On Thanksgiving morning around 8:20 a.m., Clarence Robertson, age 63, from New Market, Tennessee, shot an 11-point buck from his driveway and across Piedmont Rd. The buck was standing in a hayfield where Robertson didn’t have permission to hunt. He then drove his truck into the field to retrieve the deer.
According to a post on TWRA’s Facebook, Jefferson Co. Wildlife Officer Wayne Rich seized the buck, and TWRA Wildlife Biologist Sterling Daniels measured the antlers, giving it a gross score of 143 6/8 inches. Nice buck! Although, Robertson would soon be wishing the deer wasn’t such a large trophy.
You see, the total score of the antlers didn’t come in to play, however, the number of antler points did.
Recently amended legislation in TCA 70-4-116 allows for a judge to impose enhanced restitution fees for illegally killed or possessed trophy deer, and the more antler points on the rack, the higher the cost. That’s bad news for Robertson, seeing as he shot himself an 11-point buck, but there’s more.
The law states, for whitetailed deer with at least 8, but not more than 10 antler points, the fine is $1,000 per animal plus $500 for each antler point. For a white-tailed deer with 11 or more antler points, the fine is $1,000 per animal plus $750 for each antler point.
Mr. Robertson pleaded guilty to shooting the deer across a public road and on property he didn’t have permission. The judge imposed a $50 fine plus $269 in court costs, as well as assessing a restitution of $9,250 for the trophy buck. Mr. Robertson’s hunting privileges are suspended until the fines and restitution have been paid. Officer Rich said, “It is probably the biggest buck I’ve ever seen in Jefferson County.”
It’s a shame the buck was taken in a dishonest manner, and thankfully the venison didn’t go to waste. The Jefferson County High School FFA Hunters for the Hungry Club paid for the deer to be processed and then donated the meat to charity. The hide and antlers were returned to the property owner where the deer was killed.