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Indiana Man Poaches Massive, 300-Pound 'Nightmare' Buck

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October 08, 2012
Indiana Man Poaches Massive, 300-Pound 'Nightmare' Buck - 21

For three long years outdoor videographer and sheriff's deputy Jesse Fulwider and Speedway police officer Mike Marsteller have been after an Indiana whitetail buck so elusive they refer to him as Nightmare. Mike was lucky enough to get a shot at Nightmare while bowhunting during a past season, but he missed the 300-pound bruiser completely. 

The same thing happened to Jesse.  Because of encounters like this – or limited encounters like this – the two felt that neither of them would ever take the deer.

And they won’t thanks to the actions of Don Ward on Tuesday October 2.

According to authorities and Ward himself, Nightmare was shot illegally at 5 a.m. Tuesday morning. A landowner in Eagle Creek Park in Marion County heard a gunshot and ran outside to investigate. The landowner, who said in police reports that he had seen people spotlighting the road for days, saw tire marks in his field and a truck parked near some distant trees.  When the landowner approached the truck, the vehicle sped off leaving a massive 300-pound 10-point whitetail lying on the ground. 

Luckily, the landowner was able to get a description of the pickup and a license plate number to give to Jesse who arrived within minutes of the landowner’s call. Jesse told The Indianapolis Star that seeing Nightmare had been poached was “pretty disheartening.”

The information the landowner gave to Jesse proved helpful though and the poacher was soon apprehended.  The 47-year-old poacher admitted his wrongdoing and said he was ready to take what came his way in the form of retribution.

“I’m guilty,” Ward told The Indianapolis Star. “I’m going to accept the punishment. I don’t know what come over me. It was just so big.”

Sorry Ward, honesty doesn’t undo what you’ve done. 

Ward has yet to be charged, but depending upon the number of citations he could be looking at several $1,000 fines and 180 days in jail.
Is that too little time or too much?

Comment below!

Comments (21)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Will Schlinsog wrote 13 weeks 2 days ago

land owners need to do there best to catch people like this and it will happen less often.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Eric Brown wrote 16 weeks 6 days ago

It is too little. Doesn't matter though. Seems like the more crooked and dishonest you are, the easier they are on you. Saw a local article where someone was busted with no license, or stamps and permit, on state land, using someone elses license at the lottery, and he recieved like a 300 dollar fine, and had a past incident of shooting at deer from a truck with a 22 ( which is illegal here) at night!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Six-Gun wrote 30 weeks 18 hours ago

Not only did this guy deprive other lawful hunters of a fantastic buck, who knows how many other great bucks (and well-bred does) this idiot took away from future deer generations. More disgusting to think about is the fact that, like other poachers before him, this guy was certainly going mount the deer up and come up with a BS story about where and when he killed, assuredly embelished to the max. Cheaters, liars and thieves: just a notch below the murderers and rapists of the world.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from griz312000 wrote 30 weeks 1 day ago

He deprived these 2 hunters the chance to take a buck of a lifetime. They'd been working hard and within the law. I think they should be allowed to set the punishment for the poacher using the State guidelines for the offenses. Too many judges just don't understand the true value of a trophy like this one.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Vincenzo Pasqua... wrote 36 weeks 2 days ago

It's a small price to pay for shooting the buck of a lifetime. Maybe the price should be higher, like dousing him in doe estrus urine and tossing him in a trophy buck breeding pen.

BTW Bob Hansen, who are the "Bunch of Losers"? There's only one poacher in this story.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Vincenzo Pasqua... wrote 36 weeks 2 days ago

It's a small price to pay for shooting the buck of a lifetime. Maybe the price should be higher, like dousing him in doe estrus urine and tossing him in a trophy buck breeding pen.

BTW Bob Hansen, who are the "Bunch of Losers"? There's only one poacher in this story.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from LovesOutdoors wrote 41 weeks 5 days ago

Sorry, I didn't know this posted story was from three years ago.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from LovesOutdoors wrote 41 weeks 5 days ago

All poachers are law breaking cheaters. They can't harvest an animal under the rules of fair chase so they kill one with a spot light from their vehicle at night.
Poachers are also thieves who steal game from law abiding hunters. Throw the book at the low life Don Ward and give him the maximum fines and penalties.
Great job Indiana Law Enforcement!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Josh Younggren wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

what does losing your hunting priveleges accomplish? i mean really, you just get to wear camo during gun season and not have to pay for licenses. I think fines and losing the animal is enough for something like this. Poachers should be fined, and the money should go towards catching poachers.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Frederick Heckstall wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

well does he get to have the deer. some people can afford any fine they are given, so what the law is really saying is that it is illegal for poor people who need the meat to hunt out of season.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Frederick Heckstall wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

well does he get to have the deer. some people can afford any fine they are given, so what the law is really saying is that it is illegal for poor people who need the meat to hunt out of season.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from codyg88 wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

I agree with JD3, a lot of states could use higher bag limits and longer seasons for the benefit of the deer populations in those areas. However, that right is reserved for the Game and Fish department in those areas. This was a criminal blatently breaking several laws, including driving into this landowners field. He should be punished to the fullest extent, but I doubt his punishment will stop him from commiting similar crimes in the future. They have to make the punishment so bad that it's not worth risking the crime, whatever that is

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JD3 wrote 1 year 16 weeks ago

If this is a first offense the punishment may fit the crime. If someone is a habitual offender I agree the punishments should be stiffer. It's not like deer are an endangered species. Many areas would benefit from longer seasons and higher bag limits.

-3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tc505 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

what ever he gets is way to little!! I am quite sure that deer season isn't going yet up there so that in addition to jack lighting I would hope that he loses his weapons along with his hunting rights for life!! I can understand a man shooting once for meat but not this. as for the two guys after him prior all I can say is practice, practice practice cause is surely sounds as if there was a lot of buck fever going on lol!! been there!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom Wandrych wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

That guy is getting off with a slap on the hand. You do something stupid like that here in Montana, we have a trophy fine depending on the species and the size of the rack. Illegally shooting a Big Horn Sheep will cost you $30,000, antlered deer $8000.He would probably loose his hunting privileges for life All that means is that will not be allowed to buy a hunting license for 20 years. Most likely this jackweed would continue his poaching ways and save money of buying a license.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from schmakenzie wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

I would like to see a national poaching offender registry. Mark them for life.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sven_Katur wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

I have a feeling Mr. Ward's going to run into another 300 lb. "Nightmare" Buck where he's going ...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

"I don't know what came over me. It was just so big" Really Ward? That's the best excuse you could come up with? We've all been excited by the sight of a giant buck at a time when we couldn't legally shoot it, but most people don't find it that difficult to exercise a little self control and just watch the deer. What a sorry piece of @!#$!.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from hondarider3278 wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

Hearing of this news isnt good, being that i live not 20 min. away from where this happened. I really dont think this punishment is big enough for Ward. He shot the deer with a .270, jacklighted the deer, and said he was going coyote hunting, which doesnt come into season until the 15th.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Andrew Williams wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

Fines for poaching game animals do not go far enough to punish those who commit these crimes.If there were stricter laws and higher fines,poachers would think twice of the consequences.A minimum fine should be at least $10,000 and 1 year in jail to start.That coupled with the loss of hunting privliges for lie.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bob Hansen wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

Hi...

What a bunch of losers...!!

Hope the judge feels the same way...!!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from Bob Hansen wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

Hi...

What a bunch of losers...!!

Hope the judge feels the same way...!!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Andrew Williams wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

Fines for poaching game animals do not go far enough to punish those who commit these crimes.If there were stricter laws and higher fines,poachers would think twice of the consequences.A minimum fine should be at least $10,000 and 1 year in jail to start.That coupled with the loss of hunting privliges for lie.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from hondarider3278 wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

Hearing of this news isnt good, being that i live not 20 min. away from where this happened. I really dont think this punishment is big enough for Ward. He shot the deer with a .270, jacklighted the deer, and said he was going coyote hunting, which doesnt come into season until the 15th.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

"I don't know what came over me. It was just so big" Really Ward? That's the best excuse you could come up with? We've all been excited by the sight of a giant buck at a time when we couldn't legally shoot it, but most people don't find it that difficult to exercise a little self control and just watch the deer. What a sorry piece of @!#$!.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sven_Katur wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

I have a feeling Mr. Ward's going to run into another 300 lb. "Nightmare" Buck where he's going ...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom Wandrych wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

That guy is getting off with a slap on the hand. You do something stupid like that here in Montana, we have a trophy fine depending on the species and the size of the rack. Illegally shooting a Big Horn Sheep will cost you $30,000, antlered deer $8000.He would probably loose his hunting privileges for life All that means is that will not be allowed to buy a hunting license for 20 years. Most likely this jackweed would continue his poaching ways and save money of buying a license.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tc505 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

what ever he gets is way to little!! I am quite sure that deer season isn't going yet up there so that in addition to jack lighting I would hope that he loses his weapons along with his hunting rights for life!! I can understand a man shooting once for meat but not this. as for the two guys after him prior all I can say is practice, practice practice cause is surely sounds as if there was a lot of buck fever going on lol!! been there!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Frederick Heckstall wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

well does he get to have the deer. some people can afford any fine they are given, so what the law is really saying is that it is illegal for poor people who need the meat to hunt out of season.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from LovesOutdoors wrote 41 weeks 5 days ago

All poachers are law breaking cheaters. They can't harvest an animal under the rules of fair chase so they kill one with a spot light from their vehicle at night.
Poachers are also thieves who steal game from law abiding hunters. Throw the book at the low life Don Ward and give him the maximum fines and penalties.
Great job Indiana Law Enforcement!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from schmakenzie wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

I would like to see a national poaching offender registry. Mark them for life.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from codyg88 wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

I agree with JD3, a lot of states could use higher bag limits and longer seasons for the benefit of the deer populations in those areas. However, that right is reserved for the Game and Fish department in those areas. This was a criminal blatently breaking several laws, including driving into this landowners field. He should be punished to the fullest extent, but I doubt his punishment will stop him from commiting similar crimes in the future. They have to make the punishment so bad that it's not worth risking the crime, whatever that is

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Frederick Heckstall wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

well does he get to have the deer. some people can afford any fine they are given, so what the law is really saying is that it is illegal for poor people who need the meat to hunt out of season.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Josh Younggren wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

what does losing your hunting priveleges accomplish? i mean really, you just get to wear camo during gun season and not have to pay for licenses. I think fines and losing the animal is enough for something like this. Poachers should be fined, and the money should go towards catching poachers.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from LovesOutdoors wrote 41 weeks 5 days ago

Sorry, I didn't know this posted story was from three years ago.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Vincenzo Pasqua... wrote 36 weeks 2 days ago

It's a small price to pay for shooting the buck of a lifetime. Maybe the price should be higher, like dousing him in doe estrus urine and tossing him in a trophy buck breeding pen.

BTW Bob Hansen, who are the "Bunch of Losers"? There's only one poacher in this story.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Eric Brown wrote 16 weeks 6 days ago

It is too little. Doesn't matter though. Seems like the more crooked and dishonest you are, the easier they are on you. Saw a local article where someone was busted with no license, or stamps and permit, on state land, using someone elses license at the lottery, and he recieved like a 300 dollar fine, and had a past incident of shooting at deer from a truck with a 22 ( which is illegal here) at night!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Will Schlinsog wrote 13 weeks 2 days ago

land owners need to do there best to catch people like this and it will happen less often.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Vincenzo Pasqua... wrote 36 weeks 2 days ago

It's a small price to pay for shooting the buck of a lifetime. Maybe the price should be higher, like dousing him in doe estrus urine and tossing him in a trophy buck breeding pen.

BTW Bob Hansen, who are the "Bunch of Losers"? There's only one poacher in this story.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from griz312000 wrote 30 weeks 1 day ago

He deprived these 2 hunters the chance to take a buck of a lifetime. They'd been working hard and within the law. I think they should be allowed to set the punishment for the poacher using the State guidelines for the offenses. Too many judges just don't understand the true value of a trophy like this one.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Six-Gun wrote 30 weeks 18 hours ago

Not only did this guy deprive other lawful hunters of a fantastic buck, who knows how many other great bucks (and well-bred does) this idiot took away from future deer generations. More disgusting to think about is the fact that, like other poachers before him, this guy was certainly going mount the deer up and come up with a BS story about where and when he killed, assuredly embelished to the max. Cheaters, liars and thieves: just a notch below the murderers and rapists of the world.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from JD3 wrote 1 year 16 weeks ago

If this is a first offense the punishment may fit the crime. If someone is a habitual offender I agree the punishments should be stiffer. It's not like deer are an endangered species. Many areas would benefit from longer seasons and higher bag limits.

-3 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

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