Conservation Law Enforcement Corner – July 2018

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.

GON Staff | July 10, 2018

Crisp County: On Jan. 24 at 3:09 p.m., DNR Law Enforcement officer Jesse Harrison received a call from the Crisp County Sheriff’s Department about a dead hen turkey in the bed of a pickup truck. The following account is taken from Ranger Harrison’s incident report.

Ranger Harrison responded to the call and met Deputy Purvis of the Crisp County Sheriff’s Department, who noticed the dead hen turkey while serving an arrest warrant at a residence. The truck belonged to Juddie Pate, of Cordele.

“After speaking with Pate, it was determined the hen turkey was illegally shot,” Ranger Harrison wrote in his incident report.

“Pate stated, ‘Saw a head pop up, didn’t think I could hit him with a .22, and shot him.’

“Pate stated the turkey was killed with a Marlin .22 caliber rifle, which was located in his vehicle. Pate agreed to meet Sgt. Al Greer and me at the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office for further interviewing. Pate was advised of his Miranda Warning and waived his rights and agreed to speak with me. Pate once again admitted to shooting the hen turkey on his land, located on Williford Crossing Road in Crisp County.”

Juddie Pate was issued citations for hunting without a license, hunting without a big game license, hunting with illegal weapons, and taking totally protected wildlife. The .22 caliber rifle was photographed and released back to Pate. The dead hen turkey was seized as evidence and stored at the DNR LED field office at Georgia Veterans State Park.

According to records from the Probate Court of Crisp County, Juddie Pate was fined a total of $950. On April 3, 2017, he pled guilty to taking totally protected wildlife—a hen turkey—and was fined $500. He pled guilty to hunting turkey with an illegal weapon—a .22 rifle—and was fined $250. He pled nolo contendre on the charges of hunting without a big game license (no fine) and hunting without a license ($200 fine).

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