Convicted Felon Arrested in North Carolina on Weapons Charges and Suspected of Spotlighting Deer

By Thayne Muthler

January 2, 2024

Clay County, NC - A convicted felon from Paulding County, James Brandon Taylor, 29, of Dallas, finds himself in further trouble after being arrested in North Carolina on weapons charges and suspected involvement in spotlighting deer. The arrest occurred when he was found seated in the bed of a pickup truck with a loaded crossbow and a black flashlight in his lap, according to the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

The incident took place near the intersection of US Hwy 64 and Carter Cove Road around 7:20 p.m. on November 15. Deputies noticed the truck illuminating an embankment and wooded area known for deer activity. The truck, identified as belonging to Dalton Wayne Taylor, 25, of Hayesville, crossed Hwy 64 and proceeded onto Qualla Road. Also in the truck during the stop were Jerry Lee Taylor, 47, and Jonathan Buck Taylor, 31, both residents of Hayesville.

Upon being asked to stand, James complied, resulting in the discovery of a loaded 410 sawed-off shotgun falling from the back of his pants. Admitting to being a convicted felon on probation for possession of methamphetamine, James was promptly arrested and transported to the Clay County Detention Center.

Subsequent searches uncovered a small quantity of suspected methamphetamine on James's person. He now faces charges including felony possession of a firearm by a felon, felony possession of a weapon of mass destruction, and felony possession of methamphetamine on jail premises. James is being held without bond pending further legal proceedings.

The US Forest Service also assisted with the traffic stop, and North Carolina Wildlife was notified of the incident, potentially leading to additional charges.

What is Spotlighting Deer?

Spotlighting deer is an illegal and unethical hunting practice where individuals use artificial light, typically a spotlight, to illuminate and temporarily blind deer at night. This technique is often employed to make it easier for hunters to spot and target the animals, as deer are more visible in the dark when their eyes reflect light.

The use of spotlights disrupts the natural behavior of deer, as it interferes with their ability to see and respond to their surroundings. In many regions, spotlighting deer is strictly prohibited due to its potential for abuse and the impact on wildlife conservation efforts. Hunting regulations usually establish specific seasons, methods, and ethical guidelines to ensure fair and sustainable hunting practices.

Law enforcement agencies and wildlife conservation organizations actively work to enforce these regulations and prevent illegal spotlighting, as it poses a threat to the safety of both humans and animals and can lead to the depletion of local deer populations. In the scenario described in the article, law enforcement responded to a report of suspicious activity related to spotlighting deer, highlighting the commitment to enforcing hunting laws and protecting wildlife.

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