Illegal Taking of Deer or Wild Turkey - Florida Statute 379.404(1)

Illegal Taking of Deer

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Florida Statute 379.404 deals with hunting deer and turkey. This section seeks to specifically outlaw: (1) the taking of deer or wild turkey out-of-season; (2) taking a deer or wild turkey with a light and gun in-season and out-of-season; (3) killing of a doe, baby deer, or deer with antlers less than 5 inches; (4) selling of deer or turkey meat illegally taken; and (5) entering the property of a person without permission to take a deer with a light.

Florida Statute Section 379.404(1) – Taking a Deer or Wild Turkey Out-of-Season or Hunting at Night with a Light

This paragraph of the section makes illegal to take deer or turkey out-of-season or using a light at night to hunt.

The reason behind the prohibition on taking deer or turkey outside of season is for the conservation of the animals. If anyone could hunt at any time, the animals would not be able to repopulate as quickly.

It is illegal to take a deer or turkey with a light at any time. The reason for the prohibition on taking deer or turkey with a light is that is it considered unsportsmanlike conduct. The idea is that a real hunter gives the animals a fighting chance and flashlights at night are not natural ways to take animals. If you are caught using a light and you have a gun, that evidence can be used against you. The only exception is if you own the land or you are an employee of the owner of the land and you are inspecting the land at night.

This is a level 3 violation which means:

The first offense within a 10 year period is a first-degree misdemeanor which is punishable up to 365 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. A person convicted cannot obtain a hunting license for 3 years.

A person receiving a second violation within 10 years commits another first-degree misdemeanor. The person also will receive a minimum mandatory fine of $750 and will be permanently ineligible to obtain a hunting license.

Florida Statute Section 379.404(3) – Killing a Female Deer, a Baby Deer, or a Deer with Antlers Less than 5 Inches

This paragraph seeks to prevent individuals from killing the “next generation” of deer. A male deer (“Buck”) can get many female deer (“Does”) pregnant while one doe can only have one or two babies at a time. Killing the “next generation” of deer prevents the deer from repopulating the numbers taken during hunting season.

This is a level 3 violation which means:

The first offense within a 10 year period is a first-degree misdemeanor which means the violation is punishable up to 365 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. The person convicted will be unable to obtain a hunting license for 3 years.

A second violation within 10 years will be another first-degree misdemeanor. The convicted person will receive a minimum mandatory fine of $750 and shall be permanently ineligible to obtain a hunting license.

Florida Statute Section 379.404(5) – Selling Illegal Deer or Turkey Meat

This paragraph seeks to put the black-market sellers or butchers out of business. Butchers could potentially get in trouble with this paragraph. A butcher can easily figure out if a doe, a baby deer, or a deer with antlers less than 5 inches was shot, but it could be difficult for a butcher to know that a deer was shot at night using a light.

This is a level 4 violation which means the defendant committed a third-degree felony which is punishable up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Florida Statute Section 379.404(6) – Poaching on Private Property at Night

Individuals who are sneaking around at night with a flash light on private property without permission while hunting deer or turkey are committing this crime. People without permission would be hunting the deer at night because they do not have permission to hunt on the land and they want to remain undetected by the owner or law enforcement. This paragraph is similar to paragraph (2) in that both crimes involve flashlights and hunting at night. The main difference is the person in paragraph (2) is shining the flashlight on the deer or turkey while the person in paragraph (6) is shining the flashlight on the ground.

This is a level 3 violation which means:

The first offense within a 10 year period is a first-degree misdemeanor which means the violation is punishable up to 365 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. The person convicted will be unable to obtain a hunting license for 3 years.

A second violation within 10 years is another first-degree misdemeanor. It will come with a minimum mandatory fine of $750. The person convicted shall be permanently ineligible to obtain a hunting license.

Contact The Law Office of Roger P. Foley, P.A.

The facts surrounding these charges will be important. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation with a Delray Beach Illegal Deer Possession  Lawyer. We need to hear your version of the story and all the facts you know. From what you tell us, we will put together a defense strategy. We will negotiate with the prosecutor to have the case dropped. If the negotiations are not favorable to you, we can take your case all the way to trial.

We know that not every case can be won; however, we won’t give up fighting. Our Delray Beach Illegal Deer Possession Attorneys will use the information you gave us to explain to the judge and the prosecutor why your sentence should be reduced. If we fight or we negotiate, either way, we will continue to fight for you to get you the best outcome. Contact us today so we can get to work helping you.

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