The following is a selection of incidents reported by rangers with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Law Enforcement Division during the first two weeks of April:
Region V- Albany (Southwest)
On April 6th, Sgt. Rick Sellars conducted a patrol on an area where an illegal trap set was located during earlier
patrols. The trap consisted of a live rooster in a cage with snares set around the perimeter. During this patrol, a
turkey hunter was located on the property and was found to be hunting without the required licenses. The
hunter also admitted to setting up the trap on the property. The subject was cited for non-resident hunting
without a license, hunting without a big game license, trapping with an unlawful device, and trapping without a
non-resident trapping license.
On April 7th, RFC Tony Cox responded to a landowner complaint of subjects that had possibly poached a turkey
on his property earlier. The landowner had been sent a video that the poachers had taken while killing a turkey,
and believed that it was on his property. RFC Cox met with the complainant and viewed the video. He then
conducted a foot patrol of the property locating and gathering evidence in the area where the video was taken.
On April 9th, RFC Cox interviewed the three suspects and all admitted to poaching the turkey on March 24th.
The turkey was located and confiscated, and warrants were taken on the three subjects for hunting on lands of
another without permission.
On April 11th, Cpl. Steve Robinson encountered two subjects hunting turkeys. One of the subjects was found to be
hunting without license and cited for non-resident hunting without a license and non-resident hunting big game
without a license.
That evening Cpl. Robinson was patrolling Rood Creek Park and after checking several people fishing from the bank
in the park, two subjects were encountered fishing without a license. The two individuals were issued citations for
fishing without a license. One of the subjects had outstanding warrants in Sumter County. Once the warrants were
verified the individual was turned over to Stewart County Sheriff’s Office.
On Saturday evening April 11th, Cpl. Steve Robinson was patrolling Chattahoochee County for fishing activity. Two
individuals were encountered fishing from the bank at River Bend Park. The two individuals did not have fishing
license and were issued citations for fishing without a license.
Region I- Calhoun (Northwest)
On April 11th, Rangers Mark Puig and Shane Brown, Ranger First Class Chad Cox and several US Park Service
officers conducted a joint special detail on the Chattahoochee River at the Morgan Falls Dam. Utilizing
undercover and surveillance officers targeting state and federal resource crimes several violations were
observed and addressed throughout the day.
On April 12th, RFC Zack Hardy responded to the Etowah River with Bartow County Fire/ Rescue to a call for
assistance. Five teenage females began a float trip down the river in blow up rafts at Douthit Ferry Rd. While
on the river the water level began to rise and the females became concerned, stopped on a small island and
called 911 for help. RFC Hardy assisted in getting the females off the river safely. The group did not have any
PFD’s (lifejackets), RFC Hardy took no enforcement action for not having PFD’s. RFC Hardy did stress the
importance of knowing water conditions, generation schedule and PFD’s to the group.
On April 12th Cpl. James Keener, Cpl. Casey Jones, and RFC Joe Hill patrolled the delayed harvest section of
the Toccoa River, Rock Creek, and Noontootla Creek for trout fishing violations. The Rangers receive
numerous complaints concerning violations on these three trout streams. The Rangers checked approximately
50 persons fishing and issued citations and warnings for fishing without a license, fishing without a trout
license, unlawful bait in an artificial stream/zone, unlawful possession of trout on a delayed harvest stream, and
fishing with unlawful equipment.
Region II- Gainesville (Northeast)
On April 9th, Sgt. Steve Seitz and Cpl. Derek Dillard received a call from White County EMS to assist with the
recovery of an injured hiker on the Appalachian Trail. The female hiker had been bitten by a spider and was
having an allergic reaction. White County EMS had requested a GSP helicopter to help extract the victim from
this remote area on the trail. Sgt. Seitz and Cpl. Dillard responded to the area of Low Gap Road near the trail.
The EMS personnel were able to bring the victim out on the ground where she was transported to the hospital
by ambulance. While the officers were on the scene of this search and rescue mission, they received another call
of a fisherman on the Chattahoochee River about a mile below the check in station in the Wildlife Management
Area (WMA) had fallen and broke his ankle. This victim could not walk and needed to be carried out of the
woods. The GSP helicopter crew analyzed the situation and determined the victim could not he hauled out by
air because of the remote/rugged terrain. Cpl. Dillard called Wildlife Tech 4 Scott Barderwerper to respond to
the area to assist the EMS. Sgt. Seitz responded to the area as well. The rescuers had to haul the victim out
about a mile from the river to the WMA check station in a basket where he was placed into an ambulance and
taken to the hospital.
On April 10th, RFC Anne Britt Patrolled Smithgall Woods state park and warned a fisherman from Michigan for
not having a valid non-resident trout license while fishing on Dukes Creek. RFC Britt checked two turkey
hunters that had been hunting on the Chattahoochee WMA off Alt. 75. One hunter was cited for not having a
WMA license and warned for having an expired big game license. The other hunter was warned for not having
his shotgun plugged. RFC Britt then patrolled Unicoi State Park and checked several fishing licenses on Unicoi
Lake. RFC Britt warned 1 adult male for not having a fishing license and consuming alcoholic beverages on the
State Park. RFC Britt also warned an adult female for not having a fishing license. RFC Britt then patrolled the
Chattahoochee WMA for fishing and turkey hunting activity. She warned a man and his wife for not having
Region VI- Metter (Southeast)
On April 5th, Ranger Daniel North was patrolling Register Road for turkey hunting activity when he observed
individuals catching their hounds on the side of the road. Ranger North spoke with the suspects who advised
that they were training their hounds for deer season. A loaded .22 caliber rifle was found inside of the truck
between the passenger and driver seats. A violation of possession of illegal equipment (firearm) while training
dogs was documented. Verbal guidance was given to the individuals about the legality of running deer with
dogs out of season.
On April 9th, Ranger First Class Allen Mills assisted the Dodge County Board of Education with the removal of
a Hog Nose snake from the building. Many employees of the board were extremely pleased with RFC Mills’
assistance. The snake was relocated to a more suitable habitat and released unharmed.
On April 8th, Corporal John A Stokes investigated a complaint about a subject having an alligator at his house.
The violator had caught the gator on the river and took it home to show his daughter and returned it back to the
river; the violation was documented.
On April 12, Corporal Shaymus McNeely conducted a patrol of Tuckahoe WMA for turkey hunting, boating
and fishing activity. Cpl. McNeely encountered two female suspects operating a metal detector at the Briar
Creek landing off of Brannens Bridge Rd. Citations were issued for operating a metal detector on state property.
On April 11th, Corporal John A Stokes investigated a complaint about two violators killing a goose out of
season. The subjects were asked to meet Cpl. Stokes at the Ben Hill sheriff’s office where they both admitted to
killing the goose. Two violations were documented for hunting out of season.
On the night of April 11th, Cpl. Altman and Sgt. Barnard answered a call about two stranded vessels on the
Altamaha River around 9:30 pm. They were two small kids on board and four total adults, who were stranded
with motor trouble down river from Plant Hatch. Both boats were located and checked on, before loading all
occupants aboard the patrol vessels and towing them and the boats back to the nearest landings. No one was
injured or required medical attention.
On April 14th, Corporal Jason Shipes received a call from Superior Pine Products in reference to a large amount
of debris and house hold garbage being dumped onto their property. Cpl. Shipes responded to the area and
inspected the site. The name and address was found within the debris of an individual who lived in Homerville.
Cpl. Shipes was able to locate the subject at the residence. After a brief interview, the subject admitted to
dumping the debris. A citation for littering was issued to the individual.
On April 18th, Sergeant Patrick Dupree, Corporal Jason Shipes, Ranger Judd Sears, and Ranger Sam Williams
assisted Echols County Sheriff’s Department and the Georgia State Patrol with a license and sobriety
checkpoint near Statenville. As Ranger Williams arrived to assist, he noticed the driver of the truck in front of
him begin to lean over in the seat and appeared to be hiding something in the floorboard of the truck as they
approached officers standing in the highway at the checkpoint. While the subject was reaching down in the
floorboard, Ranger Williams observed two objects fall from underneath the center of the vehicle onto the
roadway. Ranger Williams immediately stopped his truck to determine what had fallen out of the vehicle and
located a pipe and small bag containing a white substance suspected to be methamphetamine. Ranger Williams
alerted the officers at the vehicle and a brief look inside the vehicle revealed a hole that had been cut in the
floorboard behind the gear shifter which allowed the driver to drop the items from inside the truck. The driver
of the vehicle was arrested on drug possession charges. Several other individuals were arrested during the
checkpoint for various violations including possession of marijuana, DUI, and driver’s license violations.
Region III- Thomson (East Central)
On April 18, Cpl. Derrell Worth was working a without permission complaint and located a truck parked on
said property. Cpl. Worth was able to locate the subjects and it was determined they were surface collecting
arrowheads. As Cpl. Worth identified himself, one of the subjects attempted to throw an item onto the ground.
This item was a bagged green leafy substance which was suspected marijuana. One subject was cited for
violation of Georgia Controlled Substance Act and Criminal Trespass. The other subject was cited for Criminal
On April 18, Cpl. Derrell Worth and RFC Ricky Boles responded to Sugar Creek Boat ramp in reference to an
illegal fishing complaint. Upon their arrival, several Asian male subjects were engaged in the removal of game
fish by the use of gill and cast nets. Four male subjects were properly identified, cited for fishing by illegal
methods, and cited for illegal use of gill nets. The subjects were transported to the Putnam County Law
Enforcement Center for booking. The netted fish were seized and given to a thankful family.