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Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS: > 2003

AREA PAIR FACE COURT FOR NIGHT HUNTING

Article published Dec 24, 2003

A former Chiefland mayor and his adult son are expected in court in early January to explain their version of a night hunting incident that disabled a robotic deer.

Former Mayor and City Commissioner Silas David Allen, 53, and his son, Kenneth David Allen, 34, a former city employee, were cited Thursday at 9:45 p.m. for trying to take deer at night with a gun and a light after they allegedly shot and hit a robotic deer being used as a decoy, according to reports.

The incident happened along Levy County Road 347 and Camp Azalea Road near Fowlers Bluff.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Allens drove up on a robotic deer with a head being remotely controlled by officers Jay Russel and Sam Dishman, who were stationed nearby.

The deer was being used because of repeated complaints by property owners about illegal night hunting in the area. By moving the the decoy's head, the officers were trying to make the deer appear more realistic than a stationary decoy would have been.

Wildlife officers claim Kenneth Allen drove himself and his father past the deer, slowed down, turned around and drove back to the deer, then fired two shots with a .22-caliber rifle from the cab of the truck.

He hit the decoy in the neck, demolishing the battery pack supplying the power to make the deer's head move.

"Most of the time when people shoot at this robotic deer, they hit it, and he (Allen) was a real good shot - he hit right where you would want to hit a deer," said commission Lt. Jeff Hahr.

Kenneth Allen's marksmanship was so good that the deer had to be taken out of service to be resuscitated, authorities said. A projected date for its return to work was not immediately available from the commission.

The Allens could not be reached for comment on Tuesday, but according to court records, Kenneth Allen told officers he and his father did not normally shoot at deer along the side of the road at night. Both men are members of a local hunting club.

The officers seized a Marlin .22-caliber rifle and two spent rounds as evidence in the case. They also issued a warning to Kenneth Allen for hunting from a county road.

Karen Voyles can be reached at (352) 486-5058 or voylesk@gvillesun.com .

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