News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 21, 2012

Four South Carolina men face 15 Vigo deer hunting charges


The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Four South Carolina men were arrested earlier this week after an investigation into the illegal taking of three antlered whitetail deer in Vigo County, according to a Department of Natural Resources news release.

Michael Johnson, 39, and Robert Johnson, 38, both of Aynor, S.C., and Chadwick Johnson, 38, and Christopher Johnson, 33, both of Galivants Ferry, S.C., were taken to the Vigo County Jail on Monday.

Indiana Conservation Officers said they observed the four men hunting deer with .270-caliber rifles. The men had not purchased the required $150 nonresident deer hunting license, nor were they wearing the required hunter  orange clothing, officers said.

Conservation officers also allege Michael Johnson killed two antlered deer, and that Christopher Johnson killed one antlered deer during the opening weekend of deer firearm hunting season. Four .270-caliber rifles and one .357-caliber handgun were seized. All three antlered deer were seized, and the deer meat was donated to the Light House Mission of Terre Haute.

The men appeared in Terre Haute City Court on Tuesday. Michael Johnson, Robert Johnson and Chadwick Johnson all pleaded guilty to hunting deer by illegal methods, hunting deer without a nonresident license, and failure to wear hunter orange when required. In addition, Michael Johnson pleaded guilty to two counts of illegal taking of whitetail deer.

Michael Johnson was assessed fines and court costs of $190; 60 days in jail, suspended with credit for two days served; 180 days informal probation; one year hunting privileges suspended; forfeit of .270-caliber rifle; $1,500 replacement fee for the two deer.

Robert Johnson was assessed fines and court costs of $190; 60 days in jail, suspended with credit for two days served; 180 days informal probation; one year hunting privileges suspended; forfeit of .270-caliber rifle.

Chadwick Johnson was assessed fines and court costs of $190; 60 days in jail, suspended with credit for two days served; 180 days informal probation; one year hunting privileges suspended; forfeit of .270-caliber rifle.

The fourth hunter, Christopher Johnson, pleaded not guilty and was ordered to appear back in court on Jan. 30, 2013.