White-tailed Buck Poached in Denton County Could've Been in Record Books, Instead It'll Be on Wall of Shame

The second largest white-tailed buck ever in Texas was poached by a Denton County man after legal hunting hours and on property he didn't have permission to hunt on, Texas Parks and Wildlife officials said. A Denton County criminal court sentenced Travis D. Johnson on Monday to two years of probation and 40 hours of community service. Johnson, of Aubrey, had pleaded no contest to illegally taking the buck, which scored 278 points under the Boone and Crockett scoring system.He also faces more than $53,000 in civil restitution fines from the department and cannot purchase a hunting license for the rest of the deferred adjudication period. Instead of a place in the history books, the buck's antlers will be mounted and displayed in the Texas Game Warden Wall of Shame exhibit. If it had been legally killed, the buck would have been hailed as the highest scoring deer taken with a bow and arrow ever in Texas, according to Pope and Young Club records. A photo of Johnson posing with the deer in the daytime began circulating Oct. 8 with a comment that said he killed it with a bow the previous evening, the wildlife department said.Texas Game Wardens who saw the photo were also concerned about how the hunter had preserved the meat given the warm temperatures and the requirement that harvested game meat be kept in edible condition.When Denton County Game Warden Stormy McCuistion met with Johnson at his home Oct. 8, McCuistion was told the carcass had been discarded at a different location because of concerns that the meat may have been infected, the department said.  Continue reading...

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