Conservation Law Enforcement Corner October 2017

Highlighting 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 | October 6, 2017

The old adage of TMI, or “too much information,” certainly applies to social media. And by TMI on social media, it’s not just endless info on someone’s exercise routine or what they’re having for supper. Outdoor exploits are commonly posted on social media, even posts about activities that are illegal.

Wayne County: On Nov. 10, 2015, Cpl. Randy Aspinwall, of the DNR Law Enforcement Division, received a tip about a social media post on Facebook. The caller said that two guys had posted about killing four bucks.

According to the official Incident Report on the case,  Cpl. Aspinwall was able to locate one of the subject’s Facebook page and saw several pictures of dead deer along with information on the approximate times the deer were killed. With that evidence, a search warrant was obtained, and it was served the next day at the Baxley home of Philip Shabott, who was 24 years old at the time.

The official Incident Report states, “On Nov. 17, Cpl. Aspinwall, Ranger Griggs and Ranger Bright executed a search warrant on the premises of Shabott. After searching the home and vehicles, a cell phone was recovered from Shabott. After talking with Shabott, he confessed to killing the four deer, which included three bucks and a doe (not four bucks as first reported by the caller).

“He stated that he went night hunting with Chase Daniels (of Toomsboro) in the Cross Roads area of Wayne County. He stated that almost immediately after beginning (night) hunting they saw and shot a 9-point buck. He stated that he immediately loaded it up into Daniels’ truck and took it home. He stated that he then took a picture of it and posted it on Facebook.

“Shabott and Daniels then immediately went hunting again. Within a few minutes, they killed an 8-point buck and then a 6-point buck. He stated that as they were pulling back up to his home, they saw a doe feeding in a food plot behind his home and shot it, too.”

Shabott also gave a written statement to the rangers. The officers then went to the home of Daniels, who admitted to night hunting and gave verbal and written statements. Charges of hunting deer at night and hunting from a vehicle were issued.


Cpl. Hendrix Is Nation’s Top Boating LE Officer

For the second time in three years, a Georgia LED game warden is the top boating law enforcement officer in the nation.

Cpl. Bart Hendrix

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) presented Cpl. Bart Hendrix, assigned to Cherokee County, with its highest award, Boating Officer of the Year.

In 2015, Georgia DNR Sgt. Jason Roberson, who is now Cpl. Hendrix’s supervisor, received the same award, known as the “Butch Potts Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.”     

Earlier this year, Cpl. Hendrix was named as the Georgia DNR Law Enforcement Division’s 2016 Boating Officer of the Year for his exceptional work on Lake Allatoona and on the Etowah River. In July, he earned Boating Officer of the Year from the Southern States Boating Law Administrators Caucus, a regional association which represents 20 southern states and territories. That award made him one of three finalists for the nationwide award.

A quality that sets Cpl. Hendrix apart is his genuine concern for people. On one occasion, he worked an incident where a victim drowned in front of his wife and three children. Cpl. Hendrix took the family away from the scene, bought their lunch and spent the entire day with them, providing comfort and assurance in their time of despair. Later in the year, he arranged for the work section to buy the children’s school supplies, and he personally delivered them. On another occasion, he arranged for Cabela’s to donate $500 of outdoor products for Christmas gifts for a needy child.

Cpl. Hendrix has been with Georgia LED for 11 years.

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