By Lynda Jones
A December deer hunt turned out costly for one man. Michael W. Pruett, 34, of Wells now faces a felony charge for allegedly intentionally and knowingly take a white-tailed deer without the landowner's consent.
Game Warden Brian Heath Bragg reported the incident in a complaint filed with Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 Clyde Black.
Bragg stated that Jason Sebasta, manager of the Temple Foundations North Boggy Slough hunting area, called him on Dec. 12, 2016, about finding a hole in the fence and a fresh drag mark, apparently from someone dragging a deer through the fence.
"He also advised me of a picture on Facebook of a man later identified as Michael W. Pruett with the deer in habitat that appeared to be in the same area where the hole in the fence and drag marks were," Bragg stated.
Bragg further stated that when he went to the scene the next day, he discovered hair in the fence and a heavy imprint that appeared to be where a deer was dragged from the fence into the road and onto adjacent property owned by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).
The USFS property is open to public hunting.
Blood also was found on some grass. Bragg reported the hair and blood were taken for DNA analysis.
On Dec. 14, 2016, Bragg stated, he made contact with Pruett at his residence in Wells.
"He (Pruett) denied killing the deer inside the fence and said he would take us to where he killed the deer," Bragg reported. "Mr. Pruett took me to an area that was obviously not the same habitat as the picture he had posted on Facebook with the deer."
"He stated that was his story and he was sticking to it," Bragg reported. "On the way back to Mr. Pruett's home, Mr. Pruett decided to tell me that he did in fact kill the deer. He gave a written confession and verbal recorded confession."
The alleged offense took place on Dec. 6 and is a State Jail Felony. Pruett was arrested on Saturday, Jan. 7, booked into the Houston County Jail and released.