Huge Fine Given for Poaching A Record Setting 278 Inch Buck

Back on 8 October 2017, Travis D. Johnson posted a picture of his recently harvested buck of a lifetime to Facebook. It was that post that would evolve into a criminal investigation, a conviction, and a $53,000 fine.

According to the Star Telegram, Johnson pleaded no contest this past week to illegally taking the 278- inch whitetail buck and was sentenced to two years of probation and 40 hours of community service in a deferred adjudication agreement. He is prohibited from buying a hunting license during the deferred adjudication period and also faces $53,000 in civil restitution fines from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Rumors began circulating about the buck and led Denton County game warden Stormy McCuistion to meet with Johnson the same day the photo was taken. He had questions about Johnson’s timeline.

Johnson told McCuistion he wounded the buck on Sept. 30, then began pursuing it, but didn’t get an opportunity to finish it off until a week later. After an investigation of where the deer was killed, and a conversation with a neighboring landowner, a criminal investigation was launched.

Johnson was eventually charged with hunting whitetail deer at night. That is a Class A misdemeanor.

McCuistion told the Star-Telegram that there were several other charges that he could have pursued, but didn’t, those included felony charges for hunting whitetail deer without landowner consent and wasting game.

He has been doing this sort of thing for years. I am glad he got caught and instead of getting the glory from such a magnificent animal he gets all the shame.