Report from California
"I like it when people help me do my job."
It wasn't the comment of a lazy employee, but the upbeat response of a state game warden because of the efforts of a west Tehama County rancher who helped bring about a 60-day jail sentence and $2,700 fine for a Red Bluff man who trespassed and poached a wild pig on the ranch property more than a year ago.
Tehama County Superior Court Judge John Garaventa on April 5 handed the sentence to a 33-year-old man, after the man pleaded guilty to charges of trespassing to hunt, hunting illegally and failing to possess state pig tags while hunting wild pigs.
A second participant in the poaching, a 23-year-old from Corning, was fined $685. A third suspect was a juvenile.
Department of Fish and Game warden DeWayne Little said his investigation began with a phone call from the rancher on December 28, 1998, in which the caller described three men in a pickup truck who sped past him as he attempted to confront them on his ranch.
DFG said the Lowery Road rancher obeserved a hunting-dog box in the back of the truck and a 300-pound black-and-white wild pig strapped to the top of the box. The rancher said he had to jump aside as the truck drove around him.
Little said the rancher spotted the suspects in Red Bluff and called the game warden on a cell phone. Little said he caught up with the trio shortly after it had left a car wash. The dog box and pig were gone, he said.
Later, film from a camera carried by the suspects was developed and showed the juvenile kneeling beside a dead, black-and-white pig. The rancher's son also found a hunting dog wearing a collar with one of the suspects' name on it.
The pig was never found.
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