West Virginia man accused of illegally hunting buck

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BLOOMINGROSE, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia man is accused of illegally hunting a buck and shooting across a public highway to do so. Emmett Estep, 44, has been charged with offenses including hunting from a motor vehicle and shooting across a public highway, The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

Estep told a state Natural Resources Police officer that he had been driving along Route 3 near Bloomingrose when he noticed a deer running alongside his vehicle, according to a department report. Estep said he then backed into a spot on the opposing side of the road and shot the buck with a .300-caliber Winchester Magnum rifle from about 35 yards away, it said.

A video posted to Facebook shows Estep shoot the deer just after a vehicle passed between the two. The deer is then seen tumbling down a steep embankment and into a ditch near the road. Estep initially told police that he had hunted the deer on private property, but came clean after an officer said he had watched the Facebook video, Capt. Terry Ballard said.

Estep may also be fined about $1,500 as a replacement fee for the buck, which had a 17-inch (43-centimeter) antler spread. It’s unclear if Estep has a lawyer.

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