Poacher Ordered to Spend All Hunting Season Weekends in Jail

December 23, 2017 2:36 pm Last Updated: December 23, 2017 4:35 pm

A Texas judge has devised a creative punishment for a man convicted of poaching.

John Walker Drinnon, 34, has to spend every weekend of the hunting season in jail for the next five years, a district court judge in Grayson County ruled.

Drinnon has been sentenced to five years of probation, but he must report to the Grayson County Jail each weekend of deer season starting Dec. 30 and for the whole five years of the probation. He also has to pay over $18,000 in a civil restitution penalty.

The Whitesboro Texan is also prohibited from purchasing a hunting license while on probation.

Drinnon’s story started about a year ago, when pictures emerged of Drinnon with a 19-point white-tailed buck in his lap. He was questioned by game wardens about how he came into possession of the animal. He said he shot it on public hunting land in Oklahoma.

John Walker Drinnon with a 19-point buck. (Texas Parks and Wildlife Department)

“The wardens had obtained a game camera image of the deer in question, photographed on public hunting land on the Texas side of Lake Texoma, which contradicted Drinnon’s claim,” the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) stated in a release.

Game cameras are usually equipped with infrared lights and motion sensors and automatickly snap images or shoot video of passing wildlife.

In cooperation with Oklahoma and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents, game wardens built their case and eventually made Drinnon confess he had killed the buck in Grayson County, shooting it with a rifle from a public roadway.

Grayson County, Texas. (Screenshot via Google Maps)

On Oct. 12, Drinnon pleaded guilty to the felony charge of taking a whitetail deer without landowner consent in 15th District Court in Sherman, Texas.

“Advances in stealth surveillance technology have made game cameras essential gear for serious deer hunters,” TPWD stated. “In Grayson County, wary old bucks present a challenge for bowhunters, but seldom escape the camera or coffee shop gossip.”