Conservation Law Enforcement Corner – February 2019
The Conservation LE Corner is designed to highlight the efforts of Georgia DNR Law Enforcement Division (LED) officers who, among their many duties, protect Georgia’s wildlife, sportsmen and natural resources from game-law violators.
Gwinnett County: On Nov. 23, 2017, Cpl. Eddie Tompkins and Ranger Chris Hall arrived at Harbins Park and observed a parked black GMC pickup truck.
“I observed a game cart used for hauling harvested wildlife in the bed of the vehicle,” wrote Cpl. Tompkins in the incident report. “Within the vehicle in plain view through the windows there was a gun case and box of ammo. Ranger Hall and I walked down a woods road to an area where we believed the subject may be hunting. As we walked down the trail, we both observed a subject in a climbing-style tree stand wearing a fluorescent orange vest. The subject was within the boundaries of Harbins Park. I whistled at the subject to alert him to our presence, and I identified ourselves as game wardens. The subject identified himself as Kyle Pugh.
“Earlier in the season I had charged Mr. Pugh with hunting without permission in Gwinnett County (see December issue, page 110).
“Mr. Pugh advised his friend David was across the creek hunting some distance away. Ranger Hall stayed with Mr. Pugh, and I walked down the creek attempting to locate the other hunter. After walking for some distance, I found boot tracks in the creek. A few moments later, I heard a gunshot from directly in front of me approximately 80 to 100 yards away. I waited a few minutes and advised Ranger Hall that I was okay. I then continued down the creek and located the second hunter.
“The hunter was just off the Harbins Park property on a private hunting club. The lessee of the club has signed an affidavit with the Department of Natural Resource to prosecute persons caught hunting without permission. As I approached, I recognized him as a hunter I had charged hunting without permission earlier in the year in Gwinnett County. The hunter identified as David Grobe stated that he had shot at a coyote that was running by, but he had missed. Mr. Grobe was not wearing the required fluorescent orange vest. After Mr. Grobe gathered his belongings, we walked back to the vehicle to where Ranger Hall and Mr. Pugh were located.
“Ranger Hall contacted Gwinnett Police Department for a transport unit. I arrested Mr. Grobe for hunting without permission and hunting without fluorescent orange. I arrested Mr. Pugh for hunting without permission. Both subject were transported to the Gwinnett County Jail.
According to Gwinnett County court documents, on April 16, 2018, Pugh paid a $680 fine and received 12 months probation. On May 25, 2018, Grobe paid a $680 fine and received 12 months probation.
“A check of records indicated I had charged both them on Sept. 10, 2017 with hunting without permission (at Simpsonwood Park in Norcross), and theft by taking of wildlife,” said officer Tompkins.
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