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Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS

Man Accused of Stealing Deer, Threatening Hunters

November 29, 2011

By Stacey Lange, WNEP.com

An argument over who shot the deer has one hunter in trouble with the law.

The bizarre story played out Monday in the woods of Lackawanna County.

Two brothers who were getting ready to tag an eight-point buck in Springbrook Township when, they said, they were confronted by another hunter who said he had shot the deer.

Now that hunter is facing charges for what happened next.

Officers from the state game commission said it's not uncommon for hunters to argue over who killed a particular deer, but one hunter from Scranton now faces a long list of criminal charges after his dispute over a deer went south and he allegedly turned his rifle on two other hunters.

Court papers said Arthur Annacarto pointed his rifle at the pair of brothers, threatened to kill them, and took the deer claiming he had killed it.

The alleged incident was hot topic Tuesday among hunters taking a break at a diner outside Moscow.

"Probably be a big topic. It will go on for a couple weeks. It`s a big controversy, and maybe the game commission will do something about it, change the laws," said Sean Bartrige of Moscow.

Game commission officers said they don`t usually get involved in hunters` disputes, but once the brothers, Phil and Zach Howell of Scranton, reported the incident, police went looking for Annacarto and camped outside his house.

Police arrested Annacarto Monday night and charged him with robbery, harassment, and making terroristic threats.

Phil and Zach Howell went back into the woods Tuesday to try and get another buck after theirs was stolen. In a phone interview, Phil Howell said there is no doubt in his mind that the deer belonged to his brother.

"For somebody to do that, I`d be upset. It would ruin my hunting season, and it might ruin, I might not want to go hunting again, you know, waiting for somebody else to do it," said Francis Sickle of Thornhurst.

Other hunters said it`s common for hunters to argue over who killed a particular deer, but said if these allegations are true then Annacarto took it too far.

"That`s what you enjoy, going out there and getting your trophy. Well, like, people are taking it a little more serious. They`re not doing it as a sport no more, it`s turning into crimes. Hunting season? You know, come on, really," said Richard Hallock of Elmhurst.

Annacarto was released from police custody Monday on $25,000 bail.

As for the deer, game commission officers said it needed to be destroyed because it had been out in the warm weather for too long, but they did keep the antlers.

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