Brett Russel Thompson must be embarrassed these days.
He's the Myakka City fellow who got busted last Saturday morning after Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission officers nabbed him for shooting a deer in rural East Manatee, according to the arrest report.
Except it wasn't a real deer.
It was a robotic deer.
Love to have been the fly on the wall when Thompson tried to explain that to his hunting buddies.
That ol' boy was in for some serious ragging.
I can hear it now.
A fake deer! Son, how'd you fall for that?
Sounds like he's not the first one.
Turns out the FWC has been using a fake Bambi for years to put a dent in poaching.
Evidently, the area they caught Thompson, south of State Road 70, has been a popular spot for hunters who figured they can bag a deer out of season and nobody knows better.
Well, when residents complained, the FWC listened.
Fake Bambi strikes back!
"It has been a great tool," said an FWC official. "Once word gets out there is a fake deer out there, it deters the bad hunting."
Bad hunting that can be expensive, too.
Thompson posted $1,120 in bonds to get out of jail and faces a Dec. 12 court date.
If convicted, he's looking at a year in the slammer and $2,500 in fines.
Wonder if Thompson will take another crack at deer hunting before then?
Hunting season south of SR 70 opens Nov. 23 in Manatee County.
It opened north of SR 70 Nov. 2.
Maybe the man got his dates and directions mixed up, eh?