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Man Charged with Hunting Violations after Joint Investigation

Photo of Porter buckA Cumberland man was charged Wednesday by Maryland Natural Resources Police with 14 hunting violations and faces additional charges in Pennsylvania after a joint investigation by wildlife officers from both states.

Christopher Alan Porter, 37, is due in Allegany County District Court May 8. If found guilty of all charges, he could be fined $5,500.

Late last year, a Maryland officer and a counterpart on the Pennsylvania Game Commission began following leads on complaints of illegal hunting activity and zeroed in on Porter after seeing photos circulating on social media of a dead nine-point buck extending from the trunk of a white sedan.

After determining that the deer was killed in Pennsylvania and illegally brought back to Maryland, officers secured a search warrant and searched Porter’s home and other locations in the Cumberland area Jan. 11.

Porter told officers that in late November he killed the nine-point buck from his vehicle in Pennsylvania with a muzzleloader. He loaded it into the car and brought it to Maryland without properly tagging it. The nine-point antler rack scored 135 inches on the Boone and Crockett Club big-game measuring system.

He also told officers of killing an eight-point buck with a muzzleloader from his vehicle in late November in the vicinity of Warrior Mountain Wildlife Management Area in Allegany County. Also in November, a spike buck was killed in Pennsylvania and brought to Maryland and a doe was killed at night with a bow in Maryland.

The skulls of the eight-point and nine-point bucks and the head of the spike buck were found during searches of storage units and a shed. The remains of a doe and the arrow used to kill it were found in the 14000 block of Hazen Road.

Porter was charged with: three counts of shooting from or across a road; two counts of importing white-tailed deer without required documentation; two counts of exceeding the bag limit of antlerless white-tailed deer in Region A during bow season; two counts of failing to make a reasonable effort to take possession of a wounded or dead deer; two counts of hunting on private land without written permission; hunting from a vehicle; having a loaded weapon in a vehicle; and hunting deer at night.

If convicted, Porter faces additional penalties under Maryland’s Poaching Restitution Act of 2016, which states that a buck with antlers scoring 150 or fewer points requires restitution of $2,000 to $5,000 and 80 hours of community service. For each antlerless white-tailed deer, a person convicted of deer poaching must pay restitution of not less than $300 but not exceeding $500 or perform 40 hours of community service.