An 18-year-old Pensacola man now knows citizens of his area and the
local courts have little tolerance for repeated wildlife crimes.
Joshua Wayne Douglas and a 16-year-old Milton youth faced a Santa
Rosa County judge last week after Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) officers charged them with killing three small spotted
fawns on Christmas Eve near Munson on Division of Forestry property and
shooting from a roadway. A Wildlife Alert tip led officers to the pair.
Douglas pled guilty and was sentenced to 120 days in jail and 30
hours of community service, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $330 court
costs, had his hunting privileges revoked for life and forfeited the
shotgun used to kill the deer. The juvenile received probation.
It was Douglas’ second time before a Santa Rosa County judge in the
past two months for shooting deer illegally or at night. He and an
accomplice were charged Nov. 5 for night hunting deer after the pilot of
an FWC airplane and ground units spotted the pair as they attempted to
shoot a deer using a spotlight.
In that case, Douglas had to pay $500 in fines and court costs, was
sentenced to 10 hours of community service and had his hunting license
suspended for three years. The other hunter was fined $1,353.50 and
ordered to perform 30 hours of community service, and his hunting
license was suspended for three years.
A new Florida law allows local courts to deal seriously with repeat
offenders. When repeat offenders’ violations occur within specified
times, they face tougher penalties with each conviction.
“This just shows the serious attitude the criminal justice system
takes with wildlife law violations,” said FWC Capt. Mary Sumner, who
supervises officers in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton
counties. “In this case there were three small fawns that a number of
locals had gotten used to seeing as they drove by the property every
Florida is now a member of the Wildlife Violator Compact, a
consortium of 24 states, electronically linked to share information
about persons whose hunting or fishing privileges are suspended or
revoked. There are 12-13 additional states in the process of joining the
Douglas may not hunt in any state that is a member of the compact.