WINKLER COUNTY, TX (KWES) - Six Odessa men were arrested and have now been released after poaching in Winkler County.
NewsWest 9 spoke with Winkler County Sheriff, George Keely, who said it was a very strange situation.
The six men, residents of Odessa, were arrested Saturday, January 9, for more than just poaching.
"We don't usually see six people out there poaching. Usually it's one person, usually it's in the evening or at night time," said Keely.
Keely said the incident was reported at YT Ranch.
The owner, Fred Wight, saw the men entering his land in three cars.
That's when officials said he felt like something wasn't right.
A shot was fired moments later and that's when Wight called the sheriff's department.
What he did then was something extraordinary.
"He actually drove back down the mountain and stopped the six men at gunpoint until deputies could get there," said Keely.
The suspects were identified as Ricardo Lopez, 55, Rene Lopez, 37, Hugo Garcia, 33, Ivan Calderon, 32, Eduardo Calderon, 26 and Raul Martinez, 61.
NewsWest 9 reached out to the owner of the ranch but he decided not to comment on the issue.
Authorities charged the men for poaching, hunting out of season and for criminal trespassing with firearms.
Their vehicles were impounded and their weapons were confiscated.
The men shot a doe, which was also illegal as they do not have the proper permit.
On the other hand, Sheriff Keely says there is a safety issue that needs to be addressed.
"The deer was shot with a 30.06, which has an effective killing range of about 1,500 yards," said Keely. "So if they would've missed the deer, there's people that live out there, there's also a highway. We're in the bad lands of Texas where people carry guns and people will protect their property and themselves. So if a man was out there and they would've shot and missed, somebody could've thought they were being shot at and we could've had a fire fight break out," said Keely.
Even though the men have been released on bond, they still face sentencing.
The men face 360 days jail time on each charge, not including fines.