FWC charges Dustin Bryant, James Mcleod, Kristan O’Neill & Dalton Morrison with illegal deer harvest in Walton County

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After nearly a yearlong investigation, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has charged four individuals with multiple hunting related charges including night hunting, over-the-season bag limit of white-tailed deer, petit theft and entering fraudulent information into the FWC Harvest Reporting System.

In February 2020, FWC officers received information of illegal deer harvest that was taking place at night on private property without landowner permission. A suspect, Dustin Bryant of Freeport, was identified and officers began gathering information. Phone records for Bryant were subpoenaed and, through further investigation, several other suspects were identified.

“I appreciate the dedication of our officers and their supervisors for their diligence in staying with this case for almost a yearlong investigation,” said Maj. Craig Duval, commander of the FWC’s Northwest Region. “I am incredibly proud of their tireless efforts in conserving our state’s natural resources.”

Arrest warrants were issued for the suspects and they were subsequently booked into the Walton County Jail on Jan. 8.

Phone records also showed that violations occurred in Alabama. Two of the suspects, Bryant and James Mcleod, were charged with additional violations by Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

To report fish and wildlife violations, contact the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).

The suspects and their charges are as follows:

Dustin Bryant (DOB 03/05/1982) of Freeport

  • One count FS. 379.401(1) Unlawful to take or possess any freshly killed deer or turkey with the use of a gun and light at night.
  • One count FS. 812.014(3)(a) Petit Theft.
  • One count FS 379.3504 Entering false information on licenses or permits.
  • One count FAC 68A-15.004(14) Entering a Wildlife Management Area posted as closed to public access.
  • One count FAC 68A-12.003(2)(c)1 Failure to report deer harvest within 24 hours of taking of deer.
  • One count FAC 68A-15.063(24)(d)3. Operation of ATVs prohibited on Lafayette Creek WMA.

James Mcleod (DOB 12/03/1991) of Freeport

  • Two counts FS. 379.401(1) Unlawful to take or possess any freshly killed deer or turkey with the use of a gun and light at night.
  • One count FS. 812.014(3)(a) Petit Theft.
  • One count FAC 68A-13.004 The statewide annual bag limit is five deer, no person shall take more than five deer per season.
  • Two counts FAC 68A-15.004(1) Hunting in a Wildlife Management Area in an area posted as closed.
  • One count FAC 68A-15.004(14) Entering a Wildlife Management Area posted as closed to public access.
  • One count FAC 68A-12.003(2)(c)1 Failure to report deer harvest within 24 hours of taking of deer.
  • One count FAC 68A-15.063(24)(d)3. Operation of ATVs prohibited on Lafayette Creek WMA.
  • One count FAC 68A-15.004(9)(a) Operation of a vehicle in a closed area.

Kristan O’Neill (DOB 07/27/1997) of Santa Rosa Beach

  • One count FS. 379.401(1) Unlawful to take or possess any freshly killed deer or turkey with the use of a gun and light at night.
  • One count FS. 379.3504 Entering False information on licenses or permits.

Dalton Morrison (DOB 04/03/1993) of Freeport

  • One count FS. 379.401(1) Unlawful to take or possess any freshly killed deer or turkey with the use of a gun and light at night.
  • One count FS 777.04(4)(f) Solicitation and conspiracy to commit a crime.

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