A Maryland man was convicted this week for poaching a potential state-record whitetail deer on a neighbor's property last fall.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources said in a press release that Ronald Wayne Roe, 28, of Worton,was found guilty of trespassing and poaching in the September poaching of the 17-point buck.
Roe was ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution and perform 80 hours of community service, as mandated by Maryland's anti-poaching law. He also was sentenced to three years probation and his hunting privileges were suspended for two years. He also received an additional fine of $500 ($250 suspended).
"[It was] the kind of deer that makes a good neighbor a bad neighbor," landowner Joseph Bogdan told the judge, according to the press release.
Bogdan had targeted the buck for years before Roe killed it with a crossbow. He said he congratulated Roe at first before he started figuring it was his prized buck. "It went sour after that," Bogdan said. "The deer was baited, killed and gutted on my property."
According to the DNR, a Boone & Crockett scored the rack 212 7/8 total inches, which would have been a state crossbow record and top 10 overall.
Roe, who owned property adjacent to Bogdan's, was accused after a officer was called to the area on Sept. 12 regarding a report of illegal hunting. The officer found two piles of bait, a treestand and a blood trail to where the buck had been field-dressed — all on Bogdan's property.
Roe told police he shot the buck on his property, but that it died on Bogdan's.
"However," said the DNR, "friends called by Roe after he killed the deer contradicted that account, testifying they helped drag the carcass to his property and then to his vehicle. Bogdan's property was posted with 'No Trespassing' signs in numerous locations.
The new Maryland anti-poaching law, which has been in effect since June, requires judges to order restitution and community service for deer poaching. The monetary penalty is based on the Boone & Crockett scoring system. A buck with antlers with 150 or fewer points requires restitution of $2,000 to $5,000 and 80 hours of community service. A buck with antlers scoring more than 150 points requires restitution of $5,000 to $10,000 and 80 hours of community service. A deer without antlers requires restitution of $300 to $500 and 40 hours of community service.
Roe is the third man sentenced under the law.