The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has banned two poachers from hunting for the rest of their lives.
TWRA investigators said Densibel Calzada and Eddy Albert broke the rules over and over again.
“Our wildlife officers worked hard, did a lot of search warrants, discovered a lot of photographs, found out what they were doing,” said TWRA spokesman Doug Markham.
Markham said the duo illegally killed at least 40 deer in Rutherford County at night, out of season and sometimes on private property.
Video shows the two men disrespecting the animals they killed.
“They would get on the back of the deer and slap it on the back of the neck or the head, make jokes and thumbs up, and do all this kind of stuff,” Markham said. “That really is an immature way of acting. And they may grow out of that and I hope that they do.”
Both now face dozens of charges and the harshest punishment in TWRA’s history.
Calzada and Albert had to pay $1,000 each in court costs. Both also lost a rifle and a crossbow.
A judge also ordered them to pay $5,000 in restitution. They will have to perform 100 hours of community service with the TWRA. They have been placed on 18 months probation and banned from hunting for life in 44 states.
“They probably didn’t know that at the time, the laws they broke in Middle Tennessee, and really they broke a lot, was going to cost them the rest of their lives,” Markham said.
The TWRA hopes the case will show how serious they are about protecting the state’s resources. Markham also said there is a difference between poachers and hunters.
“These guys have no ethics. You hope they grow out of it,” he said. “Our real hunters have ethics and care about what goes on, and they are the sportsmen that support our management in Tennessee.”
The 44 states where Calzada and Albert are banned from hunting belong to the Interstate Violators Compact. The TWRA hopes eventually every state will participate. New Jersey and Nebraska are the closest states to Tennessee that are not in the compact.