Buddies Share Poaching Photos, Win "Social Media Morons" Award

Buddies Share Poaching Photos, Win
Travis McFatter poses with the road-kill alligator he claimed illegally. (Photo from the FWC)

We're no strangers to people acting like morons online. Just putting a keyboard in front of someone is enough to turn that hapless soul into a stark raving lunatic without a filter.

Case in point, these three hooligans from the Sunshine State. According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, four Florida men face various poaching charges after an anonymous complaint about some Facebook photos.

Travis Clayton McFatter, 27, Blake Dalton King, 20, and Zachary David Espenship, 20, all of Lake City, Fla., and Dustin Wayne Parrish, 26, of Lulu, Fla., were cited by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for hunting violations after posting photographs showing McFatter and King with some freshly killed turkeys and a gator, prompting the FWC to get to know these fellas a little better.

According to an FWC report, McFatter told investigators he had killed five turkeys during the season and took two gobblers in one day. The problem, of course, is that the legal daily limit is one turkey per day with a season limit of two. The FWC reported McFatter also posted a photo showing three harvested turkeys, which he had received from Parrish, his cousin.

In addition, McFatter defended the gator photo by alleging he'd found the gator dead on the side of the road. He said he claimed the carcass, took it home and ate the meat — all without properly tagging the gator. Altogether, McFatter was charged with taking over the daily bag limit for turkeys, three counts of taking over the season limit of turkeys, possession of an untagged alligator, and two noncriminal citations for no hunting license and no turkey stamp.

Meanwhile, King admitted to killing four turkeys, then gave investigators permission to search his truck.

"Mr. King gave permission to search his truck, and investigators found fresh blood in the bed and on the tailgate of his pickup," said FWC investigator Todd Hoyle. "He told us that he and his friend, Mr. Espenship, were headed home from their hunting club and saw a deer standing on the shoulder of the road. Mr. Espenship then shot the deer."

Espenship confirmed the story, telling investigators the deer stood blinded by the truck's headlights, and that he used a Winchester .22 to shoot it. He was forced to hand over four bags of venison and the rifle as a result.

King was charged with two counts of taking over the season limit of wild turkey. Both he and Espenship were charged with taking deer out of season and taking deer at night by use of gun and light.

As for Parrish, he admitted to taking three turkeys — two on Opening Day and one on Easter — and was charged with taking over the daily and season bag limits. In case you lost track, that's 13 misdemeanors and two infractions relating to 12 turkeys, one deer and an alligator.

"This is a great case and shows how our investigators and officers work together, as well as how important it is for us to follow up on complaints we receive," said FWC area supervisor Capt. Martin Redmond.

Couldn't have said it better, Captain. For being so brazen as to take more than their fair share of wild game, and then to actually brag about it on Facebook, we at Petersen's Hunting award these degenerate dimwits the prestigious "Social Media Morons" Award.

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