Virginia police K9 hunts down Shenandoah County poacher

Photo: VDGIF
Published: Aug. 4, 2017 at 6:20 PM EDT
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A Virginia police K9 is receiving credit for bringing down a Shenandoah County turkey poacher.

According to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), numerous complaints had been called in about a Shenandoah County man trespassing, killing more turkeys than allowed, and hunting out of season.

This suspect was familiar to Virginia Conservation Police Officer Owen Heine, because he had been convicted twice before for turkey violations.

After surveying the area in which the suspect had been reported several times, a vehicle associated with the suspect was found hidden behind a barn, out of sight from the road.

Turkey season was closed at that point, and the suspected poacher was nowhere to be found.

That's when Officer Billhimer's trusty K9, "Justice," jumped to action. Justice tracked the suspect, along with Officer Heine, over three miles through the mountains, through several private properties, until they caught the suspect in the act.

He was hunting with .308 Remington Model 700 with a suppressor and Trijicon scope.

After a search of the poacher's home, he was charged with fail to check turkey, hunt/take turkey during closed season, reckless handling of a firearm, trespassing to hunt and illegal possession of turkey.

Convicted of those charges, he was sentenced to six months in jail, but had all of that time suspended. Fines of $873 were levied against him, and the rifle and suppressor were forfeited and subsequently destroyed by officials.

The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries declined to name the convicted poacher.