Poacher threatens to kill landowner, gets jail and lifetime hunting ban

A 22-year-old man pointed a gun at and threatened to kill a landowner who confronted him about illegally hunting at night with a spotlight from a vehicle during a closed season.

William Franklin Stamey Jr., who had a previous poaching conviction and obviously did not learn from his poor choice, received a felony conviction for his latest misdeeds, which cost him $12,500 in restitution, along with fines and court costs. The 22-year-old also was banned for life from hunting and forfeited a spotlight, a muzzleloader, a rifle, and a compound bow, along with deer meat, turkey parts and 14 deer racks.

On Friday, Stamey pleaded guilty in Hawkins County Circuit Court to aggravated assault, spotlighting deer, hunting from a motor vehicle, and a second and third offense of hunting big game in closed season, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency disclosed in a Facebook post.

“Stamey was ordered to serve six months of a four-year sentence for the aggravated assault charge, and six months for each of the hunting big game in closed season charges, with all jail time to run concurrently,” the post stated.

Last August 16 around 11:30 p.m., Stamey and an accomplice were hunting from a road on McKinney Chapel Road and, aided by a spotlight, killed a doe and a seven-point buck from their vehicle during a closed season.

When a landowner confronted him, Stamey pointed a gun at him and threatened to kill him.

The landowner presumably contacted law enforcement, and later that night a Hawkins County Sheriff’s deputy stopped the poachers and discovered them to be possession of a spotlight and hunting rifles. Stamey and the driver were taken into custody and a third vehicle occupant was charged as an accessory. The driver and the accessory will appear in court later this month.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency was contacted and an investigation uncovered further poaching activity.

When Wildlife Officer Justin Pinkston went to serve Stamey with a criminal summons on September 15, he discovered a buck deer carcass in his backyard. Records indicated that Stamey had checked the deer in as an archery harvest on August 27, but did not possess an archery license.

Four days later, TWRA executed a search warrant on Stamey’s residence where 11 more sets of deer antlers were found; Stamey admitted to poaching them. He also admitted to shooting a bearded hen turkey in 2022. he failed to check it in as required by law.

“Over a three-and-a-half-year period, Stamey was charged with killing or assisting in killing 15 deer illegally, and admitted to poaching 20 deer from the road in 2020 alone,” Pinkston said. “Sadly, most of these deer were left lying and were never recovered.”

In May 2021, Stamey entered a plea agreement for spotlighting, hunting from a public roadway and deer hunting in a closed season in Greene County in November 2020. Further details were not revealed about that case.

Story originally appeared on For The Win