Conservation Law Enforcement Corner – July 2022
Highlighting The Work Of DNR Officers
GON Staff | June 29, 2022
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. The following account is provided from DNR LED.
Tattnall County: At about 8 a.m. on Sunday morning, Sept. 5, 2021 Ranger Jordan Usher and Cpl. Patrick Gibbs checked a dove field off Levi Effie Helmuth Road in Tattnall County.
“While checking hunters in the field, we noticed sunflower seeds scattered down freshly harrowed strips,” officer Usher wrote in the official incident report.
“There were several harrowed strips in the field that had different sunflowers scattered on top of the dirt that were noticeably different than the sunflowers grown in the field. The field was planted with sunflowers, but when we compared the seeds on the ground and the seeds in the sunflower heads, there was an obvious difference between the two. The seeds that were still in the head and that had been moved down were weathered, soft, faded in color and had mold on them. The seeds that we picked up off the ground that were evenly distributed on top of the harrowed strips were larger, black and shiny like seeds that had been recently distributed from a bag.
“We rounded up everyone on the field and notified them that the field was baited. We showed the adults and the juveniles the bait, and they all agreed that the seeds scattered on the harrowed strips were different than the seeds grown in the field. We wrote the adults citations and the juveniles warnings for hunting over bait. We confiscated 54 doves and donated them to The Alice Blount Academy in Cedar Crossing.”
Upson County: On March 22, 2020, Game Warden First Class David Webb and Sgt. Travis Sweat were dropped off to work a turkey bait location on Redlands Hunting Club off Goshen Road in Upson County.
“Sgt. Sweat and I walked into the property and observed a truck sitting in a food plot,” officer Webb said in the incident report. “The vehicle then proceeded down a woods road. Sgt. Sweat and I located the vehicle still on the woods road unoccupied. Sgt. Sweat and I proceeded to the baited area, which consisted of bird seed.
“We waited and listened for approximately an hour until we heard a turkey start gobbling across the creek on another property. We started to exit the area, and Sgt. Sweat motioned to me that someone was coming, so we concealed ourselves by kneeling down behind some cover. The turkey gobbled a few more times, and then we heard a hen turkey cluck. At my position on the ground, I noticed a little movement approximately 25 yards away. As Sgt. Sweat jumped up yelling ‘Game Warden,’ I observed a male pointing a firearm in our direction. Sgt. Sweat and I then approached the male, who was holding a semi-automatic .223 caliber rifle with a thermal scope attached to the top. The man began saying that we scared him, he thought we were hogs, because he was hog hunting.
“He was also in possession of a slate call for turkeys and admitted to calling to the gobbler we had been listening to. Sgt. Sweat showed him where the birdseed was located, and he denied any knowledge of it. He then showed us a coyote trap located just a few feet from the birdseed.
“We escorted him back to his vehicle and met him in his camp located on the same property. I issued a citation for hunting big game over bait and a written warning for hunting turkeys with illegal weapon and ammo.”
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