Recent Activity by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources – Law Enforcement Division
This report is a broad sampling of events that have taken place in the past month, but does not include all
actions taken by the Law Enforcement Division.
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Region V- Albany (Southwest)
None reported during the first two weeks of March.
Region I- Calhoun (Northwest)
On March 1st, Ranger First Class Daniel Gray and Ranger Mark Puig patrolled Paulding Wildlife Management Area focusing on efforts to combat illegal ATV riding through the area. The Rangers assisted a motorist with a flat tire and educated two individuals on Georgia’s artifact collection laws.
On March 8th, Cpl. Casey Jones completed a lengthy investigation involving two suspects in Whitfield County. In October 2014, Cpl. Casey Jones and Cpl. James Keener responded to a complaint of hunting on property without landowner permission. Two suspects were apprehended hunting on the property and were also found to be hunting deer over bait. Evidence was seized from the scene. After interviewing suspects and witnesses, and executing multiple search warrants, more than 40 hunting violations were uncovered in Georgia and Tennessee dating back to 2012. Thirteen buck deer, two doe deer, three turkeys, and one coyote were found to have been killed illegally. All of the wildlife pictured has been seized by DNR Rangers. Two suspects face multiple charges including killing deer out of season, killing turkey out of season, hunting on lands of another without permission, and hunting big game over bait.
Region VI- Metter (Southeast)
On March 3, Corporal Dan Stiles received a report of two missing boaters on the Ocmulgee River in Dodge County. Ranger First Class Allen Mills and Cpl. Stiles responded to the scene and began a search. Sergeant James McLaughlin, Corporal Kevin Joyce, and Ranger First Class Rodney Horne also responded. Approximately four hours into the search, the missing boaters were located and transported to a boat landing in Dodge County by Cpl. Stiles and RFC Mills. One subject was transported to the Dodge County Hospital. The other subject was checked by Emergency Medical Technicians and released at the scene. The subjects had gone for a boat ride the previous evening at approximately 5:30 p.m. and their vessel struck a log and eventually capsized and sank. The subjects spent the night standing on a log in flooded timber until Rangers located them the following day. The missing boater’s companion, a Labrador puppy aptly named “River” was also rescued. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia State Patrol, and volunteers also participated in the search.
On March 7th, Sgt. Patrick Dupree and Ranger Daniel North instructed at the annual youth turkey hunting school. The officers, along with several other local sportsmen, shared their knowledge of turkey hunting with the future hunters. Scouting, sign identification, turkey biology, calling, and safety were discussed at length throughout the day. An afternoon trip to the firing range for shotgun familiarization and patterning concluded the day’s activities. Next weekend all students will be paired with a mentor/guide for a morning turkey hunt.
Around midnight on the morning of March 12th, Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office stopped a vehicle off the Nevils-Denmark Road with a recently killed deer. Dispatch contacted Cpl. Eddie Akins who met up with the deputy and two suspects. After questioning the suspects and investigating the incident, it was determined that the deer had been hit by a vehicle and the two subjects dispatched the deer and was carrying it home with them. No charges were made. Verbal guidance was given on how to handle this type of situation in the future in an effort to eliminate problems and confusion.
On March 9, Cpl. Shaymus McNeely and Sgt. Don Dasher attended a meeting at Tuckahoe WMA with Game Management personnel and representatives from the State Archaeologists office. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss a security plan for the Revolutionary War battlefield site located on the property. After the meeting, officers apprehended a subject operating a metal detector on the WMA. A citation was issued for using an electronic device on state property.
On March 14, RFC Clint Jarriel traveled to an area near Collins where he previously located possible turkey bait (cracked corn). After a brief foot patrol of the property two adults and two youth were located hunting from ground blinds in the bait area. Both adults were charged for hunting big game over bait.
Region III- Thomson (East Central)
WASHINGTON COUNTY Corporal Micheal Crawley and K9 Storm were patrolling for turkey hunting activity near Linton in Washington County. Corporal Crawley found a vehicle parked on the edge of the road. Crawley suspected the driver of the vehicle was turkey hunting out of season. After several hours of surveillance Crawley approached the suspect who was in camo pants and t-shirt. Crawley questioned the subject about turkey hunting. The subject denied having a gun or any hunting equipment. Crawley took the subjects information down and told the subject he was free to leave. The subject left as Crawley deployed K9 Storm to assist Crawley with finding the gun. Within a few minutes the subject returned to the scene and admitted to Crawley he had been hunting. He admitted he had saw a vehicle parked several hundred yards down the road and got scared so he hid his gun and turkey vest. Crawley, K9 Storm and the subject returned to the woods to find the vest and gun buried in a pile of brush. The subject was charged with hunting out of season.
On March 9, Cpl. Payne patrolled Richmond County checking private properties for turkey bait. While checking a hunt club off Story Mill Rd. he observed a fox in a leg hold trap. He then found additional traps located on the property. None of the traps had tags showing who they belonged to. As Cpl. Payne attempted to set up surveillance a truck pulled into the property. He questioned the subject in the vehicle and learned that he put the traps out. Cpl. Payne checked his license but the subject had no trapping license. He did not have a catch pole either. The subject stated he was only coyote hunting and did not know about the fox, but had killed a possum in another trap yesterday. Cpl. Payne assisted with getting the fox out of the trap and taking up all traps on the property. Citations were written for trapping without a license and failure to carry a choke stick. Warnings were issued for trapping out of season and failure to put tags on traps
On March 15th, RFC Robert Timmerman apprehended two adults and two juveniles who were hunting turkeys over a baited area. The action was a result from an original complaint of hunting out of season. The adults were cited and released.
On March 14th, Cpl. Ryan Swain, RFC Robert Timmerman and Ranger Michael Madden participated in an anthrax drill at Warren County High School. The Rangers provided traffic control to role players who were being treated for anthrax exposure.
On March 8, 2015 Cpl. Randy Aspinwall was patrolling the Sandsavilla WMA for illegal activity. He checked a couple of hog hunters. One of the hunters did not have a hunting license or WMA stamp. Neither hunter had fluorescent orange on as required. Citations were written for the violations. On March 8, 2015 Cpl. Randy Aspinwall was patrolling the Pennhollway WMA for illegal activity. He checked a group of four hog hunters. None of the hunters were wearing the required fluorescent orange vest. Citations were written to the group. Aspinwall then gave the hunters fluorescent orange vests so they could continue hunting
On March 14th, RFC Jack Thain and Cpl. Jay Morgan conducted a Joint Enforcement Agreement (JEA) patrol from St. Catherine’s Sound to Ossabaw Sound checking for snapper/grouper fishermen returning from the offshore reefs. Later that day, Cpl. Morgan checked King’s Ferry boat ramp on the Ogeechee River, checking several boaters and fishermen. One boater, who was 20 years old, was arrested for operating a vessel under the influence after giving a breath test with a reading of 0.060. The legal limit for persons under 21 years of age is 0.020. The operator was also cited for possession of alcoholic beverages by an underage person. On the evening of March 14th, Ranger Jason Miller observed a boat without any lights heading out onto the Ogeechee River from the public boat ramp at Ft. McAllister. RFC Jack Thain arrived to assist as the two rangers waited for the boat to return. They later saw the boat return to the ramp without any navigation lights on and cited the operator for operating a vessel without any lights during hours of darkness