Night hunting case leads to largescale deer investigation
Published 3:00 pm Thursday, February 25, 2021
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited 12 subjects during the months of January and February for alleged illegal deer hunting activity in St. Landry Parish.
Brannon Buller, 28, of Ville Platte, was arrested 20 counts each of hunting deer during illegal hours, hunting from a public road, and hunting from a moving vehicle. He was also cited for tagging another person’s deer, possession of over the limit of deer, and eight counts of selling deer.
Toni LeBleu, 22, of Ville Platte, was arrested for four counts each of hunting deer during illegal hours, hunting from a public road and hunting from a moving vehicle. She was also cited for hunting without resident basic season and big game hunting licenses, and not possessing deer tags.
Buller and LeBleu were booked into the St. Landry Parish Jail.
Logan Morrison, 25, Ville Platte, of was cited for hunting deer during illegal hours, hunting from a public road and hunting from a moving vehicle. Holden Leger, 28, of Ville Platte, of was cited for eight counts each of hunting deer during illegal hours, hunting from a public road and hunting from a moving vehicle.
Agents also cited eight subjects for buying deer meat from Buller. One of the eight was also cited for possession of illegally taken deer.
On. Jan. 12, LDWF agents received a complaint about someone hunting from a vehicle off of Interstate 49. Agents investigated the complaint and found an SUV with a freshly killed antlerless deer and two hogs with Buller, LeBleu and Morrison inside. After questioning, Buller admitted to shooting a deer and two hogs. LeBleau admitted to driving the vehicle and using the headlights to illuminate the deer while Buller shot from the passenger side.
Agents then interviewed Buller at the jail where he admitted to harvesting approximately 20 deer after hours along I-49 and selling most of the deer meat to numerous individuals in St. Landry, Lafayette and Evangeline parishes since November of 2020. LeBleu, Leger and Morrison were all involved in the illegal harvesting or processing of the deer.
Hunting deer during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Hunting deer from a public road, hunting deer from a moving vehicle and tagging another person’s deer bring a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense. Possessing over the limit of deer brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. Hunting without resident basic season and big game hunting licenses bring a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail for each offense. Purchasing and or selling deer meat brings a $500 to $750 fine and up to 30 days in jail.
Civil restitution totaling $36,150 may also be accessed for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer.
Agents participating in the case are Senior Agent Tyler Smith, Sgt. Ryan Faul, Corporal Brandon Fontenot, Agent Garrett Kirkland, Corporal Jason Stagg, Agent Jacob Cramer, Agent Katie Mathias, Corporal Tib Guillory, and Sgt. Steve Vidrine.