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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  • Shirley Shreve

    Thanks for what you do... at least it shows states can work together.
    If this is not stopped there will not be anything for our children/grandchildren to have the pleasure of pertaking.
    We all are responsible for the nature and wildlife so keep up the good work.

  • jeff

    I live in Jefferson co. and never knew it was going on. and I hunt and fish around Jefferson and Berkley co. all the time.and know lots of sportsman.glad you caught them.

  • Wv-1968

    Keep up the good work. Unfortunately people like these dirt bags exist in WV. Make them go and get an honest job.

  • northforkfisher

    I'm so glad that they were caught. To me a poacher is one of the lowest people on earth. It is sad that they take from nature but the worst of it all is they killed a poor animal without regard to landowner, property, general public, and license hunters.
    Where I trout fish we have trouble with poachers snagging and keeping over their limits. Our kids are the ones who pay the price for their b*******.

  • ryan

    personally i could see this being an issue if they were bucks. which is not specified. i am a firm believer that as long as your going to eat it, or someone is that there is nothing wrong with it. on one hand if they killed bucks to sell the horns, that is stupid. but there is not a damn thing wrong with killing a doe to feed your family or someone else who needs it. it would save alot of money and beef. so before everyone starts bashing these fellas, take a second and think about how many deer youve hunted to hang on the wall. you cant eat the horns. so id rather kill a doe. because they are meant to be ate.

    • northforkfisher

      Killing to feed your family I can understand and even condone, but these horn hunters need their hunting privileges taken for life and made to pay for each one.

  • JB

    I for one don't mind the rising cost of hunting. It brings in plenty of money to the state of WV. I for one wish that a 10.00 fee be added to the license, that goes to the salaries of our DNR OFFICERS. This would give them the money they deserve for the hazards they face in their jobs. Maybe being spread so thin and over worked causes a little of their attitude towards people. Maybe it is the high stress situations they face. Who knows what it is, all I know is that I wish the extra monies we spend went directly where it needs to go, and not for whatever the State needs it for. Then we have the control that is needed to stop people form harvesting illegally.

  • JB

    It will end with misdemeanor pleas or lesser charges. Whats funny is last year a hunting buddy and I harvested two big ten points, a couple of days before gun season. We checked the dear in and took them home to be processed and mounted. The DNR was called with a report that we had shot them with rifles. We had already returned to our camp and lease, when the DNR knocked on my door scaring my wife half to death, not to mention because we had guns at camp another gentleman on our lease was hammered for over an hour and was told he was bold faced lying about the way the deer had been shot. Both legal BOW KILLS. We contacted the DNR and they powder tested the LEGAL KILLS. They information they received was from mutaul friend of DNR officer and they where a little upset that we had gotten the lease of property that they felt was rightfully theirs to hunt. Point is this i quess, there are too many hunters and not enough Game Wardens to go around. I know they have a tough job, but they too, need to understand that not everyone is poaching or illegally harvesting animals. We the Hunters, pay there meager salary and we have been imposed a raise on hunting stamps and liscenses. I know everyone doesn't respect the laws,and i know they put themselves in dangerous situations, but they need to handle people with a little more respect. Not everyone hunting is up to no good.

  • 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