Kentucky wildlife officials got some help from a robot-deer to arrest a man accused of hunting illegally.
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife arrested 29-year-old James Malone on Sunday. Taylor County officials are charging Malone with spotlighting, possession of a controlled substance, illegally pursuing deer, and hunting without a permit.
According to an arrest report, officials caught Malone shining his spotlight on a deer from his SUV on Sunday night.
When officers stopped Malone’s vehicle, he said he was looking for deer. He also informed the officers he killed a deer earlier in the hunting season, despite not having a permit.
In Kentucky, officials require hunters to report harvested deer, but Malone did not do it, officials said.
Kentucky Officials Outsmart Criminal with Robot Deer
Unbeknownst to Malone, the spotlighted deer was not real. The pseudo-deer was a robot that officials used to attain people hunting illegally.
According to the arrest report, when officers searched Malone’s vehicle, they allegedly found methamphetamine.
Officials also found a .270 rifle under the vehicle’s back seat, which Malone said he previously used to kill a buck.
The Taylor County Detention Center is currently holding Malone following the incident, according to online booking records.
According to Kentucky hunting regulations, “no person may deliberately cast the rays of a spotlight … into any field, pasture, woodlands or forest, whether public or private, where wildlife or domestic livestock may reasonably be expected to be located.”
On Monday a Kentucky judge set s $5,000 cash bond, according to court records.
In June, the state found Malone guilty of hunting without a license and illegal taking or pursuing a turkey. According to a citation, people spotted him in a Snapchat photo posing with a harvested turkey he did not report.