Pennsylvania Deer Poachers Face Serious Prison Time
Two Lebanon County brothers are facing possible prison sentences for unlawfully killing seven deer in 2010 and four deer in 2009, fleeing an officer and trespassing, among other charges.
William M. Kirkwood, 50, of Bethel, faces total fines and penalties of up to $64,000 and 10 years in prison while his brother, Theodore P. Kirkwood, 54, of Lebanon faces total fines and penalties of up to $5,000 and nine months in prison for aiding and abetting his brother.
William Kirkwood has the unfortunate distinction of being the first individual to be charged with felony counts under a new Game and Wildlife Code penalty structure that took effect in September, according to Pennsylvania Game Commission officials.
According to Wildlife Conservation Officer Derek Daly, on Dec. 11, 2010, he received information about possible hunting violations on the Lebanon Landfill property. Responding to the area, along with Deputy WCO Brian Sheetz, the officers were met by witnesses at the scene, who informed the officers of an individual who they had seen hunting without orange on and that they suspected he had killed several deer.
In total, evidence and admissions by William Kirkwood showed that he illegally killed two bucks that were below the minimum antler restrictions (one spike and one with two-points on one side), three antlerless deer and two button bucks.
None of the seven deer were tagged, and he did not possess any valid antlerless deer licenses for the five antlerless deer harvested.
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