Two charged in poaching incident

By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer

A father and son were charged Monday in connection with the unlawful killing of a trophy-class mule deer buck in December.

Travis Field, 19, and Don Field, 55, both of Dora, have been charged in Magistrate Court in Roosevelt County, according to a press release from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

According to the release:

• Don Field, a former Dora city councilor, is charged with unlawful possession of deer. Travis Field is charged with killing a deer out of season, unlawful possession of deer and exceeding the bag limit of deer.

• The Roswell office of Game and Fish received an anonymous tip about the killing of a trophy class mule deer buck southwest of Portales in Roosevelt County on or around Dec. 17. The caller reported the deer head was going to be transported to a taxidermist.

Officers of the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Department checked out the local taxidermist shop and found the mule deer head. There was no documentation to show the deer was legally harvested or possessed.

• Investigators learned the head had been dropped off at the taxidermist by Don Field

Don Field said since they live in the county, his son carries firearms in order to kill coyotes.

“He saw this amazing huge buck and gave in to temptation,” Don Field said. “He called me, and I said, ‘Oh my gosh what have you done?’ I made the mistake of covering it up and trying to hide it. It was wrong. The way it happened he was tempted and I didn’t know what to do at the time. We regret having broken the law.”

According the release:

• Don Field admitted that his son had shot the buck the day before and the carcass of the buck was located at his farm southwest of Portales.

• The elder Field also reported that he wanted the taxidermist to take the carcass tag off of a buck that his son had legally harvested in November and place it on the larger buck. The legally harvested head was already at the taxidermist shop.

• Travis Ford told investigators he was going to pick up his father after his father’s truck had broke down when he saw a group of deer, including the large buck. He shot at the buck once and missed. He then chased the deer in his truck and shot him through the window while he was driving.

According to Department of Game and Fish rules, the civil fine for deer poaching is $10,000.

Ron Moore of the Department of Game and Fish said the Fields cooperated in the investigation.

“They were asked to come in and the situation was taken care of,” Moore said.

Moore said the suspects will be arraigned.