DNR Conservation Officer Dwayne Duffield
: The Voice of West Virginia
K.W. Bingaman and Officer Dwayne Duffield filed the charges against 19-year old Joshua Samples, 20-year old Ashley Johnson, and 38-year old Jack Jenkins.
"They were using a .410 gauge shotgun and rolling up in a field using the headlights, sometimes flashlights or spotlights if they had them, and shooting the deer," said Duffield
"They were just at almost point blank range."
The investigation revealed the shooters didn't bother to collect the deer if it ran out of the range of the lights, unless it was a buck.
"If it was a buck, regardless if they thought they had a good hit on it, they would try to follow up on it and track it," Duffield
said on West Virginia Outdoors.
began looking into an unusually high number of dead deer along the highways and in farm fields of southern
. Residents began to complain and were fearful the activity could spread from deer to livestock.
began to examine the carcasses and found small caliber bullet wounds in the animals.
The first break came when a Braxton County Deputy was having a discussion with a local teenager about a big rack he
had in his
explained to Deputy Brady that the deer had been killed, 'the other night," said Duffield
"One of the juveniles that we interviewed started laughing half way through the interview," said Duffield
"I was confused as to why he
I don't think he
was aware of what was going on and the scope of how serious this was."
However, the five now face a range of fines and potential jail time if they are convicted.
Should they be convicted, the severity of the sentence will be up to a Braxton County Magistrate.
says they've been able to positively connect the group's activity to seven dead deer, but believes the county could be well over 30.
"Some of these people just go out to do this stuff for the fun of it.
It seems like the younger people have lost all respect for not only game but everything else," Duffield