HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. — A three-month investigation by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries resulted in the arrest of six West Virginia residents in an extensive deer poaching ring.

West Virginia Natural Resources police executed a search warrant at two homes in Hedgesville, W.Va. and uncovered an extensive deer processing operation. The investigation revealed the group was routinely killing deer in West Virginia, processing the meat, and shipping it across state lines to be sold.

“Early into this investigation it became apparent that this was a large-scale operation which was in fact illegally killing wildlife, processing and selling it and potentially transporting it out of West Virginia,” said Captain T.R. Stuckey of the West Virginia Natural Resources Police. “Once these facts were established by numerous undercover buys of wildlife and wildlife parts in West Virginia by our undercover officers, a joint investigation was launched in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.”

Officers started the probe in September after getting information they group may have been illegally killing deer. They were also getting large numbers of crop damage permits from various farmers and other individuals in the eastern panhandle.

Virginia Conservation police working undercover made numerous buys of butchered deer from the eastern panhandle operation. Undercover officers from both states were also able to buy illegal drugs in both states from the same suspects.

The search warrant which yielded the illegal deer processing operation also yielded 341 marijuana plants at the home of brothers Steve and Max Tyson Jr. of Hedgesville.  The brothers, along with Steve Tyson’s wife Debra Tyson are charged with multiple game law and drug violations in West Virginia. They face a range of charges in Virginia as well.

Also arrested in the case Sherman Parsons Jr., 38, of Glengary, W.Va., Raymond Malcom, 39, of Gerrardstown, W.Va., and Michael Benner, 19, of Martinsburg,

The summary of charges:

Max E. Tyson Jr. 61 years of age, Hedgesville, W.Va.

· Illegal Sale of Wildlife (Deer) 10 Counts

· Illegal transport of Wildlife out of State (butchered deer) 34 Counts

· Conspiracy to Violate West Virginia Code Chapter 20 3 Counts

· Killing Deer Closed Season 18 Counts

· Spotlighting Deer 10 Counts

· Taking Deer with Illegal Weapon 7 Counts

· Illegal Possession of Deer 9 Count

· Felon in Possession of a Firearm 2 Counts

· Driving while Operators License Revoked (DUI) 3 Counts

· Delivery of Schedule I Controlled Substance (Felony) 1 Count

· Possession with Intent to Deliver Schedule I Controlled Substance (Felony) 1 Count Cultivation of Marijuana (Felony) 1 Count


Steven B Tyson, 56 years of age, Hedgesville, W.Va.

· Illegal Possession of Wildlife 5 Counts

· Conspiring 2 Counts

· Illegal Possession of Moonshine 1 Count

Debra L. Tyson, 56 Years of age, Hedgesville, W.Va.

· Illegal Sale of Wildlife 1 Count

· Conspiring 1 Count

Sherman L. Parsons Jr., 38 Years of age, Glengary, W.Va.

· Taking Deer Closed Season 1 Count

· Illegal Possession of Wildlife (Deer) 1Count

· Improper Checking of Deer 1 Count

Raymond E. Malcom, age 39, Gerrardstown, W.Va.

· Illegal Possession of Deer 1 Count

· Conspiring 1 Count

· Driving Suspended 1 Count

· No Proof of Insurance 1 Count

Michael A. Benner, age 19, Martinsburg, W.Va.

· Illegal Transportation of Wildlife out of State 10 Counts

· Illegal Possession of Wildlife (Deer) 10 Counts

· Conspiring 1 Count


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  • FaarOut

    I don't hunt. But I do eat and I do drive. Both activities are jeopardized by deer overpopulation.... effected by no nothing government regulation of hunting (read taxation). We were told that bag limits would increase the deer population and, typically, as with any government regulation, there are unforseen excesses resulting. As a young man cruising the country roads in the 1950s, it was rare to see deer along the highways. Now there are literally tons of wasted venison alongside the roads every day. Better that someone makes use of this resource. IMO. The State seems to be mostly concerned about the loss of tax revenue. Here's an idea... impose a fine (tax) for striking a deer with one's car. Revenues from such a tax could offset the cost of recovery of the carcasses for use in making biofuel..... or Soylent Green-like food pellets?

    • Ben Dover

      You know, when you're not really that knowledgeable about a subject, you really shouldn't comment on it... would have thought that if you've been around since the 50's that you would know that by now.

      Yeah... you're faar out

  • WAP

    Great Job! Keep up the good work gentlemen.

  • winston

    no respect for DNR !! wildlife is only valuable to DNR when some one kills it and they can get money from some poor guy they could give a s-it about it other wise

    • WhgFeeling

      Sorry I totally disagree. I personally know several DNR employees and the statement is quite the contrary to their beliefs. But hey we all have opinions based on personal encounters.

  • thornton

    Would those deer possibly be from the area of the state where CWD has been identified?


    These people give all ethical and law abiding hunters and sportsmen a bad reputation. Burn them at the stake, please!

  • thornton

    Hopefully, deer hunters will step up and kill deer that these outlaws will now find off limits.

  • Gilbert Gnarley

    Book 'em, Danno.

  • leroy jethro gibbs

    great job dnr, get rid of these outlaws
    there is plenty of them around here

  • Don't poach!

    I wonder if these people had jobs. LOL, I know the answer.

    • SamWvu304

      Yea think about that for a second longer pal. They probably didn't have jobs,because there few n far between in this area.So who's gonna pay their fines?..oh they are sitting in prison for life,not paying anything back. while the working man pays to have someone watch them BAD BAD people that shot a few naturally renewable resources. Oh and grew a plant that would have brought revenues to our great state either way.. i.say pi$$ on Virginia get all the money you can from em n distribute through WV...NONSENSE I.SAY..

  • Jeremy

    This is why WV has Very few Big bucks, had 3 nice ones killed illegally from the area I hit in Hardy county , good the carkus with the head and meat already cut out of it ,, it goes on all over the state and it takes away the meaning of hunting and the fun of it. Hope they get slammed good !

  • andrew

    Why are there no mugshots? Just the other day I found 5 deer with the back straps cut out of them and dumped in a parking area. (In berkeley county) People like this give the liberal media ammo for painting all hunters as animal hating back@ss rednecks who thrill kill. Its just wrong!

  • wvtd

    please throw the book at these vermin and let them sit in prison for many years. greed is a cancer in it's own right and a little time to think about it while at mount olive might do them some good.

  • tbuzz

    Now come on over to Morgan County. The same thing is going on here but no one seems to care.

    • OneWV

      Have you reported it?

  • Grant

    With the over population of deer in this state and having the highest rate of automobile accidents involving deer in the country, I wish they would have allowed them to continue a while longer.

    • Larry

      I have to agree with you that there are way too many deer, although I don't agree with what they were doing. Also I don't know why anyone would want to work up that many deer, no matter how much it was selling for, it is tedious work and not exactly fun.

    • huntstr

      What a idiotic reply Grant. Family of yours?

      • Grant

        Nope. Just feel that deer are on the level of rats and raccoons at this point. Way too many of them.


          Grant, you must be an outlaw too with that comment.

          • Grant

            Nope. Just see that the deer are being eaten (don't agree with killing for killings sake), the deer are plentiful, and the war on drugs has cost us more and some more damage than it has ever helped. (Nope, not a drug user either)

        • huntstr

          So your OK with a bunch of pill heads, running around in peoples fields after dark,shooting anything with glowing eyes and profiting from it, because they are too lazy to get a real job because in your opinion, deer are noting but rodents and varmits? You stay classy.

  • wvhunter

    6 isn't have of it. You' ll soon find out

    • calvin stackpole

      I'm glad grant is not in charge of our wildlife management programs. As someone who has hunted for many years, and will continue to do so. I say lock these poor excuses for hunters up and throw away the key. Poaching for whatever reason is wrong. If we allow these people to kill anytime they want, we are cheating the next generation of sportsman.

      • claude haybottom

        I hear ya!

        • WVCBTVET

          I think that killing a deer for personal use if you're starving is tolerable, but shooting and selling them is deplorable. Regardless if they are over populated doesn't excuse their behavior. I say make them work on a chaingang for a while and fine the hell out of them.

      • thornton

        That cheating of the next generation is being accomplished by far more actions than poaching and "hunters" are a prime driver!

        Quite honestly, most are upset with these outlaws and layabouts because a deer of some manner is not available for...someone to shoot. That seems a poor rating of harm but all too true of the deer hunters of today who have set so many negatives regarding hunting in general into motion.

      • Say What?

        I agree, CAK.