Mcalester, Okla. (The Blaze/AP) — A state legislator who helped write some of Oklahoma's hunting laws was so proud when he bagged a piebald, white-tailed deer that he called the media and gushed about the hunt.
But his pride turned to embarrassment when state Rep. Terry Harrison was told what he did was illegal if he didn't have a free, special permit (beyond a regular hunting license) to shoot the animal. He didn't.
The McAlester News-Capital reports that Harrison's friend, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation game warden Shane Fields, called him after seeing the story in the newspaper and suggested he research hunting regulations.
Harrison says his heart "just sunk" when he realized his mistake.“This is embarrassing ’cause I should have known better." he told the News-Capital. "But at least others can learn from my mistake.”
Harrison then called the state wildlife agency and turned himself in to Lt. Game Warden Todd Toby. “I asked who I was speaking with,” Harrison told the paper, “and then I said, 'Todd Toby, this is Terry Harrison. I think you’re gonna have to write me a ticket.’ Toby laughed and said, ‘I think I am.’ And then he came out to my house in McAlester and gave me the ticket.”
The ticket was a hefty $296.
Harrison reportedly holds degrees in animal science and law and has served in the legislature and on the wildlife committee several times. And while he admits that he's helped write some of the state's hunting laws, he had no idea he needed a special permit to shoot a piebald deer.
“If I didn’t know that a piebald was considered white in the state of Oklahoma, then a lot of my fellow sportsmen also don’t know,” Harrison told the paper. “I’m the guy who’s supposed to know the difference. So if I made this mistake, other sportsman probably will too."
"I want people to learn from my mistake and not make the same one.”
Online: McAleser News-Capital