|Updated: 10/12/2012 10:02 am
||Published: 10/08/2012 10:32 pm
A man reportedly armed with a bow and arrow killed a doe and a breeding buck in Rogers County Sunday at a deer farm near Chelsea.
Department of Agriculture investigators confirm they have developed a suspect in the case.
Investigator Captain Jerry Flowers said the suspect confessed to the crimes but his name will not be released until he is officially charged with two counts of animal cruelty and grand larceny of an animal.
Rogers County Sheriff’s deputies and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture are investigating two deer farms that were broken into in the last week in Chelsea.
Sunday morning investigators were called to a deer farm west of Chelsea in Rogers County where a doe was missing and left a trail of blood and a wounded buck.
Last Wednesday, another deer farm east of Chelsea had its fence cut but no deer was missing from the land.
Monday afternoon, the buck was still alive but limping in the pen.
"That's our bread and butter,” said deer farm owner Gregg Hayworth.
The deer owner found his fence had been cut and a doe missing.
The buck was apparently wounded from an arrow found in the pen, the buck died on Monday night.
"You can tell it's been cut. I thought someone cut our fence just jacking around and trying to let our deer out,” said Hayworth.
He found a trail of blood from the pen through the fence to the end of his driveway.
"I had seen the blood where he dragged it through the hole. It was just mess,” said Hayworth.
Several of the surviving deer escaped and didn’t come back until Monday morning.
"Yesterday they were pretty worked up that's why they didn't right back,” said Hayworth.
Investigators with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture say there’s a deer farm hunter with a bow and arrow in Rogers County.
Seven miles from Hayworth’s property another deer farm had its fence cut last Wednesday.
"We've already patched it,” said deer farm owner Butch McGrew.
None of the deer was shot but McGrew believes the poacher was spooked like he was at Hayworth’s property.
Captain Flowers said it is a possibilty the suspect broke into McGrew's property but that case is still under investigation.
"We feel that we are real lucky,” said McGrew.
Last year, McGrew had two deer shot and killed.
"We call them road hunters. They are not much on hunting just killing things,” said McGrew.
This is a more than a deer farm for Hayworth’s six year-old daughter.
"I like to bottle feed them," said Madison Hayworth.
Gregg Hayworth said he started the farm about two and half years ago. He’s an avid deer hunter but wanted to be closer to the deer.
"I wanted to be able to be around them on all the time and deer season wasn't enough,” said Hayworth.
The deer farmers hope the illegal hunter or hunters will be caught.
“It makes it a hardship on us cause we are fighting to keep them alive,” said McGrew.
Captain Flowers said deer farms are targeted by poachers for meat or to use the head for a trophy.
Some breeding bucks can be sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Selling season and breeding season is in two weeks
Killing a deer on a farm is considered Animal Cruelty and carries a ten years prison sentence.
The Oklahoma Whitetail Deer Farmers Association is offering a $500 reward for anyone who has information about the suspects and it leads to an arrest and conviction.
The suspect is expected to be officially charged next week.
If you have any information call the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office 918-342-9700 or the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Investigations Unit at 405-522-6102.