Game Law Violations


Golden State Game Thieves

• Warden Darr arrested a known poacher for baiting bear in the Bass Lake area. The interesting thing in this case is that the hunter was attempting to bait the bear directly into his camp by spreading rotting meat and fish around his campsite. When he was originally contacted by Forest Service personnel, he tried to explain away the stinking meat by saying that he was going to use it for crayfish bait. A further investigation by Warden Darr and a Forest Service law enforcement officer resulted in the arrest of the subject and his girlfriend for game and drug violations.

• While investigating a deer poaching case, Warden Arnold watched as a van drove by slowly with shotguns sticking out the windows. During the citation process, Arnold noticed a digital camera and asked for permission to inspect the camera. Upon review of the camera's contents, Arnold discovered photographs of the occupants shooting game out of the moving van. In one photo, the driver seems to be steering with his knees as he shoots out the driver’s window. Numerous charges are pending.

• Visalia squad wardens encountered two separate cases involving the illegal possession of live deer. In the first case, Wardens Conely and Schmidt assisted by Warden Clack seized one live deer, four ferrets and one crow. When the crow was taken into custody for evidence, a female suspect bit Conely on the hand and was arrested for assaulting a peace officer. In the second case, Wardens Wood and Marsh cited one individual for the illegal possession of a live deer.

• Warden Grove assisted the Idaho Department of Fish and Game on a deer case. A local man had obtained a resident Idaho hunting license and deer tags illegally. Grove assisted by meeting with the man and issuing him two Idaho citations, which he had received in the mail from Idaho warden Bill London. The suspect received in excess of $2,200 in fines, two days in jail and the revocation of his hunting privileges in Idaho for a period of three years.

• A case that began as a loaded gun in a vehicle and night hunting in Region 3 ended up as a deer out-of-season case filed by Warden Arnold in Kern County. In this case, the poacher had left an old newspaper in the truck of his vehicle with what appeared to be blood on it. Arnold went to the suspect’s home, explained what he had found and asked to see the deer meat. To the warden’s surprise, the suspect went to his freezer and produced the deer meat, admitting that he had taken the deer out of season. This proves that sometimes all you have to do is ask!

• Four deer cases cleared the Tuolumne County Court. The first case involved a subject who took a spike into the deer check station to have his tag validated. The hunter had recently moved from the Midwest where taking a spike is legal. The subject pleaded guilty and received a $300 fine. The second case involved an archery hunter who took a deer in a residential area and then failed to notch his tag. He pleaded guilty and paid $840. The third case also involved a subject who was hunting in a residential area. This subject was hunting with the wrong zone tag and was in possession of a loaded gun in a vehicle. He paid $755. The last case involved a hunter who shot a spike, and completed the tag but failed to notch it. The subject pleaded guilty to the two violations and paid $1,365.

• Wardens H. Spada and Marino, working on a tip from Warden Dervishian, apprehended three subjects who had illegally killed a doe at night in the Mammoth Pool area. Acting on confidential information, the wardens made contact with the suspects and were able to obtain forensic evidence in the form of blood and hair from their vehicles. Additionally, they located the hide of the animal at one of the residences where it was being dried for display. After further investigation, the suspects admitted to killing the deer.

• As a follow-up investigation from another case, Warden Nicholas charged a San Francisco Bay area resident for failing to turn in his tag and not having appropriate documentation for his deer meat after the close of the season. The hunter pleaded "no-contest" to the charges, paid a fine of $1,000 and forfeited his deer meat and antlers.

• Wardens Marino and Conley contacted a man walking along Highway 180 in the Squaw Valley area of Fresno County. The man did not have any hunting equipment with him but he was completely dressed in camouflage clothing. When asked if he was hunting, the man stated he was just going for a walk. The man was allowed to leave, but was re-contacted when the wardens found a backpack near where the subject was first contacted. The man again denied that he was hunting; but when escorted to the backpack and asked again, he admitted to hunting for turkeys. When questioned concerning his firearm, the suspect produced two shotguns located in the brush approximately 20 yards from the backpack. When asked, the suspect could not produce a valid hunting license or written permission to hunt on the private property where the equipment had been located. An inspection of the backpack also revealed a bindle of a white powdery substance which was thought to be a methamphetamine. Sheriff’s deputies were notified, and the individual was booked for possession of methamphetamine. A criminal history check also revealed that the suspect was a convicted felon. Additional charges for the non fish and game violations are pending. Prior to booking, the suspect was cited for three fish and game violations.

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