Authorities crack down on illegal hunting - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Justin Hanson

Authorities crack down on illegal hunting

COVINGTON, TN (WMC-TV) - Authorities in West Tennessee are trying to put an end to people hunting out of season.  Game wardens say its a growing problem that's not only dangerous but illegal.

The images are almost too graphic to show -- dead deer lying in a creek-bed in rural Tipton county.

"They've got their antlers cut off, their back straps cut out, and they're just throwing the rest in there," Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Game Warden Jake Yoes said.

Yoes says illegal deer hunting is a growing problem in rural areas of West Tennessee. 

"It is illegal to hunt from motorized vehicles, shoot from public roads and to spot-light at night for deer," he said.

Even though deer season is over, officials say illegal hunting is a year-round sport. YouTube video shot in Missouri shows people shooting deer from car windows.

"Its really sickening to me --- sickening to a lot of people that are good hunters and doing it legally," Tipton County Sheriff Pancho Chumley said.

In the past few months, Sheriff Chumley said, he's counted fourteen mutilated deer carcasses in just one creek bed.  

Authorities say this illegal behavior is happening everywhere and they're trying to stop it.

"You don't know if another vehicle is another road over and with a high speed rifle, you've got to really know what you're doing...know what you're shooting at," Chumley said.

And no matter what you're shooting at, authorities say you better be doing it legally. 

The punishment for illegal hunting can range anywhere from the loss of your hunting license, your vehicle, and your gun to up to a year in jail. 

If you see illegal hunting taking place around you, call the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency at 1-800-831-1173.

Click here to send an email to Justin Hanson.

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