Two charged for allegedly shooting deer decoy in IOW

Published 11:55 am Wednesday, November 28, 2012

SMITHFIELD—Two Smithfield-area men were arrested for allegedly shooting a decoy of a deer in Isle of Wight County.

Chase Cleary and Elijah Hassell, both 19, at 2 a.m. Oct. 26 were traveling in a pickup on Foursquare Road and shone a spotlight on the decoy, said Sgt. J.T. Worrell with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Hassell allegedly fired at the decoy twice with a shotgun, hitting the decoy.

Game officials had set up the decoy after getting reports of shots being fired in the area at night and spotlighting, Worrell said.

Spotlighting is allowed in Virginia with permission from landowners.

The two suspects drove by the decoy and proceeded about a mile before turning around and returning to the officers’ location. That’s when the spotlight was used to see the deer and the shots were fired, Worrell said.

Game officials stopped the truck, and found and confiscated the spotlight and shotgun.

Cleary was charged with attempting to kill a deer at night. Hassell was charged with shooting a gun from the roadway and attempting to kill a deer at night. Both will have hearings at 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, in General District Court in Isle of Wight.

Shooting deer at night has been a problem in that area, Worrell said.

“We’ve caught people there in the past in the same area,” he said. “It’s a great area for deer; it’s rural and there are crops there.”