ELK COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ)– A man who illegally shot and killed two deer off of an Elk County natural gas site in 2021 is facing charges, according to the charging documents from the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC).
An investigator for the PGC wrote in a criminal complaint, that Brandon Dilley, 37, of Wilcox, used his rifle to shoot two female “antlerless whitetail deer” from a roadway, and without the proper hunting license.
In November, investigators said the PGC Dispatch Center got a report about deer shot from the roadway near Wellendorf Pad, a restricted area of a natural gas site operated by Seneca Resources.
According to the complaint, a truck driver in the area drove by the deer while delivering sand to a well pad. After unloading, they drove back 15 minutes later and saw the deer were dead and that there was a white car with Wilcox standing outside who claimed that he did not shoot the animals when confronted.
Game warden agents arrived to and investigated the scene. Investigators determined that the deer were shot from the roadway since there were no footprints in the snow, just tire tracks. Security guards said they saw the car drive past the D pad well site checkpoint, the complaint states.
The vehicle information was sent to Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) in Ridgway, who then stopped the car in December and saw Dilley in the passenger seat and a “Rossi R223 single shot rifle, chambered in .223 caliber” in the back seat, according to the complaint. There was a .223 caliber rifle bullet fragment that was found in the skull of one of the deer.
Troopers told Dilley that the PGC was looking for him and he allegedly said, “if they want to talk to me, they can call my lawyer,” investigators noted.
Two firearms, including the .223 rifle, were found at Dilley’s home during a search by game warden agents. The rifle was sent to a PSP lab where it was determined that it was the gun used to shoot and kill the deer, the complaint reads.
Dilley faces charges of unlawful killing/taking big game after the season is closed, along with two misdemeanor counts of taking/killing big game beyond daily/seasonal limits. He also faces multiple summary charges of using a vehicle or conveyance propelled by other than manpower, unlawful shooting on or across a highway, retrieval and disposition of killed or wounded game or wildlife, and failure to attach tag to big game.
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Dilley is out on unsecured bail set at $5,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 29.