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Three hunters have been charged in connection with an alleged deer spotlighting incident that occurred in the Flat Ridge community of Grayson County on Nov. 25.
Spotlighting — using lights to hunt deer at night — is illegal in Virginia.
Virginia Conservation Police Officer Jason Harris charged the following:
• Roy McKinley Payne of Galax, charged with spotlighting deer, no hunting license, no big game stamp
• Richard Lee Poole of Waynesboro, charged with hunting from a motor vehicle, two counts of spotlighting deer, exceeding daily limit
• William D. Poole of Fries, charged with spotlighting deer and shooting or attempting to take animal from the roadway.
Harris said he received a Wildlife Crime Line complaint regarding wildlife violations off of Rockbridge Road.
He found two subjects staying in a camper and three freshly killed deer covered with leaves hidden behind a barn near the camper. A third subject’s vehicle was located in another field near the woods, and the suspect was located hiding in the woods nearby. Harris said the man fled the scene when officers approached.
After a search of the area by the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police, Rugby Fire and Rescue, Independence Fire and Rescue, Baywood Search and Rescue, family members and friends, Chief Deputy Mike Hash and Corporal Jeff Merilic of the Grayson Sheriff’s Office found the suspect hiding in an outhouse on an adjacent property.
A trial for the three men is set for Jan. 23 in Grayson County General District Court.