Shortly after Thanksgiving this year, former Oklahoma state Rep. Terry Harrison killed a piebald deer on his own property. Proud of his trophy, Harrison called his local newspaper to report the unique kill.
Unbeknownst to Harrison, he had killed the deer illegally, as he had not first received written permission from the state wildlife director to take such an animal. Since 1998, Oklahoma law has required that hunters receive, in writing, permission from the state wildlife director before taking a white or piebald deer—a requirement that makes such deer practically off-limits to any hunter who happens across one in the field.
Upon learning of his mistake Harrison, who served on the state wildlife committee and helped write some of the state’s hunting laws during his time in the Oklahoma House, contacted a local game warden and reported his violation. He was issued a $296 fine.
“If I didn’t know that a piebald was considered white in the state of Oklahoma, then a lot of my fellow sportsmen also don’t know,” said Harrison in an interview with the McAlester (OK) News-Capital. “I’m the guy who’s supposed to know the difference. So if I made this mistake, other sportsman probably will too. I want people to learn from my mistake and not make the same one.”
For more background on this story, check out outdoor writer Ed Godfrey’s Dec. 14 article in The Oklahoman titled, “A dumb hunting law.”
Click here to see a photo of Harrison’s piebald deer.