A Facebook post by the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, states that a 23-Point buck that was poached on state property may be a state record.
While the poaching of any animal is a despicable act, the unfortunate killing of such a large deer only compounds the tragedy of this crime. In the first place, Florida is not known to produce such large deer, a deer of this size is highly sought after throughout the U.S.
The post goes on to say, the poacher, Mario Palacio was spotted by law enforcement using a spotlight to illuminate a deer. When approached by Sergeant Kevin Kryzda, Palacio sped off in his pick-up truck and was later stopped attempting to leave the area.
Meanwhile a search of the area where Palacio was last seen using a spotlight was being searched by deputies and air support. The search led to the discovery of a buck with massive head-gear. The initial scoring had the deer measuring at 205-7/8, which is only millimeters shy of the current state record of 206. An official Boone and Crockett scoring by a professional is underway.
Palacio was initially charged with Trespass on a Construction Site, and Trespass by Lethal Projectile. Both are felony charges.
In a cruel twist to this story, WPTV reported that the man accused of poaching a state record buck, appears in the 2018-2019 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Hunting Regulations Handbook. The poacher is pictured holding a white tail deer under the section promoting the Florida Buck Registry. The hand-book is still active and can be found here.
Sheriff William Snyder told WPTV, “it was a serious agricultural crimes case.” The report also states that Palacio was also booked on an additional charge of Armed Trespass, a third felony charge.
Plans for the deer head are still being considered. “Contribute that money towards a group that advocates for responsible hunting and proper animal management practices,” said Snyder of selling the deer head.
The Martin County Sheriff’s Office says their deputies are also avid sportsmen. Thankfully, this culprit was caught and exposed.