Agents in Action
with lawful hunting in the first degree. He pleaded guilty and was fined $164.50.
A man and wife were camping at the Caney Mountain Conservation Area in Ozark County when, around midnight, 14 men on ATVs rode into the area. Yelling and cursing, they tore tarps off tents and cut “doughnuts” in the campsite.
When the men finally left, the man and woman, who had feared for their lives and hidden in the woods, quickly got in their vehicle and went to the Ozark County Sheriff’s office.
Deputies from the sheriff’s office, Gainesville police officers, the Theodosia city marshal, members of the Highway Patrol, and Ozark County conservation agents Quenten Fronterhouse and Tom Leeker all responded immediately. Twelve of the ATV men were promptly rounded up. Each received citations from the agents for unauthorized use of a Department area during closed hours and unauthorized use of motor vehicles on Department areas.
In addition, Highway Patrol officers issued 10 citations for failing to register motor vehicles, and the sheriff’s office filed harassment charges against two of the men. The Ozark County Times ran a lengthy article about this incident under the headline “Campers ‘terrorized’ by men on 4-wheelers.”
A Flashing Discovery
On an unseasonably warm day in October, Conservation Agent Dave Ingram was patrolling the White River Trace Conservation Area in Dent County. As he drove along, he was surprised to see a man, naked except for hiking boots and a Crocodile Dundee-style hat, in the middle of the service road. The man turned to “flash” whomever was coming, but he quickly realized it was an official vehicle and ran down a hill through some tall weeds and briars.
Lacking protective clothing, the man didn’t run very far in the briars before lying down to hide. When apprehended a short time later, the man told Agent Ingram he was “just trying to get a little tan.” After more questioning, the man admitted to “flashing” a motorist in the same area a month earlier. He was taken to the Dent County jail and subsequently was found guilty of second-degree sexual misconduct.
You Can Help
You can help conservation agents weed out poachers and others who treat Missouri’s wildlife resources unfairly or maliciously by reporting wildlife violations, forest arson or any other type of resource-related crime.
The Operation Game Thief (OGT) toll-free number is (800) 392-1111. Post the number near your phone or key it into your cell phone for quick reporting whenever you witness a violation. An operator is standing by 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, to take your call and forward the information to a local conservation agent. Callers may be eligible for a reward and, if they desire, may remain anonymous. Operation Game Thief has been available since 1982 and has resulted in hundreds of arrests since its inception.
Conservation Agent Annual Accomplishments
- Resource contacts/permit checks: 211,347
- Meetings/programs: 5,695
- Radio/TV programs: 10,661
- News articles: 4,730
- Exhibits: 1,287
- Hunter Education students trained: 34,491
- Resource management contacts: 20,320
- Other public contacts: 302,758
- Telephone calls: 128,701