Unfortunately for hunters in the Sunshine State, a 23-point buck that could be a new Florida state record was poached last October. Fortunately, though, the poacher was caught nearly red-handed and will have to answer for his crimes.
When Sgt. Kevin Kryzda of the Martin County Sheriff’s Office spotted a dark truck in a wooded area outside a construction site in Indiantown, he became suspicious. Once Sgt. Kryzda saw the driver, 54-year-old Miami resident Mario Enrique Palacio, using a spotlight to shine a deer, he approached the vehicle, and Palacio took off.
According to reports, with the assistance of other law enforcement officers and a helicopter overhead, Palacio was pulled over in short order. The helicopter was able to locate the giant buck in a wooded area near where Palacio’s vehicle was first spotted. Upon further investigation, authorities located a fired .30-06 casing in Palacio’s vehicle, and with the aid of a K-9, a .30-06 rifle in the wooded area a short time later.
The buck was initially measured by a Boone and Crockett Club official and grossed a green-score of 207 inches, putting it in the class of the current state record. The antlers have to undergo a 60-day drying period before an official measurement can be taken, but as the rack sits in a freezer marked as evidence until the court case is over, there’s no telling when an official measurement will be completed.
Palacio, according to reports, is facing charges including felony trespassing and poaching.