Outdoors

A Florida man went hunting. He shot down the wrong animal, in the wrong place, cops say

The Martin County Sheriff’s Office tracked down a Florida man who illegally killed a potential record class 23-point buck on state property.
The Martin County Sheriff’s Office tracked down a Florida man who illegally killed a potential record class 23-point buck on state property.

A Florida man was arrested because he killed something he most definitely should not have, according to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office. It was an enormous buck, who was shot down on state property in Indiantown.

Law enforcement officials say that while out on patrol Wednesday night, a deputy noticed a dark truck parked in a wooded area near a construction site. He could see the driver, later identified as Mario Palacio, using a spotlight pointed at the animal. As the officer approached, the truck sped off, but was later flagged down. Shortly after, the deer’s carcass was discovered in the wooded area where the truck was originally spotted.

Deputies determined that the 23-point buck (meaning it is male with large antlers) was recently shot by what appeared to be a high caliber rifle.

Inside Palacio’s truck deputies found hunting gear including a bow and arrow; spotlight; and a single spent shell casing from a .30-06 caliber rifle, but no rifle. With the assistance of The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and use of a specially trained K-9, investigators located a .30-06 rifle in the area where Palacio was spotted.

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Mario Palacio Martin County Sheriff's Office

The Miami resident, 54, was arrested and charged with trespass on a construction site and trespass by lethal projectile, both felonies.

The poaching suspect “had no idea our deputies, who are also avid sportsmen, keep close tabs on the local whitetail deer herd,” read the MCSO’s Facebook post.

The post adds that the carcass “is being properly processed and documented as evidence for prosecutorial purposes,” and the meat was donated to a local facility.

An official Boone and Crockett Club Scoring Professional is scheduled to assess the dead animal to see where it fit into the state record class.

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