CHEROKEE COUNTY, Okla. - A man accused of illegally shooting a popular deer in Cherokee County is speaking out to defend his actions.
The deer, known as "Patches" to many because of a rare genetic defect, roamed the Park Hill area for the last five years.
James Delaney said he used a bow and arrow to put Patches out of its misery because he found it suffering from an unknown injury.
"I tried everything I could to call somebody and try to get the deer taken care of the right way," said Delaney.
Delaney said he took the necessary steps to obtain the proper hunting license online before the killing.
"I wanted to do everything right," said Delaney, who owns a deer processing plant.
But Oklahoma game wardens said Delaney did not tell them about his plan and could not produce a physical license, as required by state law, to justify the killing.
"To me, that tells me he was a little overzealous to acquire this special deer just for himself," said game warden Brady May.
May issued three tickets to Delaney for illegally shooting and taking possession of the deer.
Delaney faces a penalty up to $2,000 if convicted.