NC WILDTRIP graphic: North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
NC WILDTRIP graphic: North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Two have been found guilty on 15 counts of unlawfully taking deer at night using a spotlight.

Dylan Scott of New Hanover County and Nicholas Rackley of Duplin County have been ordered to pay $9,030 in replacement costs for illegally killing 15 deer with the use and aid of an artificial light, referred to as spotlighting, in Duplin County.

Scott was fined $1,500, his hunting license will be revoked for 10 years, and he received five years of supervised probation. Rackley was ordered to pay $750 and his hunting license will be revoked for five years.

Wildlife Resources Commission officials were contacted with an anonymous tip through its Turn-in-Poachers Program, called NC WILDTIP, Nov. 28, 2023. The tip, which included a photo of Rackley posing with 15 antlerless white-tailed deer, stated Rackley killed all 15 deer the previous night and forwarded the photo to multiple individuals.

“It’s a big penalty we hope sends a strong message,” Capt. Chad Arnold, who heads NCWRC’s Investigative Unit and NC WILDTIP program, said in a statement. “We typically don’t see punishments like this, but we also typically don’t find individuals who kill 15 deer in one night’s illegal escapades.”

Wildlife Resources Commission officers obtained a search warrant after the anonymous tip, and during the investigation, Rackley admitted he and Scott shot 15 deer in Duplin County on the night of Nov. 27, 2023. They took the carcasses to a home in Pender County to have the deer processed. At the Pender location, officers found four coolers full of deer meat. The resident admitted to processing the deer for Rackley. Search warrants were issued for Scott, and his truck and phone were taken for evidence, according to the commission.

In the past six months, Wildlife Resources Commission has received 598 tips through NC WILDTIP and rewarded a total of $3,478.

Anyone with information on illegal hunting can anonymously submit information through a secured online reporting tool on the agency’s website. Information may also be submitted by texting keyword WILDTIP and the tip information to 847411 or through a mobile app. To report a poaching violation in progress, call Wildlife Law Enforcement dispatch at 800-662-7137. Tips that lead to arrests and convictions may lead to a reward of $100 to $1,000.

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Credit: Original content published here.

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