Donald Ward of Browsburg, Indiana entered a plea agreement with prosecutors on Monday after shooting a local legend known only as “Nightmare.” The 300-pound, 10-point whitetail buck was given the nickname by frustrated hunters for the deer’s elusiveness and size. Time and again, bowhunters would catch a glimpse of him through the woods, but it seemed Nightmare had an uncanny ability to escape their arrows.
But not a bullet. On Tuesday, October 2, a landowner in Marion County heard the report of a gunshot and witnessed a pickup truck speeding away. Nightmare was left on the ground.
Authorities soon tracked the truck to Ward, who quickly admitted to poaching the monster buck. In an interview with the Indianapolis Star, Ward said, “I’m guilty, I’m going to accept the punishment. I don’t know what come over me. It was just so big.”
However, according to Conservation Officer Jeff Wells, Ward also asked if he could keep the massive rack that had been the coveted prize for so many law-abiding hunters.
The answer was a firm no. The antlers will be used as evidence by the prosecution and then it may be turned over to the owner of the land on which Nightmare was poached.
In lieu of a 178-day jail sentence, Ward was placed on 178 days of probation and must complete 80 hours of community service.