Authorities arrested three men from Northern California, alleging they were hunting deer illegally. The three individuals, Raymond Nicolini (age 23), Steven Graham (23), and Timothy Heflin (46) were arrested by Tuolumne County deputies on Thursday, September 30. Residents placed calls to the authorities regarding gunfire heard near a subdivision in Sonora just before 1 AM.
According to the Union Democrat, deputies who stopped the men’s pickup truck discovered two dead deer, a compound bow, and a Winchester rifle in the automobile. The men were booked on possession of an unlawfully hunted animal and suspicion of hunting unlawfully. Mr. Heflin was slapped with an additional charge of hunting using an artificial light.
It is unknown whether the men had retained attorneys for the issue. Mr. Heflin and Mr. Graham were booked and released. Mr. Nicolini was held without bail due to a parole violation. No further updates have been issued at this time.
The California Department of Fish and Game regulates deer hunting within the state. The entity has a program specifically for big game hunting. In addition to deer hunting season, there are dates and specific area s for archery hunting season, bighorn sheep season, elk season, and pronghorn antelope tag season. The zone-specific archery season for deer began on July 10 and runs through September 26. The general deer hunting season started on August 14 and runs through November 7.
California has tag quotas for deer according to zone. Zone A has the largest tag quota, with 65,000 and Zone B comes in second with a tag quota of 55,500. The Department has also established additional hunts for 2010 such as muzzeloading rifle, antlerless, Zone C-4 late season buck, and various area apprentice hunts. Each additional hunt has specific season dates and tag quotas. The state issues a Big Game Hunting booklet to assist hunters with remaining in compliance.
Source: The Associated Press. SiliconValleyMercuryNews.com. Three arrested for alleged illegal deer hunting.