Conservation Law Enforcement Corner March 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 | March 1, 2018

Gwinnett County: On Aug. 5, 2017, Cpl. Eddie Tompkins received a call about hunting out of season off Callie Still Road in Gwinnett County. That call began an investigation that ultimately led to multiple charges against a 57-year-old Loganville man who was hunting at night with a night-vision crossbow, hunting over bait and killing multiple bucks on other people’s land.

In his official incident report, Cpl. Tompkins stated that on Aug. 15 Ranger Chris Hall and he walked the property and located an area the subject was hunting where corn was spread on the ground and a trail camera was set up.

Officers later learned the subject had already killed a buck while trespassing on the property Aug. 6, possibly at night, and then retrieved the deer the night of Aug. 7. They also learned that on Aug. 20 the subject hunted an area near his residence, going into the woods at 6 p.m. and not leaving until 6 a.m.

Opening day of archery season last year was Sept. 9. On Sept. 8, the subject killed a 10-point buck while trespassing in Walton County off Monroe Jersey Road.

“I had been in the area in a personally owned vehicle following the subject at the time this occurred,” Cpl. Tompkins stated. “On Sept. 8 at 2055 hours, I arrived at the residence of Lex Luby in Loganville. I explained to Mr. Luby that I knew he had killed a buck earlier in the evening and had loaded it into his 1999 Toyota 4Runner. At first Mr. Luby denied any hunting or the harvesting of any deer. I explained that I knew he had killed a deer and had been following him. We walked over to the vehicle and located a 10-point buck. I explained to Mr. Luby that I knew he had killed another whitetail buck on Aug. 6 and that he did not retrieve the deer that night but returned the next date. I explained I knew where he was parking at Callie Still Road, and that I was aware he had been hunting on private property. After denying the harvesting of any deer in August several times, Mr. Luby finally admitted that he had killed a 9-point buck on Aug. 6 and that the rack was inside.

“I asked about a third buck I had information he killed in July. Mr. Luby denied killing any deer in July. I asked how many deer he had harvested in the 2016 season, and Mr. Luby stated eight or nine but only one buck. I asked him what the buck was, and he provided me with the rack off a 9-point buck. I believed it was off the buck I had information he harvested in July, 2017.

“Ranger Chris Hall and Cpl. Eric Sanders located a broken-off bloody crossbow bolt in the garage. They also located a crossbow equipped with a night-vision scope. I issued Mr. Luby citations for hunting out of season, hunting big game over bait and theft by taking of wildlife. These citations only related to the 10-point (Walton County) buck.”

On Sept. 12, officers interviewed a Loganville man who Mr. Luby had sent text messages and pictures to on Sept. 8 when he killed the 10-pointer.

“He had firsthand knowledge of three bucks harvested by Mr. Luby since July of 2017,” Cpl. Tompkins stated. “I asked if he had any knowledge of Mr. Luby killing any deer the previous season. He said for sure he killed three bucks and maybe eight. He stated he believes Mr. Luby hunts only with a crossbow equipped with a night-vision scope. He stated that Mr. Luby will bait an area and pattern the deer utilizing trail cameras. Then Mr. Luby will generally go into the area to hunt around 4 p.m. and has been known to often stay in the woods hunting until daylight the next day.

“Later that day, Ranger Hall and I conducted an inspection at Eagle Taxidermy in Monroe. We located three whitetail deer racks labeled with Lex Luby. Mr. Luby had dropped off a 7-point buck rack on Dec. 18, 2016 and a 9-point buck rack on Dec. 23, 2016. Previously I had checked the Game Check harvest records, and Mr. Luby had not reported harvesting any deer the previous season.

Officers with three bucks shot with a crossbow prior to deer season by a trespasser.

“On Sept. 13, 2017, I received a phone call from Mr. Luby asking if we could meet and talk about the situation. Mr. Luby became very transparent and opened up about his hunting. When I asked about the 9-point rack that I had seized from his house, Mr. Luby finally told the truth that he had killed the buck in July in the same spot (Walton County) as the 10-pointer. He stated he was hunting over bait and was hunting without permission. Mr. Luby brought me an 8-point whitetail buck rack he had killed during the 2016 season. Mr. Luby stated that he had killed the buck on Callie Still Road over bait. Mr. Luby told me about a 7-point buck that he harvested during the 2016 season, one of the racks seized from Eagle Taxidermy. Mr. Luby explained he had harvested that buck near the Yellow River in Gwinnett County and that again he was hunting over bait. Mr. Luby then told me about a 9-point buck that he had killed during the 2016 season, not sure of the location. This buck made his third for the season and made him over the limit, and this buck was also taken over bait.”

Citations issued were for Hunting on Land Without Permission, Hunting Over Bait, Hunting Out of Season and Theft By Taking Wildlife, and numerous warnings were issued. According to court records, Mr. Luby was fined $2,182.50 and his hunting privileges were suspended for 24 months.

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