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.


$3000 & no jail time? Wow. That’ll teach ’em!

Please name the Judge so I’ll know who to vote for next time(NOT!).

Don’t think I’d want to have this Brave and Manly Sportsman coaching my kids…..

Turn in your whistle!


The only judges you vote for are on the state supreme court. All other judges are appointed by the governor and can serve as long as they wish unless removed for misconduct.


Cal Coast News this is a story from 3 years ago. How about reporting recent news? I am sure Mr. Domingos has learned a lesson. Like “Citizen” commented Mr. Domingos does coach Youth Baseball. How many people who are quick to judge on here, have taken time out of there schedule to give back to the community. From what I know of him I would think his parents are very proud. He has taken slanderous hits like this and has managed to make a living and provide for his family in a community that seems quick to judge some one when they don’t have a clue of whom or what they are talking about.


Sorry, you can’t call this a “slanderous hit”. It’s a matter of public record.


“slanderous” means false statements. That article has a few false statements as well as most of the misinformed comments from people who have nothing better to do but comment on an article from 2009. It would seem to me that a game warden who can’t make it on wild justice probably planted the story to Cal Coast News so he could feel better about himself. I am told fine was paid and probation was served so why would we continue to drum up dirt on someone who served his punishment? Now I see him coaching children during the week and weekends while everyone wants to continue to punish someone who has obviously moved on with his life. No wonder we have the problems we do in this country.

Jack L

Coaching what? How to kill a animal for a trophy piece and do it illegally? Then basically pay little restitution for doing so? What this person did shows his basic ethical and moral compass is broken.


Three thousand dollar fine? The combined costs of law enforcement and forensic testing easily exceed that.

Downtown Bob

Tony Domingos is an award winning vineyard manager in Paso, wonder if they are brothers?

Sounds like he was an idiot and really glad he got caught, but some seem a little to quick to condemn him to long prison sentences and take away his right to own any guns in the future, guaranteed in the 2nd amendment to the Constitution. No one seems to be clamoring for those who are arrested driving drunk having to ride the bus forever, or after a first conviction of a crime you can be detained and searched for any reason once you are off probation?

Food for though.


What a brave soul to kill an animal with a high-powered rifle. Makes a parent proud I am sure.


Right. Like you, I’d be more impressed if he had used a hockey stick.


This particular very large deer was one that was known and seen from time to time in the Hidden Valley area and the poaching of this magnificent animal for the trophy antlers was sickening to many local residents.

Jason Domingos, who was a hunting guide at the time, is part of the wine industry crowd and works with youth baseball. Hopefully, he learned a lesson from this that he can pass on to others.


Will Domingos ever learn that he STOLE from nature, from the whole circle of life, and from everyone else…just for some vicarious and sadistic pleasure, and some booby prizes ?

I doubt it.

Any firearms licenses should be permanently revoked, along with a lifetime ban on being a ‘hunting’ guide.

Confiscation of ALL weapons in possession of this irressponsible and uncaring LAWBREAKER should also be part of the equation.


“Stole from nature?” Seriously? Would it have been any less a theft from nature, the circle of life, and “everyone else” if he had hunted and killed a similar buck in a legal location with all the appropriate permits? Are you condemning Domingos in particular or hunters in general? If the moral issue is trophy hunting, I don’t see how poaching changes the equation much. (If it matters, I’m a non-hunter and a non-poacher.)


If someone came on to your property illegally and shot your pet rabbit in the back yard so they could cut off the paws and enter them in the large paw contests , then would you feel differently?

This very large (old) deer was known in Hidden Valley and treasured by the people living there. Haven’t you ever enjoyed the presence of a wild animal or certain birds nesting in your yard year after year or butterflies?

Would you be upset if someone came into your yard and sprayed agent orange on your favorite large oak tree?


Several appropriate lessons readily come to mind, but sincerely doubt any of them would enter the consciousness of a Big Buck contest entrant who was willing to poach in order to win.

Taking life is a sacred act.

Smacks Forehead

I do not know the inner workings of legal hunting, but it seems strange that the same actions taken would be completely fine if he had paid a fee first. Funny how a payoff to the right person can release the burden of guilt.

Jack L

Poachers are scum. I’ve been watching Wild Justice and can’t belive how many dirtbags are invloved in poaching.


That A-hole, I would have put him in jail for year and taken away his right to own a rifle for ever.