Texas Man Arrested for Spotlighting Deer With Crossbow and Shotgun in Truck, Police Report


Police in Clay County, Texas, say that 29-year-old James Brandon Taylor was found sitting in the bed of a pickup truck with a loaded crossbow and a black flashlight in his lap.

Around 7:20 p.m. on November 15, the white 2013 Toyota pickup truck was found near the corner of US Hwy 64 and Carter Cove Road.

Deputies say they saw the truck shining a light on a slope and a wooded area where deer are known to be. The truck, eventually found to belong to 25-year-old Dalton Wayne Taylor of Hayesville, crossed Hwy. 64 and went onto Qualla Road.

People from Hayesville named Jerry Lee Taylor, 47, and Jonathan Buck Taylor, 31, were also in the truck during the stop.

The police asked James to stand up, and when he did, they found a loaded 410 sawed-off shotgun from the back of his pants. James was caught right away and taken to the Clay County Detention Center after admitting that he was a guilty criminal on probation for having methamphetamine.

Later searches revealed a small amount of what was probably methamphetamine on James’s person. At this point, he is being charged with felonies for having a gun while being a criminal, having a weapon of mass destruction, and having drugs on jail property. James is being held without bond until the case goes to court again.

There was also help from the US Forest Service with the traffic stop.

North Carolina Wildlife was told about what happened, and more charges may be brought.

What does “lighting up deer” mean?

Hikers who use artificial light, usually a flashlight, to briefly blind and light up deer at night are breaking the law and acting unethically when they do it. This method is often used to help hunters find and target deer at night, when their eyes reflect light and make them easier to see.

Texas Man Arrested for Spotlighting Deer With Crossbow and Shotgun in Truck, Police Report (1)

Deer can’t see and react to their surroundings properly when spotlights are used, which changes how they normally behave. In many places, shining a flashlight on a deer is illegal because it can be abused and hurts attempts to protect wildlife. Usually, hunting laws set specific times, ways, and moral standards to make sure that shooting is fair and doesn’t harm the environment.

Law enforcement and wildlife conservation groups work hard to make sure these rules are followed and stop criminal spotlighting, which is dangerous for both people and animals and can cause deer numbers to drop.

In the situation mentioned in the story, police were called to a report of strange behavior involving spotlighting deer. This shows how committed they are to protecting wildlife and enforcing hunting laws.

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