer illegally killed by Breeden. Barrett was also charged with a tagging violation and allowed to pay a $353 citation for his cooperation in the case. As the investigation unfolded, the truck and ATV were found to contain fresh deer hair and blood, which were used to haul the illegally killed deer.
In Jefferson County General Sessions Court, Donald R. White, 44, of Dandridge was convicted of illegal possession of big game, failure to wear fluorescent orange while hunting big game, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. A plea bargain dismissed license and spotlighting charges. Judge Strand assessed White with $794 in fines and court costs, revoked his hunting and fishing privileges for three years, and ordered that he surrender a .30-30 caliber rifle, a .38 caliber pistol, and multiple hunting knives. Officers Wayne Rich and Matt Cameron investigated the incident where White allowed a juvenile to shoot a doe deer during the buck only season and continued to hunt without any licenses or fluorescent orange.
Jefferson County General Sessions Court records also indicate that, Eric M. Butler, 28, and Brad E. Long, 35, both of White Pine, pled guilty to hunting from a vehicle and failure to wear fluorescent orange while hunting big game. Butler was also convicted of failure to tag big game. General Sessions Judge Ben Strand assessed Butler with $1,097 in fines and court costs, revoked his hunting privileges for one year, and ordered that a Remington .243 caliber rifle be forfeited to the TWRA. Long was ordered to pay $813 in fines and court costs. The incident occurred on Christmas Eve when the men spotted a buck and doe while driving on Hwy. 113 in White Pine. After attempting to gain hunting permission from different landowners, Butler shot the buck and was not allowed to retrieve it by one of the landowners involved. The men left the scene without validating a temporary harvest tag as required by state law. Officer Cameron responded charging each hunter with five violations.
Also in Jefferson County General Sessions Court, Terry W. Sinard, 43, of Talbott pled guilty to hunting without permission and hunting from a vehicle. Judge Strand ordered Sinard to pay $818 in fines, court costs, and restitution for the deer, and revoked his hunting privileges for one year. Officer Rich investigated the incident, which occurred during the January Young Sportsman’s deer hunt. Sinard spotted a “piebald” deer while driving on Hwy. 25/70 near Piedmont and allowed a juvenile to shoot the deer in a field without permission from the landowner.