A 34-year-old Texas man convicted of poaching a deer will have a hard time being a repeat offender — for the next five years, at least.
That’s because a Texas judge has ordered John Walker Drinnon of Whitesboro, Texas, to spend every weekend of deer hunting season in the Grayson County Jail beginning on Dec. 30. The sentence has been imposed for the next five years, the Houston Chronicle reports.
After first lying about it, Drinnon admitted to using a rifle to kill a 19-point buck in an archery-only county in the state.
Drinnon got caught after “rumors spread like wildfire” about an impressive buck he said he’d killed, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The story Drinnon told about the deer just didn’t add up, game wardens said.
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Drinnon told game wardens in Dec. 2016 that he’d killed the buck on public lands in Oklahoma. But wardens found game camera photos of the 19-point deer that were taken on public hunting land on the Texas side of Lake Texoma, not the Oklahoma side — suggesting Drinnon was lying about where he had killed the animal.
Eventually, Drinnon admitted to Oklahoma and Texas investigators that he’d shot the deer in Texas’ Grayson County, using his rifle from a public roadway.
Drinnon was then charged with a felony for taking a deer without landowner consent, as well as two misdemeanors, hunting without landowner consent and hunting from a vehicle.
In October, Drinnon formally pleaded guilty to the felony charge of taking a whitetail deer without landowner consent. He faces an estimated fine of $18,050, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife, in addition to five deer hunting season weekends in jail.
And game wardens say it’s the rumor mill that got Drinnon caught.
“In Grayson County, wary old bucks present a challenge for bowhunters, but seldom escape the camera or coffee shop gossip,” the game wardens said when they announced his guilty plea.
Drinnon has been barred from getting a hunting license during his five years of probation, KEYE reports.