UPDATE: Cumberland County spotlight hunters plead guilty

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BURKESVILLE, Ky. (WBKO) -- Spotlighting deer.

"It's not a means of hunting. It's a means of poaching," said Captain Brett Zalla with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.

Such a serious crime, that three men are facing jail time and hefty fines.

Jacob Voris and Dylan Perkins pleaded guilty earlier this week to illegally killing eight of the animals over the course of a month.

19-year-old Perkins, of Science Hill, was arrested on (5) Counts of Spotlighting, (5) Illegal take of deer, (5) taking game with a firearm in bow season, (5) Taking Wildlife from a Vehicle and (4) counts of discharging a firearm upon or across a public roadway.

25-year-old Voris,of Burkesville, was arrested on (4) Counts of Spotlighting, (5) Illegal take of deer, (5) taking game with a firearm in bow season, (5) Taking Wildlife from a Vehicle and (2) counts of discharging a firearm upon or across a public roadway.

According to Kentucky Fish & Wildlife, the arrests were not only important for deer population, but also for public safety.

They say the men who were convicted of these crimes were using high powered rifles at night and shooting across public roads.

"You have people who are shooting high powered rifles at night across the road onto property without knowing what may or may not be behind that deer," said Zalla.

Voris and Perkins were each sentenced to around $5,200 in fines and one year in jail, probated for two years.

Neither of the two men will be allowed to fish or hunt for three years as part of the probation.

Jeremy Wright is also facing dozens of charges in the case, proving a point that Fish and Wildlife want all hunters to remember.

"We're just getting into deer season and people need to know that places like Cumberland County and their judicial system take things like this seriously," added Zalla.

Wright is set to face his charges in court on November 16.

The Kentucky Conservation Officers say 28-year-old Jeremy Wright, of Burkesville, was arrested on (5) Counts of Spotlighting, (5) Illegal take of deer, (5) taking game with a firearm in bow season, (5) Taking Wildlife from a Vehicle and (4) counts of discharging a firearm upon or across a public roadway.

KCOA led to a total of 69 charges and the seizure of 8 buck deer heads and a .270 rifle.

What exactly is 'spotlight hunting?'

"Have the spotlight and shine it out the window of their vehicle. And then whenever once they see the deer, they either shoot it out of their vehicle or they get out and shoot the deer out of people's fields," Conservation Officer, Jared Ervin said.

Spotlight hunting is illegal because it can be very dangerous.

"People get kind of blinded. They see that big deer and they don't realize what's behind it. And then those spotlighters end up shooting into people's houses and don't realize it."

Kentucky Conservation Officers, within the Fish and Wildlife Department, say their investigation all began when they received a tip about people spotlight hunting.

To report poaching or any other activity, call 1-800-25-ALERT.



 
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