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.

Image from David Restivo, Glacier NPS (GlacierNPS) on the flickr Creative Commons

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6 thoughts on “Indiana Man Poaches “Local Legend” Buck, Wants to Keep Trophy

  1. This “person” is NO hunter…he is – and should always be labled in his community as a POACHER….

    He and his kind only make it more difficult for the rest of us that obeys the law – and more importantly – have morals and ethics.

    Why not give him prison time? He has shown no concern for the law….

    Thug, thief, and despicable P.O.S…….

    T

  2. He wants to keep the rack??? Are you kidding me. That alone tells me he isn’t sorry about what he did. The judge should have stuck with the original sentence. Or hit him in the pocket book. I thought you lose hunting privleges as well as your firearm when you poach.

  3. I agree, this guy is a criminal, not a hunter. He should have jail time, pay a big fine and lose his hunting privileges. When will the judicial system support the work that game wardens do and make the punishment cost the poachers? The rack should be used to educate others about what this poacher stole from law abiding hunters.

  4. Here in lies the whole problem with our society. He has broken the law, acted in a immoral way and gets a lousy probation & community service. No incentive for anyone not to commit such a crime. What kind of message are we sending to our young when they see things like this?!

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