Former Politician Illegally Takes Piebald Deer

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Game laws can get detailed and from time-to-time it doesn't hurt to call a wildlife officer to figure out the precise meaning of a regulation. However you would think that the folks who write the laws would understand all the details. Not so in Oklahoma, former state rep Terry Harrison was recently fined for taking a piebald deer and the kicker is that Mr. Harrison helped write some of the states' wildlife laws.

The McAlester News-Capital has the complete story.

State Rep. Terry Harrison, while hunting in Scipio during rifle season, shot a piebald white-tailed deer. Harrison, who was truly excited about the hunt, spoke with reporters Dec. 2 about how he had already sent the deer to a taxidermist in Krebs to have his trophy full-body mounted. “I’ve never been more excited about taking a deer in my whole life,” Harrison told reporters.

Harrison stressed the importance of studying and being up to date on game laws and regulations prior to a hunt — an embarrassing $296 lesson he just learned himself.


jim boyd's picture

This is a sad and unfortunate

This is a sad and unfortunate story that at least does not have a bad ending.

The guy was stand up and handled it the way it should have been done.

What I do have an issue with, if I read (skimmed) it correctly, is that the permit does not have a cost associated with it - it is free - but you have to ask for it...

Hmmm, ok, we are talking about Oklahoma here (I am allowed to make fun of states with crazy rules - I am from Georgia and currently live in South Carolina and we are at the bottom of the intellectual quagmire that is the United States - or Estados De Unitos - as we are likely to become)  - but that just seems to be completely silly.

Why not just make it part of everyone's deer license - or either make it have a cost associated to it - like CA-V's $17.50 "just in case" pig harvest tag.

Make it be $17.50 and you can do two things... either generate a good revenue stream for the state - or protect piebald deer - or both... that would be a win win situation in my book.

People that intentionally poach are not going to be affected by a rule like this - rules are for people who.... well... that follow rules!

I am not surprised at all that he was a lawmaker and did not understand some of the legislation that he likely helped write or perhaps voted on.

Do you think every policeman understands and recalls every law he ever was trained on? CA-V, I think you are a policeman - would you care to comment on that analogy?

The first policeman probably does not recall all the laws... any more than we remember everything we learned at work.

I primarily write for a living and I sometimes read procedures, instructions, even work related in house magazine articles that I often do not recall writing or vaguely recall...

Having this happen to this politician is not a stretch of the imagination or a travesty at all - it is just a screw up that happened and no one was really the worst for it.

I may be in the minority here, but I hope he did get the mount back...

ecubackpacker's picture

Jim said, "I primarily write

Jim said, "I primarily write for a living..."  Now Jim, that is an unfair advantage you have and you should relinguish your points to, say......, one of your NC neighbors. Hahahaha...Just kidding as I do enjoy your stories.

I can understand this guy didn't know he had to have a permit to legally possess the piebald deer, even if he did help write some of the game laws. The laws vary so much across this state that I have to check the laws when I hunt different counties that adjoin one another. I never go hunting a new place of the state without first checking the local laws for the county and for the gamelands if I may hunt them.

I agree with Jim about placing a fee on the permit. If you're going to require a permit, then why not require a fee. It can be a minor fee, such as $5 or $10. But the fee would increase the revenue to the game department and more people would probably know of the required fee if asked when they purchased their hunting license.

He did the right thing in admitting his guilt, but he was pretty much caught by publicizing the pic of the piebald.

That deer didn't have a lot piebald characteristics in him. It looked as if the it only occurred in the face of the deer, unless of course there were more patches on the other side of the deer. But I would have thought he would have shown the best side in the pic.

CVC's picture

I think the fine is

I think the fine is sufficient and he shouldn't lose the deer too.

gatorfan's picture


Very interesting story!  I'm sure that more people are aware of this law now!  As mentioned, it is nice to see a politician admit guilt and not try to hide it.

What's interesting to be though is the fact that this guy had part in writing the laws that regulate hunting in his state and he didn't know that he was breaking the law!

We always joke around here in California that our Fish and Game laws are so confusing that the Fish and Game Officers don't even know them.  I guess we aren't alone!


Ca_Vermonster's picture

Now that is the way it is

Now that is the way it is supposed to be done.  Someone who broke the law, was advised of the situation, admitted guilt, and took the consequences.

He didn't whine, complain, make excuses, etc.  It's very refreshing to see someone accept responsibility these days. 

I do think that's a weird law though.  I wonder if there is a cost associated with that permit.  Sounds like a money maker for the state.  Unless you specifically knew there was a piebald deer in your area, you would have to buy the permit, just in case you ran into one.  If not, you just don't shoot the deer.

Kinda like how I have a pig tag.  I have yet to see one in San Diego, but I know they are out there.  So, 2 years in a row I have given my $17.50, "just in case" I run into one.

I noticed it mentioned the fine, but it never said what happened to the deer, did it?  I wonder if the DFG will be picking it up at the taxidermist, or he'll get to keep it....

CVC's picture

Reading comprehension not

Reading comprehension not you're strong suit- eh?  :)  " wonder if there is a cost associated with that permit."

Chief Bill Hale said, “It is not illegal to shoot a piebald deer. You can shoot one, you just have to have a permit prior to shooting one. There’s no cost for this permit; you just have to get one prior to the hunt of white, or piebald, deer.”

I did wonder if they confiscated the deer, but I get the sense they didn't, but don't know for sure.


Ca_Vermonster's picture

No, obviously skimming is my

No, obviously skimming is my strong suit... lol

CVC's picture

The moral of the story...get

The moral of the story...get a piebald permit each year whether or not you think you'll need it.  Sounds like an honest mistake and the guy did the right thing without whining or expecting any special. 

GooseHunter Jr's picture

Wow that is a bummer.  Glad

Wow that is a bummer.  Glad to see he fessed up to it.  Really did not have a choice since he posted in up in the local paper.  Hopefully game and fish will take ot out on him too hard as at least he admitted it.