Houston County ranch owner talks about encounter with suspected poachers

Houston County ranch owner talks about encounter with suspected poachers

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Crockett man is speaking out after three of his whitetail deer were illegally killed on his property Sunday.
John McCall and Nancy Hemphill were deer hunting when they heard gun shots coming from a road leading into the ranch.
"All I know is it's my property, they're killing my deer, and I'm mad," said landowner, John McCall.

McCall's girlfriend, Nancy Hemphill, was hunting a few yards in front of him when she noticed two men shooting at the deer

"When Nancy called me on the two way and said we have some people right here at your front gate and now they're pulling in the pasture. I came streaming down this road as fast as I could," said McCall.

The two men identified as Alvin Strong and Thomas Hankins saw McCall's headlights headed their way and tried to exit through the front gate, but caught a detour.

On McCall's ranch is damage that hogs cause when they're doing their feeding. He said it's a landowner's worst night mare, but this damage is what stopped the poachers from getting away.

"They were fishtailing and spinning and doing donuts. Well, while they were doing that I got ahead of them," McCall said.

This blocked their exit and forced them south towards a road they weren't familiar with.

"After they busted through all the fences and the gates they actually got lost back there for some time and that gave highway Trooper Reeves time to get ahead of them," McCall said.

Hemphill placed a call to 911 and 20 minutes later authorities stopped a vehicle that matched the description.

"There was a third passenger in the truck that confirmed that they were the people on location," said Zak Benge, Houston County Game Warden. "They said they had shot off the road and had killed not two but three deer on Doctor McCall's place."

McCall said without the quick response from the county's game wardens the poachers would've gotten away.

They work like a fine oil machine and we're very fortunate in Houston County. We've got two of the best game wardens in the state of Texas," McCall said.

The two are facing multiple charges including criminal trespass with a deadly weapon.

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