DNA evidence helps convict Paso Robles poacher
June 13, 2012
A Paso Robles man was recently convicted of deer poaching after a DNA analysis linked him conclusively to an illegally killed buck. [HuntingNews]
Jason Allan Domingos, 37, plead no contest in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court to the poaching of a large blacktail buck at Hidden Valley Ranch near Templeton. Domingos was ordered to pay a $3,000 fine and placed on three-years probation.
Department of Fish and Game investigators collected evidence from the scene where the buck was shot, a taxidermist’s shop, and the suspect’s vehicle. Forensic pathologist Dr. Jeff Rodzen analyzed the samples and found a perfect DNA match, conclusively linking the suspect to the deer, Fish and Game Warden Todd Tognazzini told Hunting News.
In 2007, Domingos entered the gated Hidden Valley Ranch community, shot the deer and left it where it fell. He returned that evening to retrieve it, not realizing that witnesses had spotted the carcass and alerted authorities, Hunting News said.
Domingos later entered the antlers of the deer he claimed he shot east of Paso Robles in big buck contests in both Atascadero and King City. The poacher stained the bucks antlers a dark mahogany allegedly to conceal the animal’s identity. The buck was popular with residents of the Hidden Valley Ranch area because of his large size.
After it was discovered he had poached the buck, he was unable to keep the two rifles he won in the contests.