Hunting violations cited at Jackson checkpoint

News from the region
Published Date

CAPE GIRARDEAU Mo -- Conservation agents issued 12 citations resulting from a wildlife checkpoint in Cape Girardeau County Sunday. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), along with troopers from the Missouri Highway Patrol, set up a checkpoint near the intersection of highways 72 and 34 just outside of Jackson.

Law enforcement officers from both agencies worked together to check hunters’ vehicles for illegally harvested deer, verify that correct permits were used and that the deer were tagged and transported according to the Wildlife Code of Missouri.

"Though most of our hunters in Missouri are good, honest, ethical hunters, there are just a few that unfortunately give other hunters a bad name,” said Conservation Agent and District Supervisor Russell Duckworth. “Through the use of these checkpoints as well as other tactics, we’re able to surprise some poachers.”

Duckworth said ensuring hunter’s obey the Wildlife Code protects the hunting rights of everyone in Missouri and maintains the state’s reputation as a great place to hunt.

“Poachers prevent others from having an opportunity to hunt,” Duckworth said.

The MDC sets up checkpoints periodically during various hunting seasons including deer, waterfowl, dove and other small-game seasons.

Citations issued at the Sunday checkpoint included possessing incorrect permits, possessing illegally harvested deer, over limit of deer and failure to tag deer. In addition to the citations issued by conservation agents, the highway patrol issued tickets for failure to show insurance, driving with a suspended license, several registration violations, one felony drug arrest, one warrant arrest and 37 additional warnings. Additional investigations resulting from the Sunday checkpoint are underway, according to Duckworth.

When conservation agents aren’t working a checkpoint, they’re on patrol with the same intention of deterring those who might try to take a deer or other wildlife illegally. Conservation agents ask that Missourians notify either a local conservation agent or their local sheriff’s department if they witness suspicious activity.

“We encourage people to call us if they suspect there is a poacher on their property. If they hear a gunshot, if they see someone driving and stopping, perhaps shining a light around the fields, we want to hear about these activities,” Duckworth said, adding that it’s never advised for a private citizen to make contact with or try to detain a suspected poacher.

Operation Game Thief (OGT) is another way to report suspicious activity. The toll-free OGT number is 1-800-392-1111 and is staffed 24-hours a day. Callers may remain anonymous, and may ask to be considered for a reward ranging from $50 to $1,000.