Man Who Poached 20-Plus Deer from Road Gets Lifetime Hunting Ban

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The 22-year-old also forfeited firearms, owes thousands in restitution, and will serve jailtime

Stamey poached 20 deer from a road in 2020 alone. Then he threatened a landowner with a gun. Photograph by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

In August, William Stamey Jr. of Whitesburg, Tennessee, pointed a gun at a landowner who caught him and an accomplice spotlighting and shooting deer on McKinney Chapel Road in Rogersville. Now, after pleading guilty in Hawkins County Circuit Court to aggravated assault and multiple big game poaching charges on Friday, Stamey will spend six months behind bars, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency announced Wednesday. The 22-year-old was sentenced to three six-month sentences but will serve them concurrently. On top of a lifetime hunting ban, Stamey will also fork over two guns, 14 mounts, venison, turkey parts, and $12,500 in restitution. 

Details surrounding the Aug. 16 spotlighting incident are limited, but it led to evidence of a chronic poaching career. After Stamey threatened to kill the landowner (who remains anonymous), a Hawkins County sheriff’s deputy stopped Stamey, his accomplice, and a third occupant (both remain both remain unidentified, have been charged, and await March court dates). The deputy found the spotlight and hunting rifles in the vehicle.

The Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office handed the case over to TWRA. When wildlife officer Justin Pinkston arrived at Stamey’s residence to serve a criminal summons on Sept. 15, he found a buck carcass in Stamey’s yard. Inspection revealed that Stamey had checked the buck in as an archery harvest despite not having an archery license. While executing a search warrant on Stamey’s property four days later, TWRA officials discovered 11 sets of antlers from poached deer. Stamey also admitted to poaching a bearded hen turkey in 2022 and not checking it in with TWRA.

Stamey’s history of game law violations was established prior. He was convicted of poaching in May 2021 after entering a plea agreement for hunting during a closed season, spotlighting, and hunting from a public roadway in Greene County in November 2020.

“Over a three-and-a-half-year period, Stamey was charged with killing or assisting in killing 15 deer illegally, and admitted to poaching 20 deer from the road in 2020 alone,” Pinkston said in the TWRA press release. “Sadly, most of these deer were left lying and were never recovered.” 

Read Next: Two Men Poached a Moose in Denali National Park, Then Abandoned the Meat Because They Were Scared of Bears

Commenters on TWRA’s Facebook post mostly applauded the punishment that Stamey received — a departure from what are normally critical comments complaining about overly lax punishment for poachers. Many often call for jail time and more serious fines. But this time, folks were supportive.

“Good job,” one commenter wrote. “Glad to see someone finally serve some time and get legitimate fines[.]”

Another commenter did have one critique.

“Too bad the sentences run concurrently.”

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