Conservation Law Enforcement Corner – July 2019

GON Staff | June 27, 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.

Dodge County: On Saturday Dec. 22, 2018, Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division game warden Allen Mills and Cpl. Dan Stiles were conducting an after hours waterfowl detail along the county line between Dodge and Laurens counties.

Game warden Mills began to hear shots at 5:50 p.m., and he contacted Cpl. Stiles to head his way. The officers conducted a foot patrol and located four suspects waterfowl hunting.

The last shot was at 6:12 p.m., which was nearly 45 minutes after legal time.

For waterfowl, legal shooting hours are defined as 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset. While there is still plenty of daylight at sunset, the regulations are in place to prevent roost shooting. In Georgia, a wood duck roost typically sees large numbers of ducks pouring into a swamp, and it makes illegally killing unusually large numbers of ducks very easy in many circumstances. It is also very much against the law.

Game warden Allen Mills (left) and LED Cpl. Dan Stiles with confiscated ducks from a Dodge County roost shoot on Dec. 22, 2018.

The Dodge County case resulted in multiples violations for hunting waterfowl after hours, taking over the bag limit, hunting without a license, and hunting without Georgia migratory bird stamp were documented.

According to DNR Law Enforcement, the violators were Larry Sanders, Cameron Taylor, Charles Rogers and Byron Graham. Hometowns were not available.

Twenty ducks were confiscated. A legal limit is three wood ducks per hunter.

In this case, the fines were as follows: $40 hunting waterfowl after hours; $40 taking over the bag limit; and warning were issued for hunting without a Georgia Migratory Bird Stamp and hunting without a license. Fines are set by the local courts.

Toombs County: On Oct. 1, 2018, Game Warden First Class Bobby Sanders received a complaint of someone shooting deer at night near houses on Oaky Grove Church Road in Lyons. Rifle shots were being heard on multiple occasions between 9 and 11 p.m., usually during the week. Sanders studied the area using mapping systems and located what he believed to be the most likely location.

On Oct. 5, Sanders began working the area on foot during the complaint hours. In plain sight, he located a spin-cast feeder in the back of a property with a directional security light adjusted to shine light on the feeder area. An individual was seen coming out onto the back porch and sitting for periods of time facing the feeder area. No shots were fired and no violations were detected, Sanders left the area.

On Oct. 11, the evening after Hurricane Michael hit, Sanders received a call at approximately 10:30 p.m. of another gunshot from the area. Sanders quickly went to the area, and using the cover of darkness made his way to the home where he suspected the shots came from. While walking on the county dirt road, Sanders observed two individuals cleaning and quartering a deer. The suspect stated he had shot the deer from his back porch where he had made a shooting rest to shoot deer at his feeder.

Ronald Harris was charged with hunting deer at night. The deer was confiscated and given to a needy family. His fines totaled $740.

Recent citations issued by DNR Law Enforcement. These charges may not be adjudicated yet, and all charged are assumed innocent.

• Bartow County: At Pine Log Mountain WMA on May 13, Jason Morton, of Bessemer, Ala.; possession of firearm by convicted felon; illegal consumption of alcohol on WMA.

• Glynn Co.: At Paulk’s Pasture WMA on April 16, Dale Turner, Bobby Lane and Joshua Cane, all of Brunswick; theft by taking; interference with government property; criminal trespass.

• Jasper County: At Clybel WMA on April 6, Yen Ko and Aung Ko, both of Clarkston; hunting turkey with illegal  ammunition/weapon; hunting on closed WMA; hunting without big game license. Dei Wa, of Avondale Estates; hunting on closed WMA; hunting without big game license.

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