Who Knew Transporting Deer Could be a Crime?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    white tailed deer

    An Austin man has been sentenced to three years probation and fines of over $20,000 for.. wait for it... illegally transporting wildlife into east Texas.

    Now this wildlife isn't a lion, tiger or bear. He pled guilty to the felony offense of smuggling whitetail deer from Oklahoma into Texas. Now,  forgive me if I'm wrong, but I thought whitetail deer ran wild in Texas? In fact they do. They are the native species of deer to Texas.

    Lance Clawson, a licensed deer breeder, pleaded guilty back in April but was only just sentenced Wednesday according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's office, Eastern District of Texas. The actual "crime" was committed late 2008.

    Clawson, who owns and operates Regencey Ranch, a hunting ranch and deer breeding facility near Goldthwaite, traveled to Muskogee, Okla., purchase whitetail fawns from a breeder. He was stopped by a Texas Parks and Wildlife Game warden and found with eight whitetail fawns.

    What makes the whole thing illegal is Texas law prohibits the importation of live whitetail deer or live mule deer, due to the threat of diseases.

    Seriously? So what happens when a deer crosses the border itself on its own four legs? Is that deer caught and sent back to Oklahhoma or just put in deer jail until it can be deported or will it be shot on sight? How can you really tell where a wild deer comes from? Just a little something to think about.