Campbell County residents upset after poaching at Deerfield

Campbell County residents upset after poaching on Deerfield Resort

Posted:
Law enforcement officials confirm the incident happened in Deerfield Resort near LaFollette. Law enforcement officials confirm the incident happened in Deerfield Resort near LaFollette.
Sandra Lehman loves feeding the deer that come right up to her house. Sandra Lehman loves feeding the deer that come right up to her house.
Deerfield Resort owner Scott Fields says the men must have entered during the day, when no one was at the gate checking cars. Deerfield Resort owner Scott Fields says the men must have entered during the day, when no one was at the gate checking cars.

By KAYLA STRAYER
6 News Reporter

LaFOLLETTE (WATE) - Residents of a Campbell County neighborhood are upset after a deer was shot and killed next to their homes.

Law enforcement officials confirm the incident happened in Deerfield Resort near LaFollette.

Citations were issued for those involved, but people in the neighborhood say more needs to be done.

One of the witnesses says she is angry at the men who came into the secured community and fired shots just feet from her house. She says she's never seen anything like it and thinks all four suspects should have been arrested that night.

Three hunters got off with simple citations.

Sandra Lehman loves feeding the deer that come right up to her house.

She says she was getting ready to do just that Monday night when she heard a gunshot next to her house. She looked over and saw a dead deer.

"They shot a gun toward my house, I was out on the deck and they drug her up from my property in a residential area," Lehman says.

She then saw four men load the dead dear into their truck and drive off, going the wrong way.

"I was yelling at them to 'Stop! Stop!' They didn't stop," Lehman said.

Lehman says she called Scott Fields, the owner of Deerfield Resort. Fields says he never gave permission for the four men to shoot on his property and says they must have entered during the day, when no one was at the gate checking cars.

Both Lehman and Fields want more to be done.

"You can't come into a residential property, where it says no hunting, and endanger the lives of people and children," Lehman said.

The Campbell County Sheriff's Department and the Tennessee Wildlife Agency responded to the shootings. They found four dead dear in the back of this truck, driven by Phillip Johnson, of LaFollette.

Johnson was charged with disorderly conduct, but the other three men were only issued citations for hunting off season.

The sheriff's department says they handed the case off to TWRA because it involves poaching. The TWRA is still investigating.

"It would be TWRA's responsibility to pursue and further wildlife charges. In the case of the hunting without permission, it's up to the landowner to charge these guys," said Matt Cameron, of the TWRA.

Lehman has a message for poachers who trespass onto Deerfield Resort.

"Poachers beware. There's a lot of people now who are going to be watching out for you," Lehman says.

TWRA officials say more charges could be filed against all four men, including a possible road hunting charge. The owners of Deerfield Resort also plan to press charges.

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