Shooting at phony buck costs big bucks

Maryland Natural Resources Police arrested a man who shot at this robo deer.

Submitted photo

ANNAPOLIS — A Sparrows Point man who thought he bagged a buck in North Point State Park paid hundreds of dollars in fines instead after he shot a Maryland Natural Resources Police robo-deer decoy.

On the evening of Oct. 7, Thomas Ervin Minton, 45, was spotted by officers patrolling a field where the robotic decoy had been placed. He fired a crossbow at the faux deer and sped away when officers tried to stop him.

As officers searched the area, Minton approached one of them and asked what the fine would be for illegally shooting a deer. He then turned himself in and led officers back to his home, where the car matching the description of the one used by the shooter was parked.

Minton received citations for having a loaded crossbow in a vehicle, hunting at night, shooting wildlife from a vehicle, and for using a light for hunting or jacklighting. He also received six written warnings, including attempting to elude a uniformed officer. He pleaded guilty in Baltimore County District Court Oct. 12 to three charges and paid $1,500 in fines. The charge of using a light to hunt remains active on the docket.

His crossbow, scope and arrow were confiscated. The robo-deer was unharmed.


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