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Police Deer Decoy Struck by Suspect

Natural Resources Police Target Hunting Violations

Photo of Natural Resources Police officer and vehicle in fieldMaryland Natural Resources Police charged a Carroll County woman for driving while intoxicated after she struck a deer decoy and led officers on a chase. Police on Nov. 30 were patrolling for illegal spotlighting and using a decoy deer along Flag Marsh Road in Mt. Airy. Officers reportedly saw a vehicle stop in the road, turn on its headlights, drive off the road into the field, and strike the decoy deer. 

When officers approached the vehicle, it sped away through several fields before finally stopping. Police say the driver, Melinda Marie Platt, 46, was intoxicated and admitted to drinking several beers. A passenger, James Platt, 55, was also intoxicated, according to police. 

Police charged Melinda Platt with several driving offenses, and charged James Platt with spotlighting and pursuing wildlife in an off-road vehicle. 

Natural Resources Police filed multiple charges against two suspected deer poachers in Carroll County. Officers responded to a call Dec. 1 that two men were illegally spotlighting — also known as “jacklighting” — in a field in the area of Baker Road, and witnesses told police that two people were firing their rifles out of the window of a vehicle. 

After investigating, police determined the vehicle’s occupants to be Wyatt Seiler 19, of Walkersville and Grant Laney, 18, of New Windsor. Arriving at Laney’s home, police say they discovered two dead deer in the bed of his truck. Seiler admitted to shooting from the window. Neither Laney nor Seiler had current hunting licenses. 

Seiler was charged with shooting at wildlife from a vehicle, possessing a loaded rifle in the vehicle, shooting from a public highway, hunting without written permission, failing to obtain a hunting license, and failing to wear fluorescent orange or pink clothing. Laney was charged with failing to obtain a hunting license and hunting without written permission.

A Walkersville man was arrested for illegal firearm possession while hunting. Police on patrol in Walkersville area responded to a tip and found Ashley Burall, 58, with a dead deer in the bed of his truck. Burall is currently prohibited from possessing or owning firearms. Police charged Burall and seized his firearm. If convicted, Burall faces up to 21 years in jail. 

A Pennsylvania man was charged with jacklighting, allegedly shining his truck headlights onto a police deer decoy. Officers on patrol near Poolesville Nov. 30 say they found Zachary Stultz, 22, of Blue Ridge, Pa. hunting deer using his headlights to illuminate a nearby field. Police searched the vehicle and found a rifle and four rounds of ammunition. If convicted, Stultz a fine of $2,000 and six months in jail.

Police checking an Allegany County man’s hunting license charged him with drunk driving. Officers say Thoms Freeman, 50, of Westernport, was driving on a hunting access trail near Twin Churches Road in Grantsville on Nov. 30. Noticing he was wearing fluorescent orange clothing, an officer conducted a conservation stop and reportedly could smell a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Freeman. After conducting a standardized sobriety test, police arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. He faces up to $2,000 in fines and two years in jail.