Advertisement

Conservation Law Enforcement Corner January 2011

Turkey shot from a road at 150 yards with .30/06.

GON Staff | January 14, 2011

Sometimes it’s wildlife that becomes the victim of opportunity; sometimes it’s a poacher.

On Jan. 4, 2010, Officer Keith McDonald with DNR Law Enforcement received a call from 911 dispatch in Lowndes County a little after 9 a.m. Dispatch put him in touch with a complainant who witnessed someone shooting at a turkey from the window of a truck in east Lowndes County near Naylor.

“The witness pulled up behind him and actually saw the gun go off, saw smoke come out of the muzzle,” said McDonald. “He was in the vehicle, shooting from the driver’s side.”

The witness told McDonald that the subject, Michael Creamer, of Naylor, fired the shot before realizing another truck had pulled in behind him. The witness said it wasn’t until after the gun went off that Creamer realized there was another vehicle behind him, and McDonald said that instead of taking off, Creamer drove slowly, trying to get the witness to pass him.

Little did Creamer know, his slow driving allowed the witness, who was traveling with a child, all the time he needed to take down his tag number. After Creamer pulled off on a dirt road, the witness called 911.

Upon receiving the call, McDonald ran the tag number, got Creamer’s address and went straight to his house, where Creamer’s wife answered the door. She told McDonald that Creamer was at work.

“I thought to myself, ‘Yeah, that’s what you think,’” said McDonald.

After a call from his wife, Creamer came home to meet the officer. He told McDonald he had been at work.

McDonald then asked Creamer if he hadn’t stopped on Old State Road near the intersection of Monk Road and shot at anything.

“He said, and I remember this, he said, ‘No I looked through my scope at a turkey in the back field. If it had been a deer I probably would have shot it,’” said McDonald. “And I said, ‘Oh yeah, you’re my guy.’”

McDonald said Creamer remained adamant that he hadn’t actually fired the weapon, so the officer went to the scene of the crime to see if he could find any evidence. In the only field in the immediate area, McDonald found a mature gobbler with a bullet hole in it.

The officer pieced together the event with the evidence he had and determined Creamer must have taken about a 150-yard shot at the bird with his .30-06. Even if Creamer had returned for the bird, there wouldn’t have been much left to eat.

“It destroyed the whole breast,” said McDonald. “He hit him right in the center, and it was nothing but mush.”

McDonald then spoke to the landowner, who wanted to press charges against Creamer for hunting without permission.

“The next day I went back to Creamer’s house and told him he had one more chance to shoot straight with me, or I was going to get a deputy out there to take him to jail, tow his truck and take his gun,” said McDonald. “I said, ‘Why don’t you tell me what happened because I’ve got two witnesses, a dead turkey and a landowner who wants to press charges?’”

Creamer then admitted to shooting the turkey and gave a full written confession.

“He said, ‘Man, I can’t believe I’m in this much trouble over a bird,’” said McDonald.

Creamer never went to court. He paid fines of $1,350 for charges of hunting from a public road, hunting without permission and hunting out of season.

GON was unable to find a working phone number to call Creamer for comment.

 

CASE FILES

Brooks Co.: On Jan. 2, 2010, Kevin Clark, of Thomasville, was charged with hunting without a license and hunting without a federal waterfowl stamp. Clark was sentenced to pay fines of $302.

Chatham Co.: On Jan. 17, 2010, Henry Williamson, of Rincon, Bryan Williams and Sean Ryan, both of Savannah, were all charged with hunting waterfowl after hours. They were each sentenced to pay fines of $100.

Decatur Co.: On Jan. 5, 2010, Chadwick White, of Bainbridge, was charged with hunting on a closed WMA, natural area or PFA for deer. White was sentenced to pay fines of $187.25.

Gordon Co.: On Dec. 20, 2009, Eric Jackson, of Tunnel Hill, Ray Long, of Sugar Valley, Leroy Taylor, of Resaca, and Michael Rice, of Calhoun, were all charged with hunting without permission. Rice was also charged with possession of illegally taken wildlife. Jackson was sentenced to pay $470. Long and Taylor were sentenced to pay $370 each. Rice was sentenced to pay $1,160.

Greene Co.: On Dec. 27, 2009, Phillip Cannon, of Greensboro, was charged with hunting from a public road. Cannon was sentenced to pay fines of $207.50.

Lee Co.: On Jan. 1, 2010, Brian Holbert, of Calhoun, was charged with hunting without a license and hunting without a federal waterfowl stamp. Holbert was sentenced to pay fines of $260.

Lee Co.: On Dec. 17, 2009, Rodney Mabrey, of Leesburg, was charged with hunting from a vehicle, hunting big game from a public road and hunting without permission for deer. Mabrey was sentenced to pay fines of $983.

Lee Co.: On Dec. 20, 2009, Richard Willis, of Pelham, and Bryan Riggs, of Doerun, were each charged with hunting deer at night and hunting without permission. Willis was sentenced to pay fines of $1,542, a hunting suspension and probation. Riggs was sentenced to pay fines of $1,542.

Lee Co.: On Dec. 30, 2009, Wendell Story, of Moultrie, was charged with hunting deer at night and hunting without permission. Story was sentenced to pay fines of $1,000.

Lee Co.: On Jan. 5, 2010, Thomas Merritt, of Albany, was charged with hunting from a vehicle, hunting big game from a public road and hunting deer at night. Merritt was sentenced to community service.

Liberty Co.: On Jan. 9, 2010, Reinaldo Torres, of Hinesville, was charged with hunting without permission for deer. Torres was sentenced to pay fines of $728.

Polk Co.: On Jan. 3, 2010, James Bishop and Maranda Raulerson, both of Piedmont, Ala., were each charged with hunting out of season. They were each sentenced to pay fines of $180.

Rabun Co.: On Dec. 22, 2009, James Henson and Hartley Watkins, both of Rabun Gap, were both charged with possession of illegally taken wildlife. They were each sentenced to pay fines of $250 and probation.

Randolph Co.: On Jan. 9, 2010, Evan Lobdell, of Sebastian, Fla., was charged with hunting big game over bait, hunting without fluorescent orange, non-resident hunting without a license and non-resident hunting without a non-resident big game-license. Lobdell was sentenced to pay fines of $992.

Seminole Co.: On Dec. 28, 2009, Charles Walker and Joseph Walker, both of Donalsonville, were each charged with hunting waterfowl after hours. They were sentenced to pay fines of $15 each.

Stewart Co.: On Jan. 9, 2010, Brian Montgomery, of Bartow, Fla., was charged with hunting without a big-game license and non-resident hunting without a non-resident hunting without a license. Larry Gunter, of Bartow, Fla., was charged with hunting deer without fluorescent orange and non-resident hunting without a license.  Montgomery was sentenced to pay fines of $482. Gunter was sentenced to pay fines of $146.

Sumter Co.: On Jan. 2, 2010, Samuel Wood, of Ellenton, Fla., and Brandi Gibbons, of Palmetto, Fla., were each charged with hunting from a vehicle, hunting big game from a public road and hunting without permission for deer. Wood was sentenced to pay fines of $1,350, probation and a hunting suspension. Gibbons was sentenced to pay fines of $200.

Sumter Co.: On Jan. 9, 2010, Justin Grant, of Leslie, was charged with hunting without permission. Grant was sentenced to pay fines of $675 and probation.

Taliaferro Co.: On Dec. 23, 2009, Bailey Ensley and Logan Ensley, both of Sylva, N.C., were each charged with hunting from a public road and hunting without permission. They were each sentenced to pay fines of $755.

Thomas Co.: On Jan. 17, 2010, Clay Gard, of Lakeland, Fla., was charged with hunting with illegal weapon or ammo, failure to allow inspection of wildlife and hunting without a federal waterfowl stamp. Gard was sentenced to pay fines of $373.50.

Wilkes Co.: On Jan. 12, 2010, Seth Cantebury, of Tignall, and Joshua Dobbs, of Washington, were each charged with hunting deer at night. They were each sentenced to pay fines of $875, community service and a hunting suspension.

Become a GON subscriber and enjoy full access to ALL of our content.

New monthly payment option available!

Advertisement

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Advertisement