Two Florida men incriminate themselves in ‘major’ poaching case

Two Florida men face multiple charges for what the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission called “major poaching violations” involving two bucks illegally killed on a private game farm in Lake Butler.

The investigation was launched in November after a tipster reported shots being fired in a deer pen at Shadd Farms.

The case was solved when an anonymous tipster alerted FWC Reserve Capt. David Lee that the suspects—Aaron Griffis, 24, and Taylor Wise, 23, both from Lawtey—bragged on social media about killing a buck, as reported by WJXT.

“Wise posted several pictures of the poaching incident to his Snapchat social media account,” according to FWC investigator Todd Hoyle. “In an interview, Wise admitted shooting an 11-point buck out of Shadd Farms’ deer pen while riding in a vehicle with his child and Griffis.

“He also explained that after dropping his son off with a friend, he and Griffis drove back to the pen where they cut the fence and dragged out the deer. They then returned to Lawtey to clean the deer.”

After obtaining search warrants, investigators found further evidence of the pair shooting a 15-point buck in the same deer pen. Videos posted by Griffis showed him walking through the woods, shining a light and shooting a deer.

RELATED: 10 suspects identified in unprecedented ‘killing spree’ by poaching ring

Mr. Shadd (no first name was given) reported finding a 15-point buck dead in his pen.

From MyFWC:

Based on the evidence, Wise was charged with the following:

Trespass by projectile (third-degree felony).

Grand theft livestock (third-degree felony).

Conspiracy to commit grand theft (third-degree felony).

Breaking or injuring fences containing animals (third-degree felony).

Child neglect (without harm) (third-degree felony).

Taking deer at night (first-degree misdemeanor).

Firearm discharge from public road (first-degree misdemeanor).

Griffis has been charged with:

Trespass while armed (third-degree felony).

Grand theft livestock (third-degree felony, two counts).

Conspiracy to commit grand theft (third-degree felony).

Breaking or injuring fences containing animals (third-degree felony).

Taking deer at night (first-degree misdemeanor, two counts).

Possession of firearm by felon (third-degree felony).

Trespass (first-degree misdemeanor).

“Mr. Shadd appreciated the work that was done and has given a reward to the person who supplied the anonymous tip about the suspects,” FWC Lt. Clay Huff said.

The FWC also rewarded the tipster who first reported the poaching incident.