Two cited for allegedly spotlighting deer in St. Landry Parish

Anonymous tip leads to poachers near Melville, LDWF says

Agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries cited two St. Landry Parish men for allegedly poaching a deer early Wednesday morning near Melville, according to a news release.

Christian Cannatella, 21, and Lucas Leblanc, 21, were ticketed for taking deer during a closed season, taking deer during illegal hours with artificial light, hunting deer from a moving vehicle and hunting deer using illegal methods, the release states.

An informant notified LDWF agents about the night hunting activity, and in the course of the investigation, they learned Cannatella and Leblanc allegedly used a UTV and a .17 caliber rifle to harvest one antlerless deer early Wednesday.

The venison, which was donated to a local charity, was seized along with the rifle, according to the release.

Hunting deer during a closed season and during illegal hours with artificial light each carries a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Hunting from a moving vehicle and taking deer using illegal methods each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

Cannatella and Leblanc may also face civil restitution totaling $1624.61 for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer, the release states.