WESLEY CHAPEL — Scott Joseph Demers might just be an unlucky hog poacher who picked the worst weekend for hunting.
But his choice of hunting grounds caught the attention of authorities.
Demers, 40, of Clearwater, was found at 11 p.m. Saturday with a buddy running through orange groves on a private ranch that borders Saddlebrook Resort, where delegates from Texas and Louisiana are staying for the Republican National Convention. The Pasco County Sheriff's Office had been patrolling the perimeter, scouting for nefarious sorts, and happened upon this duo. Demers and his friend, Bruce Parker, 42, of Clearwater, fled into the groves until their two dogs ran toward the deputy's truck, then the two came forward, a report states. Both said they were hog hunting — which is legal year-round in Florida — and had permission from the ranch owner.
They didn't, authorities said.
Parker was given a citation for trespassing. Demers, who is on felony probation out of Pinellas for battery, was arrested and charged with trespassing on cultivated land and violating his probation. He is being held without bail at the Pasco jail.
It appears no hunting weapons were found on the duo.