Wreck leads to probe of possible deer poaching

lfabian@macon.comNovember 18, 2013 

Two severed deer heads were removed from the wreckage of a jeep that flipped at the Walnut Creek bridge on Gray Highway just before 5:15 a.m. Monday.

The driver was lying in the road when Raymond Mintz pulled up on the scene on the way to work at Reeves Construction, just up the road.

Mintz called 911 as witnesses reported the man appeared to be dead.

“He survived. I was standing by him and I was telling him not to move, he was trying to move. But the ambulance, they came on and they put him on a stretcher and took him on to the hospital,” Mintz said.

Witnesses said they smelled alcohol at the scene.

Mintz’s co-worker was driving a Mazda 626 that was involved in the accident, but he was walking around the scene before being taken to the hospital to be checked, Mintz said.

A Buick Park Avenue also was involved in the accident, said Cory Boynton, who also was headed to work at Reeves.

A brief shower had just dampened the road when the jeep apparently went into the median and clipped tall crepe myrtle trees.

Branches and dirt were strewn about the highway leading up to the mangled jeep.

“All four of the wheels and tires came off the jeep,” Boynton said.

The three-vehicle accident blocked northbound lanes of Gray Highway for about 90 minutes. Traffic backed up to the Wal-Mart entrance where vehicles could do a U-turn to Shurling Drive and take Ga. 49 into Jones County.

Macon police called for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to investigate possible poaching violations after they discovered the deer heads, both with large racks of antlers.

“It is unlawful to remove the head of a deer until the deer is self-processed or surrendered to a storage facility for storage or processing,” according to the DNR website.

Capt. Bob Lynn, of the Macon DNR’s law enforcement office, said hunting at night also is illegal, so is leaving a deer carcass and only taking the head.

“That’s called wanton waste,” Lynn said. “In law, it would be called illegal dumping.”

The DNR is looking into whether the kills were properly documented.

Macon police officers Jeremiah Moneypenny and Jacob Young carried the heads by the antlers and placed them in the trunk of Young’s patrol car.

Police requested a blood alcohol test be done on the jeep driver, who was taken to The Medical Center of Central Georgia.

The identities of those involved were not immediately released.

To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.

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