Titans offensive lineman Fred Miller bagged a 12-point
buck with a hunting bow and arrow last week, but not exactly by the book.
He was hunting on private property where he did not have
permission to be and his hunting license had expired.
''It was a big mixup,'' Miller said yesterday. ''We
actually thought we were on the spot we had permission to hunt, but we
He and a friend were on land adjacent to property where
they had been allowed to hunt, he said.
Both properties are next to Radnor Lake State Natural
Area. Rangers there keep a close watch on that part of the park since
poachers sometimes slip in.
The park is a haven for deer, including large bucks like
the one Miller bagged. The points refer to the tips of a deer's antlers —
the more tips, the larger the deer.
Parks officials determined that Miller was not on park
property, said Mike Carlton, state director of parks operations. The Radnor
manager called the property owner, who had not given Miller and a friend
permission to hunt there. The property owner did not press charges.
Once Miller and his companion cleared that hurdle, it was
too late to register the deer at a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
check-in station, the football player said yesterday.
He called Cape Taylor, TWRA's enforcement supervisor for
10 Middle Tennessee counties, the next morning, on Oct. 28, to find the
nearest station. Taylor directed him to a market on Ashland City Highway in
the western part of Davidson County.
TWRA then got a call from the market that a man whose
license had expired had come to check in a deer, Taylor said.
''I said, 'Do you not have another license?' '' Taylor
said. ''And he said, 'I've got this and it says 2003 on it.' I told him,
'They expire in March.' ''
Taylor said he advised the two TWRA officers dealing with
Miller to issue a warning citation but said they should use their own
judgment. Miller could have been cited to appear in court.
If Miller was trying to fool authorities, Taylor said, it
is unlikely that he would have checked in a deer if he knew his license had
run out. He also had time to get a current one.
''I'm not going to treat him different because he is a
football player,'' Taylor said. He said other hunters have been given
warnings instead of citations in the past.
Miller, who has bought a nonresident license for the past
three years, said the time frame for a hunting license is different in Texas
where he had been used to hunting. He said he felt bad about what happened.