Oklahoma Man Convicted of Illegally Killing 220-class buck. Kenny Nixon.

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Oklahoma Man Convicted of Illegally Killing 220-class buck

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Bokoshe man has been convicted of four counts associated with the illegal killing of a well-known trophy buck in Latimer County and has counts pending against him on the illegal possession of over 100 other deer antler racks and other wildlife.

Kenny Nixon is convicted of taking deer in closed season, illegally possessing deer parts, removing the antlers and head of a deer while abandoning the body and abandoning a deer carcass without proper disposal in Latimer County District Court. The conviction resulted in Nixon's lifetime hunting license being revoked for 20 years, and he was ordered to pay fines and court costs at around $5,000.

"Wildlife violators make up just a small number compared to the thousands of sportsmen who respect and follow our state's wildlife laws, but those who do violate the law take something away from other hunters and everyone in Oklahoma who enjoys wildlife," said Robert Fleenor, law enforcement chief for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. "The Wildlife Department works hard to stop the illegal taking of wildlife to protect our resources for everyone to enjoy."

The case dates back to Oct. 1, 2009, when the carcass of a trophy whitetail deer dubbed the "BP buck" was found on British Petroleum property in Latimer County with its head and antlers missing.

Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation game wardens Shane Fields stationed in Pittsburg Co., Randy Fennell and Thomas Gillham stationed in LeFlore Co. and James Williams stationed in LeFlore and Latimer counties have all been actively involved in working the case.

Game wardens first learned of the BP buck in September 2008, and they kept watch on the animal's whereabouts.

The buck survived the 2008 deer season and was rediscovered in February 2009 after it had gone some time without being observed by game wardens. In August 2009, the buck was photographed on BP land. By then, the buck was well known by locals, and game wardens continued efforts to keep tabs on the deer.

The buck lived until sometime in late September 2009, and shortly after that the deer carcass was found. It's head and antlers were removed, and the carcass was abandoned. It was not immediately confirmed whether the carcass was that of the BP buck, but it was suspected, especially when photographs of the well-known deer's antlers began appearing on websites across the Internet.

Because of the high interest and visibility of the deer in newspaper photographs and online, wardens began receiving a number of leads. But it was a tip offered in November 2009 by the Oklahoma Drug Task Force that eventually led wardens to a residence in LeFlore Co. other than Nixon's where the antlers were reportedly hidden. A search warrant was obtained, and the antlers were seized from an air duct compartment.

When contacted, Nixon admitted to killing the BP buck with a .25-06 Browning rifle and filled out a voluntary statement for game wardens. He was cited for poaching the buck, and the antlers, as well as a dead owl, were tagged and confiscated for evidence. The next day 103 untagged deer racks were confiscated along with an elk antler, and counts against Nixon are currently pending in those cases.

Additionally, through the Wildlife Department's involvement in the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, Nixon's lifetime hunting license revocation will apply in at least 34 other participating states. Recently the Wildlife Department joined the compact, which assures that illegal hunters who violate certain game laws in member states will receive the same treatment as residents of the state in which the violation occurred.

Game wardens are employees of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, the state agency charged with conserving Oklahoma's wildlife. For more information about the Wildlife Department, log on to www.wildlifedepartment.com.
 


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