By Andy Cordan
The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency is actively investigating four men for poaching.
According to sources, the men, using a muzzle loader, shot and killed a deer from their vehicle Saturday night on Paw Paw Springs Road in Rutherford County.
It is illegal in Tennessee to shoot a deer from a car. It is also bow season.
The TWRA was also investigating the men for spotlighting the deer but the charges were dropped after the men told officers they killed the deer before it got dark.
Don King is chief information and education officer for the TWRA.
He told News 2 it's illegal to spotlight deer even if you do not intend to harm them.
"It's a disruption for that animal. The animal is out there just trying to get by, trying to survive," he explained, adding, "A lot of the animals feed at night."
According to King, the vast majority of hunters are law abiding citizens but occasionally "there are folks who try and take advantage and bend the rules."
According to King, all of the offenses the men face are either Class B or Class C misdemeanors.
Class B misdemeanors carry no more than six months in jail and/or a fine up to $500. Class C misdemeanors carry no more than 30 days in jail and/or a fine up to $50.
The TWRA declined to release the names of the men involved, citing the ongoing investigation.