Poaching Begets Poetic Justice
There will always be those persons in the outdoors who believe game laws are in place for everyone but them. They just provide more material for the Offbeat Outdoors blog!
It Ain’t Rocket Science
It should come as no surprise to regular readers of the Offbeat Outdoors blog that those who choose to deliberately break game and fish regulations are usually not the “sharpest tools in the shed,” so to speak.
Case in point:
A convicted felon prohibited by law from owning firearms or legally hunting didn’t let that stop him from an unusually bone-headed poaching attempt in Bay County, Fla. recently.
In the course of a night-time stakeout, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers Dennis Palmer and Mark Clements witnessed a man instruct his girlfriend’s 13-year-old daughter to shoot at an agency’s mechanical deer decoy—twice—while her mother illuminated the fake whitetail with their pickup truck’s headlights.
The weekly citations report from the FWC did not name the subjects involved in the incident.
According to the FWC, all three were cited for night hunting and road hunting.
Fortunately (for them), being incredibly dumb is (currently) not a criminal offense in Florida. Otherwise, beaucoup additional charges could have been applied in the case.
Fish Poaching…at the Sheriff’s Pond?
There’s no doubt that making poor choices leads to most poaching and game law violations. Take for example a trio of Georgia anglers who recently trespassed to go fishing in a pond without the owner’s permission. And that was only their first mistake.
The pond happened to be owned by the county sheriff, who doesn’t particularly care much for trespassers.
Furthermore, the pond had been especially stocked by Madison County, Georgia Sheriff Clayton Lowe for a fishing event for underprivileged and disabled youngsters.
Earlier in the spring, Sheriff Lowe stocked the pond with about $1,200 worth of catfish and bream to offer disabled children from the county a fun day of fishing. However, in the interim, the men evidently made multiple trips to the pond, trespassing onto the property with an ATV, and catching the fish intended for the deserving youngsters.
The Associated Press reported that Brian Wallace, 35, of Comer, Ga. and Michael Fricks, 32, and Christopher Wallace, 37, both of Kannapolis, N.C., were released after spending the weekend in jail and paying a fine.
In the meantime, the sheriff paid $360 to restock the pond before the children’s fishing day.
Possession of an alligator without a permit is a misdemeanor in Florida, as is the unlicensed sale of meat or parts. So when Tyler Davidson strolled into a Sneads, Fla. garage and towing business and asked a group of men who were chewing the fat there if anyone wanted to buy some alligator legs, it suddenly turned real quiet.
“Why don’t you ask the game warden?” one of the men said to the 21-year-old, “He’s sittin’ right here.”
According to Stan Kirkland, outdoor writer and public relations director for the FWC, officer Ben Johnson was off duty and dressed in civilian clothes.
Before Johnson could say anything, the young man hightailed it to his pickup truck and fled the scene. The officer used his cell phone to call for backup and followed Davidson using his personal vehicle.
“It was kind of a tense situation for a few minutes, because Johnson had seen a .45 (cal. handgun) tucked in the man’s waistband,” Kirkland told Offbeat Outdoors.
But soon things went from bad to worse for Davidson, as his attempt to elude the officer was ended abruptly by a flat tire. Fortunately, Johnson apprehended him without incident.
Davidson was charged with possession of an illegal alligator, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit and possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana.
Kirkland offered some words of advice to anyone else who might consider the illegal sale of gator parts.
“There’s an old saying that you should always know your audience,” he said.