I was interviewing, Richard Hatcher, the new state Wildlife Director on Thursday, when I noticed a beautiful mount of a whitetailed deer in his office.
It turns out it was Michael Crossland’s state non-typical record buck shot in Tillman County in 2004.
“What’s it doing here?” I asked
If you remember the saga of the Crossland buck, it was the subject of controversy and a court battle.
The landowner where Crossland shot the 31-point buck later claimed Crossland didn’t have permission to hunt.
He filed a misdemeanor complaint of hunting without permission against Crossland and the case went to court.
The judge dismissed the case but didn’t say why. I’m assuming it was because one of the landowner’s hired hands testified he invited Crossland to go hunting and that Crossland had no reason to believe he didn’t have permission, according to the trial transcripts.
The landowner claimed everyone in Tillman County knew the family didn’t allow hunting on the land without permission.
Anyway, the case didn’t end with the judge dismissing the misdemeanor charge.
The landowner, miffed by the judge’s decision, filed a civil lawsuit against Crossland, state wildlife officials said.
Crossland didn’t have the money to keep fighting it in court so it was eventually settled out of court.
Neither side wanted the other to have the rack, so to settle the lawsuit it was agreed the state Wildlife Department would keep it.
And now it hangs in the state Wildlife Director’s office. So I guess the buck stops here.