Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) investigators arrested a Tampa man June 17 after receiving a complaint about photos that had been posted on Facebook.
The complaint said that a deer and alligator had been freshly killed and that the suspected hunter, Kyle Edwards, 21, was also in the photos.
The animals allegedly were killed near Bronson in Levy County on private property north of Otter Creek.
FWC Investigator James Smith interviewed Edwards, who stated that on June 10, he and a friend went to the property in Otter Creek to camp and shoot a new AK-47 he had recently purchased at a Tampa gun show.
The two men saw an alligator on the dirt road leading to the camp, and Edwards shot and killed it. He explained they cleaned it, ate some of the meat and later gave the rest of the alligator meat to friends. The carcass was disposed of on a dump pile near the camp.
The next day, Edwards said, he shot and killed the deer. After taking a photograph of the animal, they repeated the process by cleaning the deer, eating some of the meat and giving the rest to friends. That carcass also ended up in the dump pile.
Edwards admitted to posting the photographs on his Facebook page and later removing the photos. He gave Smith a written statement about the incidents.
FWC investigators were able to locate and document the two animal carcasses as evidence in the case.
Edwards was issued a citation for taking deer during the closed season and for the illegal taking of an American alligator, both second-degree misdemeanors.
Karen Parker, 386-758-0525