West Virginia Poacher Brags Online Gets Caught

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A decision to brag on the Internet about a hunting success has proven costly to two Harrison County residents, according to Sgt. Roy Cool of the Division of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Section District 1 office in Farmington. On January 23, several citizens notified DNR officers that, on an outdoors related Internet message board, Robert Daniel "Murphy" Kane II, a 26-year old Bridgeport man, had posted that he killed two bucks on the first day of the 2006 buck season. The legal bag limit is one per day. Kane even disclosed details of the two deer kills, including photos of himself and the two deer. Kane had appropriately labeled the message board heading "Opening Day Bucks."

Harrison County conservation officers investigated. Cpl. D.P. Whyte and Officer R.G. Waybright located and interviewed Kane for two hours January 27. Their investigation resulted in Kane being charged with five wildlife law violations: conspiring to violate Chapter 20 of the WV State Code (wildlife laws), failure to field tag a deer, illegal possession of a buck deer, hunting after killing a legally killed deer, and exceeding the daily bag limit of buck deer.

Kane pleaded "no contest" before Harrison County Magistrate Gizzy Davis on January 29. Kane paid a total of $861.50 in fines and costs, which included a $200 replacement fee for the illegally killed buck. Investigating officers also confiscated Kane’s 10-point rack, which was waiting to be mounted at a taxidermist.

Also charged in the investigation was Kane's father, 53-year old Robert Daniel Kane I of Clarksburg. The elder Kane was assessed $381 on three charges involving conspiring with his son in game law violations and illegal possession of buck deer. Total fines and costs in the investigation came to $1242.50.