Department of Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Officers Seize 36 Illegal Deer, Turkeys From Livingston County Man
A Livingston County man faces time in jail and thousands of dollars in fines and costs after conservation officers with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources seized 34 illegal deer and two wild turkeys from his home Tuesday, January 26.
Officers charged David G. Ray, 32, of Smithland, with 36 counts of illegally taking deer or wild turkey. He is scheduled for arraignment in Livingston District Court Feb. 11.
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Bill Snow and Conservation Officers Josh Hudson and Daniel Richardson executed a search warrant on Ray’s property after receiving information from a concerned citizen, and the assistance of Livingston County Attorney Billy Riley. The officers seized 34 deer heads and two wild turkeys. All appeared to have been taken in 2009.
The seized deer heads had been cut off at the neck or reduced to skullcaps. Twenty-four were still in velvet. Officers found 18 heads inside a freezer located in an outbuilding on the property. The remaining racks came from the residence and the back of a truck. The turkeys were in a freezer.
Ray previously lost one year of hunting privileges, forfeited hunting equipment and paid a $500 fine for a 1995 illegal take conviction.
“I don’t understand why anyone would think they need to kill every buck they see in the velvet,” said Snow, who said it took several trucks to remove all the deer heads. “Some of these deer had small racks.”
Penalties for each illegally taken deer or turkey include up to $1,000 in fines, one year in jail, or both, loss of hunting privileges for up to three years, and forfeiture of hunting equipment. Ray also could be ordered to pay replacement costs for the animals, which include $753 for each deer and $563 for each wild turkey.