Night patrol busts illegal hunting activities

News from the region
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO -- Conservation Agents from Dunklin, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot and Scott Counties assisted to step up operations against illegal hunting activities in New Madrid County with a night patrol this week. According to Conservation Agent Rodney Ivie, their efforts paid off Thursday evening.

“We were able to observe two separate spotlighting cases in the same evening, one where it appears the individuals had already poached two deer,” Ivie said.

During the first case, a conservation agent observed someone spotlighting deer from a vehicle on a county road near Donaldson Point Conservation Area. When agents stopped the vehicle, the occupants had a loaded rifle and a compound bow in the front of the vehicle. Both subjects were issued tickets for the wildlife violation of “locating deer with aid of artificial light while in possession of a rifle and compound bow,” according to Ivie.

Later that same evening, the night patrol observed a second spotlighting case near Swift Ditch Conservation Area. After hearing several rifle shots come from a spotlighted area, Ivie said the agents stopped a vehicle and found two deer with recent wounds in the back of the vehicle. The three occupants were arrested and transported to the New Madrid County jail, according to Ivie. Charges filed against two of the individuals included “taking deer with the aid of artificial light”, “taking deer during closed season”, and “possession and transportation of illegal wildlife.” The third subject was released, Ivie said.

The deer, firearm, spotlight and ammunition was seized, according to Ivie, who added that cases like these aren’t uncommon and every Missouri resident can take a part in stopping illegal hunting activities in their area.

“Missouri is a great place to hunt and fish and we want that to remain true,” Ivie said. “We need to continue to fight vigorously against illegal hunting activities to make sure that we protect the wildlife and continue ethical hunting traditions.”

Ivie encourages anyone who witnesses or suspects a wildlife violation to report it to their local conservation agent or call the toll-free Operation Game Thief number, 1-800-392-1111, which is manned 24-hours a day. Callers may remain anonymous, and may ask to be considered for a reward, ranging from $50 to $1000.