Alleged deer poachers arrested in Nevada County |

Alleged deer poachers arrested in Nevada County

A couple were arrested after they allegedly used a spotlight to poach a deer off Dog Bar Road early Wednesday morning.

A caller from the 20000 block reported hearing a shot fired at about 2:30 a.m., and seeing a man in a field across the street with a spotlight, according to dispatch reports. The caller reported that the man and another person then pulled a deer over a fence, put the deer in the trunk and drove away in a silver hatchback.

A Nevada County Sheriff’s deputy responded and conducted an area check, said Sheriff Keith Royal.

The deputy saw the vehicle pulling into a nearby driveway and contacted the man and woman inside the vehicle, identified as Julie Mae Smith, 40, and Michael Paul Grisham Smith, 41.

“They both had blood on their hands,” Royal said. “The deputy could see the stock of a rifle next to the passenger side and the tail of the deer sticking out of the trunk.”

There also was a revolver in the vehicle, Royal said.

The Smiths reportedly told the deputy they had purchased the firearms in Auburn and then had gone to dinner before going on a drive.

“They said they had hit the deer and had shot it to put it out of its misery,” Royal said, adding they said they took it because they “didn’t want it to go to waste.”

There was no damage to the vehicle, however, not even streaks in the dust that covered it, Royal said.

Michael Smith was charged with hunting with an artificial light and having a loaded firearm in a vehicle, booked and released on $4,000 bail. Julie Smith was booked into county jail on suspicion of driving a vehicle with a concealed firearm, hunting with an artificial light and having a loaded firearm in a vehicle; she was released on $12,500 bail.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4229.

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