Hunter charged after firing at trophy buck in Knox County

Hunter charged after firing at trophy buck in Knox County

Christopher Caughron (Source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Christopher Caughron (Source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)

6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Maryville man has been arrested after shooting at a trophy white-tailed buck in Knox County.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency says Christopher Caughron, 23, of Maryville, was taken into custody early Monday evening by a TWRA official who saw him shoot at the buck just off of Pellissippi Parkway.

Caughron then led the officer on a chase before he surrendered at the Weigel's on Northshore Drive.

TWRA Wildlife Officer Joe Durnin was driving along Hunter Valley Lane Monday afternoon to get a closer look at a large deer.

"While I was observing it, a vehicle pulled off the interstate and took a shot at it," Durnin said.

Durnin says he was in his work truck when he heard the gun shot about 40 feet away. He says Caughron parked his truck along Pellissippi Parkway, got out, and shot at the deer with a high powered rifle.

"I was on the other side of the trees from the deer, and in the line of fire," Caughron said.

Before he got away, Durnin was able to take a picture of Caughron's truck.

"He left there and I left here. I went to Northshore, and he got off at Northshore. We met there, and there was a little bit of a chase there," Durnin said.

After the car chase, Caughron was arrested near Northshore and Ebenezer Drive. In addition to these new charges, he's also facing charges in Blount County for illegal bear baiting in September. In that case, a 400 pound black bear was killed out of season.

If convicted in that case, Caughron could lose his Tennessee hunting privileges for 10 years.

"People will be recurring offenders regardless of the penalties sometimes, so I don't know if that's the case here or not, it could be," Durnin said.

After searching the scene, TWRA officers didn't find any evidence that the deer had been hit by the shot.

Caughron has been released from the Knox County Detention Center. He's facing several charges including felony evading arrest, felony reckless endangerment, and hunting from a public road. His next court date is January 21.

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