FWC Law Enforcement Report: Pet Deer, Palmetto Berry Pickers

October 8, 2018

The Florida FWC Division of Law Enforcement reported the following activity during the period ending September 20 in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.


Officers Manning and Allgood patrolled offshore concentrating on fisheries enforcement utilizing the newly arrived Safe Boat in Pensacola. They found occupants from five different vessels in violation of federal fisheries regulations. Five federal citations were issued for charges including possession of triggerfish during closed season and for possession of red snapper in a closed season. The officers also charged one vessel operator with interference with an FWC officer for attempting to throw illegally harvested triggerfish and red snapper overboard.

Officer Allgood assisted FWC captive wildlife investigators with a subject who was attempting to keep a whitetail deer as a pet. Officer Allgood issued a citation to the subject who was keeping the deer in an enclosure. The individual had previously applied for a permit but was denied.


Officers Hoomes, Roberson, Ramos, Hutchison and Pilot Tolbert have been working a ring of illegal palmetto berry pickers on Eglin Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The officers found evidence of the illegal activity and caught up with four subjects who had picked over 600 pounds of palmetto berries from Eglin WMA. All four subjects were cited for 13 misdemeanors which included harvesting live plants from a management area, entering a closed area, and no Department of Defense permit. One subject, who fled but was later located, was cited for resisting arrest without violence.

This report represents some events the FWC handled over the past week; however, it does not include all actions taken by the Division of Law Enforcement. Information provided by FWC.

NorthEscambia.com photo.


12 Responses to “FWC Law Enforcement Report: Pet Deer, Palmetto Berry Pickers”

  1. Cary on October 8th, 2018 3:32 pm

    To all FWC officers and game wardens thank you for catching people that think they’re beyond the law and trespass on other people’s properties and harvest Fish and Game because they think they can do whatever they want I’m an ethical fisherman Hunter all my life since I was a little kid lifetime license holder since 09 keep up the good work and prosecute these people to the full extent of the law thank you keep up the good work God bless & be safe

  2. R on October 8th, 2018 2:10 pm

    To everyone. Fist you have to get a permit to keep wild animals
    This man did not have one.
    Second it’s not about the people picking the berries. It’s about them trespassing on
    Government property while picking berries.

  3. Helen Bates on October 8th, 2018 11:18 am

    The palmetto berries are sold in south fl to companies that are doing cancer research. Google, most of the time it is poor people doing the picking to make ends meet.

  4. Jbird on October 8th, 2018 11:14 am

    Well about the berries….. it’s trasspassing on most people’s land it’s illegal Mexican children slaves doing most of it….. black market is around 5$ a lbs and 20 are picking around 10,000 lbs a week.. one’s that need to get caught is the middle men! There the ones that are working these people.

  5. No coincidence on October 8th, 2018 10:42 am

    The berries are a primary fall food source for Black Bears, so maybe that is why we are seeing so many bears looking for food in our neighborhoods instead of the woods they call home.

  6. Janet on October 8th, 2018 10:33 am

    This is one of the many things wrong with today’s society. Law enforcement charging people with pet deer and for Gods sake, for picking berries!

  7. just sayin on October 8th, 2018 9:33 am

    What does one do with palmetto berries? Don’t no why in the world someone would want to plant these things in there yard.

  8. Karen Mac on October 8th, 2018 8:58 am

    Why are people picking palmetto berries?

  9. M in Bratt on October 8th, 2018 8:53 am

    By the way, palmetto berry’s are not some illegal drug, they are used as a folk remedy for prostate trouble.

  10. Blaze on October 8th, 2018 8:43 am

    David, please research some before you make comments . A simple google search will explain basics about keeping native wildlife as pets sir.

  11. M in Bratt on October 8th, 2018 8:42 am

    Let’s see; we used five officers, a plane, and untold man hours to catch a ring of desperado palmetto berry pickers. Seems like supervisors could find these officers something better to do.

  12. David on October 8th, 2018 6:27 am

    I am old and have seen many stupid laws and over regulayion. You can’t keep a pet deer..but you can kill it a certain time of year….I guess our law makers are Dumb and Dumber. .and they do it so well

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