Conservation Law Enforcement Corner – September 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.
Cobb County: On Sept. 23, 2017 officer Mark Puig received a call from a landowner about illegal hunting off Powder Springs Road in Marietta.
“She had not given any permission to hunt this property this season, and a friend had been on the property and located several hunting stands,” officer Puig said in the incident report. “I checked the property and located two hunting stands, one of which was baited. I checked several times over the next few days and finally observed a truck parked alongside the road. I walked in and found Jason Whitehead and his wife hunting in a stand. I asked if he had permission to hunt there, and he (gave a name). I informed him no one had permission to hunt this property and asked if he had received any permission in writing, which he did not. He was given a citation for hunting without permission and told to not come back.”
Forsyth County: On Nov. 2, 2017, Cpl. Eddie Tompkins received a message about a truck parked in the woods off McGinnis Ferry Road.
“I made contact with Sgt. Lee Brown and asked him to assist me since he was much closer to the location than I was,” said Cpl. Tompkins. “I entered the woods to locate the hunter while Sgt. Brown waited at the truck. After approximately 10 to 15 minutes of looking, I located a subject in a portable climbing tree stand not wearing the required fluorescent orange. The hunter, later identified as Jason Whitehead, packed his belongings and came down the tree. I asked Mr. Whitehead whose property he was hunting. I pulled up the tax maps on my phone and showed Mr. Whitehead that he was not on the property he stated. Instead he was hunting three parcels to the west on property owned (by a business.) I asked Mr. Whitehead if he had permission to hunt from that company, and he stated, ‘No.’ I enter Mr. Whitehead’s info into my Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) and learned he had been cited in September by RFC Puig in Cobb County for hunting without permission. I asked Mr. Whitehead about the incident, and he gave a story about his friend giving him permission to hunt a piece of property, and it was a misunderstanding. I explained to Mr. Whitehead that the business did not allow hunting, and he stated he knew that because he had asked them for permission to hunt earlier in the year and had been told no. I issued citations for hunting without permission and hunting without fluorescent orange. I also issued a written warning for hunting without first obtaining a harvest record.”
Forsyth County: On Dec. 12, 2017, Sgt. Lee Brown and RFC Shane Brown received a call about a man hunting without permission on McGinnis Ferry Road. They found Jason Whitehead’s truck parked, and then they noticed fresh boot prints in the snow and mud that went to a lock-on stand and then continued on another 200 yards. The stand was on property no one had permission to hunt. After making contact with Whitehead, he showed Sgt. Brown a bunch of papers trying to say he had permission to hunt.
“I asked Mr. Whitehead where he had been,” said RFC Shane Brown. “Mr. Whitehead stated he had been to the ‘lock-on.’ I told Mr. Whitehead not to lie to me and tell me exactly where he had been. Mr. Whitehead stated he started to climb in the stand and realized he was under dressed and he got down. Mr. Whitehead admitted he walked on down and back into the woods. Mr. Whitehead kept saying he didn’t know he was on the adjacent property. Mr. Whitehead was transported to the Forsyth County Detention Center by a Sheriff’s Deputy.”
On Nov. 10, 2017 in Cobb County State Court, Jason Whitehead, then of Douglasville but now living in Alabama, paid a fine of $189 for the Sept. 23 incident. On July 10, 2018 in Forsyth County Superior Court, Whitehead entered a negotiated plea for the two Forsyth County incidents. Fines and court fees there totaled $1,985, plus he received 12 months probation, and his hunting privileges were suspended for 12 months.
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