Father-Son Poaching Ring Broken up by Wildlife Officers

Five men were arrested by Maryland wildlife officers earlier this month for a string of poaching incidents in Garret County. Tyler Michael DeWitt and Dakota Lee Hinebaugh received the bulk of the charges. Because they were the ones directly involved in the incidents, but their fathers were implicated in the activities by helping their sons cover their tracks.

In April, officers searched an area near Graham Road and found about a dozen deer carcasses dumped over the embankment. Some of the heads of the carcasses had the skull plate/antlers removed while antlered deer with small racks were intact.

The Maryland Department of Resources Blotter states the following:

Tyler Michael DeWitt, 21, of Swanton, was cited for 30 violations that could lead to a total maximum fine of $45,500 and revocation of his hunting privileges for up to five years. He is accused of
hunting during a closed season, possessing of deer in a closed season, hunting deer at night, hunting deer with a spotlight, shooting from a vehicle, hunting without written permission, removing the head or hide of a deer before check-in, failing to report a turkey kill, and obstructing or hindering a police investigation.

Dakota Lee Hinebaugh, 29, of Oakland, was cited for 24 violations that could lead to fines totaling $39,500 and revocation of his hunting privileges for up to five years. He is accused of hunting
without a license, hunting during a closed season, possessing of deer in a closed season, hunting deer at night, hunting deer with a spotlight, hunting without written permission and removing the head or hide of a deer before check-in.

Michael Allen DeWitt, 42, of Oakland, was charged with obstructing and hindering a police investigation and littering after his son, Tyler, warned him in April to throw away packages of deer meat and antlers kept at the senior DeWitt’s home. He could be fined $1,500 and be sentenced to serve 30 days in jail.

Donald Lee Hinebaugh Jr., 41, of Oakland, received citations for failing to report two deer kills and aiding and abetting hunting without a license. He faces a fine of up to $1,500.

Phillip Lyle DeWitt, 58, of Mount Lake Park, received citations for failing to report a kill and failing to record the kill on his Big Game Harvest Record. He could be fined a maximum of $3,000.

Hopefully the judge will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

To read the MDNR Blotter CLICK HERE