La Vergne residents Densibel Calzada, 23, and Eddy Albert, 21, have been banned from ever hunting again in Tennessee and 43 other states, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
The ban comes as a result of the men illegally killing at least 40 deer and taking photos and videos mocking the animals. This is the harshest penalty ever issued by he TWRA.
“They had one where the deer was still alive and they blew his head off,” said TWRA information officer Doug Markham. “They were high-fiving each other after showing the hole where they had shot one at nighttime. I didn’t see all of the videos, but the officer said some of it was just really grotesque.”
Calzada and Albert had their weapons – a rifle and a crossbow – confiscated, were ordered to pay $1,000 in court costs and $5,000 in restitution fees by judge Barry Tidwell. Each was also placed on probation for 18 months and must perform 100 hours of community service supervised by the TWRA.
“We charged them with violations based on the strongest evidence we found showing the seriousness of their poaching crimes. Their actions were among the worst I have seen for their lack of respect to our landowners and to our wildlife,” said TWRA Sgt. Matt Brian.
“People don’t understand what banning them for life does to them,” Markham said. “It destroys their ability to move around with a gun. If they get caught again, they could go to jail.”
The actions of Caldzada and Albert were first brought to the TWRA’s attention upon receiving a call from a Rutherford County Landowner who said the men were trespassing.
They were given citations for hunting without permission by the TWRA and were later detained for discharging firearms near they city airport. The men were found with a rifle, beer and a dead deer in their pickup truck, leading to the search warrants for their homes and cell phones obtained by the TWRA.
The TWA hopes this case will show how serious they are about protecting state wildlife and resources.
“These guys have no ethics. You hope they grow out of it,” Markham said. “Our real hunters have ethics and care about what goes on, and they are the sportsmen that support our management in Tennessee.”
The TWRA hopes that all states will eventually participate in the Insterstate Violators Compact, which bans the two men from hunting in states in the compact.