Hempfield brothers accused of poaching young deer
Two Hempfield brothers are accused of poaching a deer in November.
Raymond James Falk Jr., 22, and Victor Raymond Falk, 25, both of Luxor, allegedly shot a small whitetail deer on private farmland and used a spotlight to look for the animal before driving away in a Jeep Cherokee, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Phone numbers could not be located for either man. Neither has an attorney listed in online court records.
A Unity man reported to Wildlife Conservation Officer Brian Singer that he and some relatives witnessed a poaching incident on farmland near Tipple Row Road at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3, according to the affidavit.
The man said he saw a flash and heard a shot from a firearm that was “parallel with the headlights of the vehicle from the passenger side of the Jeep near the passenger window area,” Singer wrote.
A spotlight from the Jeep pointed in the direction of the gunshot, before the vehicle fled. The witness confronted the Jeep's occupants, who denied shooting anything, Singer said.
A small whitetail deer, suffering from a gunshot wound to the back, was found about 40-50 yards from where the Jeep was parked, the witness told Singer. The Jeep is registered to Victor Falk, police said.
Firearm hunting season for deer did not start until Dec. 2.
A black spotlight was plugged into the Jeep's power source when Singer arrived at the Falks' home to interview the men.
“Both individuals indicated that they had been in the white Jeep earlier and were spotlighting, but denied any involvement in shooting of the deer,” Singer wrote.
Raymond Falk Jr. told Singer he doesn't “shoot small (expletive) deer anyways,” according to the affidavit.
“At that point of the investigation, no officers mentioned the size of the deer found in the field and neither defendant would have been able to see the size of the deer that was recovered from the field unless they had been present when it was wounded,” Singer wrote.
The Jeep was seized and a small amount of suspected marijuana was found inside, police said.
The Falk brothers are both charged with drug possession, unlawful killing or taking of big game, unlawful devices and methods, retrieval and disposition of killed or wounded game, unlawful use of lights while hunting and trespassing on private property while hunting. Summonses have been issued and preliminary hearings are scheduled for Feb. 4.
Victor Falk and Raymond Falk Jr. pleaded guilty in January 2011 to a Pennsylvania Game Commission accusation that they had a loaded gun in a vehicle on Dec. 1, 2010, in Washington Township, according to online court records.
Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.