Mason police officer busted for illegally hunting deer - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mason police officer busted for illegally hunting deer

By Justin Hanson - bio | email

MASON, TN (WMC-TV) - A reserve officer for the town of Mason was taken off the job after he was caught illegally hunting deer just off I-40 in Fayette County. 

For years, rural areas of the county have been known as a deer hunter's paradise.

But when James Butler, Jr., a reserve officer for Mason, decided to deer hunt just feet from Interstate 40 in Fayette County, he found himself on the other side of the law.

"People like to get out on cold mornings and ride around in their pick-ups and look for deer and if they see a deer, they'll pull over on the side of the road and shoot it," said Ty Inmon, an agent with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

Wildlife agents said Butler and a friend were caught early Sunday morning as they were illegally hunting deer.

The pair was busted while hunting illegally on former Tennessee Lieutenant Governor John Wilder's property. 

Inmon said hunting on land that isn't yours is one of their biggest complaints.

"If you don't have written permission, then you need to get it," he said.

Harold Wright agrees that trespassing is wrong.  Wright lives near the interstate, and says there is an over abundance of deer in the area.  That, he said, is a problem for passing motorists.

"Maybe if he'd asked if he could hunt on the property, they would have told him yes, but I think he violated it myself," Wright said.

Butler is scheduled to appear in court January 11th.  Agents say he could lose his hunting license, because this isn't his first violation. 


It is against Tennessee state law to hunt on someone else's property without their permission.  To report illegal hunting, call the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency toll free at 1-800-831-1173.


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