Enforcement

Father and Son Arrested for Deer Hunting Violations

Release Date: 11/28/2012

Nov. 28, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a father and son for alleged deer hunting violations on Nov. 20 in Avoyelles Parish.

Agents arrested Gregory S. Gautreaux, 44, of Turkey Creek, and his son Gregory R. Gautreaux, 21, also of Turkey Creek and booked them into the Avoyelles Parish Jail. 

Gregory S. Gautreaux was cited for selling deer meat, possession of an illegally taken deer, failing to comply with deer tagging regulations, hunting without resident hunting or big game licenses, careless operation of a vehicle and driving under a suspended license.  Gregory R. Gautreaux was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, hunting without resident hunting and big game licenses, failing to wear hunters orange, hunting on a wildlife management area (WMA) without a WMA hunting permit, hunting with a gun in a bow hunting area, illegal access of an WMA and no WMA self-clearing permit.

Agents were alerted on Nov. 20, 2012 by a tip from the public about a small red car parked on the Acadian Conservation Corridor WMA.  When agents responded they spotted an individual standing on the WMA holding a gun in a bow hunting only area.  When the subject observed the agents truck he went back into the woods.

At the same time agents observed the red car they got a description of earlier perform a U-turn on Interstate 49 and cut through the median to pick up the hunter on the WMA.  Agents stopped the car for the traffic infraction and identified Gregory S. Gautreaux as the driver.  After a few minutes, agents were able to apprehend Gregory R. Gautreaux in the woods.

Agents also located a loaded 12-gauge shotgun with buckshot near where they apprehended Gregory R. Gautreaux.  During the investigation agents learned that a six-point buck was sold by Gregory S. Gautreaux to Bryan K. Fontenot, 41, of Ville Platte for $80.  Agents were able to recover the deer meat and the rack.

Agents charged Fontenot for buying deer meat and possession of an illegally taken deer.

Selling deer meat brings a $500 to $750 fine and 15 to 30 days in jail.  Possession of illegally taken deer carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Failing to comply with deer tagging regulations, hunting without a WMA permit, hunting with a gun in a bow hunting area, illegal access of a WMA and hunting on a WMA without a self-clearing permit brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.  Hunting without resident hunting and big game licenses, and hunting without wearing hunter’s orange brings a $50 fine for each offense

Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon brings a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and 10 to 20 years in jail.  Careless operation brings up to a $180 fine and up to 30 days in jail.  Driving under a suspended license carries up to a $500 fine and up to six months in jail.

Agents participating in the case are Sgts. Travis Huval, Scott Fontenot, and Gabe Guidry, and Senior Agents Ryan Faul, Jay Callegari, Steve Vidrine, Danon Maricle, and Brandon Fontenot.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Authorities Locate Missing Hunter

Release Date: 11/13/2012

Nov. 13, 2012 -- Search and rescue personnel located a missing hunter alive at 12:45 p.m. today, Nov. 13, on the bank of Grand Lake in St. Bernard Parish.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents, St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies and the U.S. Coast Guard found Daniel Madere, 25, of Metairie, after searching for him most of the morning.

According to Madere and his hunting partners, they were crossing Grand Lake on their way to their duck blinds at 5:15 a.m.  Madere’s duck blind partner noticed that Madere was not at the blind when he was supposed to be there and doubled back to see if he was having trouble.  After a brief search of the area, Madere’s duck blind partner called authorities to assist in the search.

Madere’s 16 foot flat bottom boat sank in Grand Lake in rough water.  Madere was wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) and was able to grab another PFD to hold as he made his way to the bank.

Search and rescue personnel were able to get dry clothes for Madere and transported him back to the launch near Delacroix where a medical staff was waiting to check his condition.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Search and Rescue Personnel Locate Missing Hunter

Release Date: 11/06/2012

Nov. 6, 2012 -- Search and rescue authorities found a missing hunter alive on the Sabine Island Wildlife Management Area (WMA) shortly after Midnight on Nov. 6.

Authorities found Virgil Conway, 74, of Vinton, at 12:15 a.m. this morning on the WMA after he became disoriented and could not find his way back to his boat.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents were notified at 6:45 p.m. on Nov. 5 about an overdue hunter on the WMA.  LDWF agents immediately coordinated a search effort with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, Ward 7 Fire Department and public volunteers who knew Conway and where he usually hunted.

Conway left to go hunting at 5 a.m. on Nov. 5, which was his last contact with family.  He launched his aluminum flat bottom boat to go to one of his familiar hunting spots on the Sabine Island WMA.  After hunting, Conway could not find his way back to his boat and was lost.  His family then contacted authorities when he did not arrive home at his usual time.

Authorities located his boat at 7:30 p.m. and almost five hours later found Conway at least a mile away from where his boat was found.  After Conway could not find his way back to his boat, he found an area that he could stay until help arrived.  He only had three shotgun shells and shot two of them into the air after dark in an effort to alert searchers of his location.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2465.

Former Chauvin Resident Arrested for Outstanding Warrants and Possession of Firearm by a Convicted Felon

Release Date: 10/30/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a man for allegedly possessing a firearm by a convicted felon and migratory game bird violations on Oct. 27 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents arrested Christopher Verdin, 35, of Georgia who recently moved from Chauvin, for possessing a 12 gauge shotgun by a convicted felon.  Verdin was convicted of distributing cocaine in 2006. 

Agents received a complaint from the public about Verdin duck hunting in the Chauvin area.  Agents arrived on the scene at 7 a.m. on Oct. 27 and observed Verdin hunting ducks.  At 8:30 a.m. agents made contact with Verdin and found him in possession of one mottled duck, one teal and four ibis.

Agents cited Verdin for hunting ducks during a closed season, taking ibis for which there is no season, violating the non-toxic shot requirement, field possession of migratory game birds (MGBs), harvesting MGBs during a closed season, hunting MGBs without the required harvest information program (HIP) certification, hunting MGBs with an unplugged shotgun, hunting without a basic hunting license and hunting MGBs without state and federal duck stamps.

Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon carries a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and 10 to 20 years in jail.  Hunting without a basic license brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.  For the remaining eight charges, Verdin faces a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each charge. 

During the background check, agents learned that Verdin had three outstanding warrants in Terrebonne Parish for back child support and traffic violations.  Agents booked him into the Terrebonne Parish jail.

Agents participating in the case are Lt. Joseph Arnaud, Sgt. Bryan Marie and Senior Agent Louis Burnett.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Agents Arrest Pontchartrain Blue Crab Owner

Release Date: 10/29/2012

 

Oct. 29, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested Gary M. Bauer, owner of Pontchartrain Blue Crab, for filing false public records and injuring public records in accordance with an arrest warrant issued by East Baton Rouge Parish.

Agents conducted an inspection of purchase records of commercial fish by Ponchartrain Blue Crab from commercial fishermen.  During the inspection, agents determined that Pontchartrain Blue Crab failed to report to the LDWF, by way of the trip ticket system, the purchase of 170,215 pounds of blue crab, 104,489 pounds of shrimp, 8,564 soft shell crab, 2,122 pounds of sheepshead, 5 pounds of flounder, and 113 pounds of black drum from January 2010 through July 2011.

An arrest warrant was obtained by agents in East Baton Rouge Parish on Oct. 25 for the owner of Pontchartrain Blue Crab, Gary M. Bauer, 54, of Slidell for 18 counts of filing false public records and 18 counts of injuring public records.  Bauer was notified of the warrants and turned himself into agents on Oct. 26.

LDWF routinely reviews every trip ticket received from the commercial fishing industry to ensure that the most accurate data are collected and properly reflect the important role the state of Louisiana plays in the production of seafood and the management of the state's seafood resources.

Filing false public records and injuring public records each brings up to five years with or without hard labor or up to a $5,000 fine for each count.

Agents involved in the case are Senior Agents Robert Turner, Louis Burnett, and Edward Ridgel.  The investigation for this case is ongoing.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Two Men Charged With Numerous Night Hunting Violations

Release Date: 10/29/2012

Oct. 29, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited two men for alleged night hunting violations and cruelty to animals on Oct. 27 in East Baton Rouge and East Feliciana parishes.

During the early morning hours of Oct. 27, agents received information of possible night hunting activity in the northern section of East Baton Rouge Parish.  Agents investigated the area and found Ryan Stogner, 20, of Denham Springs, and Nicholas Tarver, 21, of Zachary, involved in night hunting activities.

After further investigation, agents were able to track and locate a white tail doe deer the pair had shot and killed earlier in the night off of Pride/Port Hudson Road.  Agents also learned that the two men had shot and killed a personally owned malamute husky belonging to a couple in East Feliciana Parish along Hwy. 409 earlier in the night.

Agents cited the two men with two counts each for taking deer during illegal hours, taking deer from a public road, hunting from a moving vehicle, hunting without basic and big game licenses and violating deer tagging regulations in East Baton Rouge and East Feliciana parishes.  Stogner was also cited for discharging a firearm from a public road in both parishes.  Both men were also cited for aggravated cruelty to animals in East Feliciana Parish for killing the husky.

Agents seized one whitetail deer along with one malamute husky, a Remington .308 rifle with scope and a Q-beam spotlight.

Hunting or taking deer during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each count.  Hunting or taking deer from a public road carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each count.  Hunting from a moving vehicle brings a $250 to 500 and up to 90 days in jail for each count.  Hunting without basic and big game licenses carries a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail for each count.  Violating deer tagging regulations brings a $100 to $300 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each count.  Discharging a firearm from a public road carries a $50 fine and up to 30 days in jail for each count.

Aggravated cruelty to animals brings a $5,000 to $25,000 fine and between one and 10 years in prison plus possible court ordered physiological evaluation.

In addition to the criminal penalties, both men are subject to pay restitution in the amount of $800 to $1,000 for the malamute husky back to the owners and $1,624.61 for the deer to the state.

Agents participating in this case were Sgt. Randy Lanoux and Lt. Will Roberts.  Deputies from the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office also assisted agents in this case.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2465.

Successful Search and Rescue Mission Results in Finding Two Overdue Boaters

Release Date: 10/27/2012

Search and rescue authorities found two missing boaters alive on Grand Lake this morning, Oct. 27 after a 12 hour search.

Tyler Smith, 24, of Iota, and Gus Atkinson, 28, of Gueydan, were found by search and rescue personnel at 9 a.m. this morning at Cypress Island in the northern section of Grand Lake.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents were notified at 9 p.m. on Oct. 26 about two overdue boaters in the Grand Lake and Lake Arthur areas.  LDWF agents immediately coordinated a search effort throughout the night with the U.S. Coast Guard, Cameron Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Smith and Atkinson launched their 14 foot aluminum flat bottom boat from the Hwy. 14 boat launch on Lake Arthur.  By 1:30 p.m. they were fishing at the “Catfish Locks” on Grand Lake.  At 5 p.m. family members notified the two fishermen of a storm kicking up in the area. 

The men started to make their way back to the Hwy. 14 launch, but ran into heavy winds and waves that swamped their boat.  They were able to walk their boat to the shore area and bail out the water and get back underway.  However, shortly thereafter the 25 horsepower motor quit working and they were unable to get it started again.  The men lost communications and decided to drag the boat to the shore area at Cypress Island and wait until help arrived.  Family members notified authorities at 9 p.m. who searched until they found them this morning at 9 a.m.

“These men did a lot of right things to survive this ordeal.  The most important thing they did was that they had a float plan by notifying family beforehand where they would be fishing and the family knew about what time they should be back,” said Capt. Robert Buatt, who coordinated the search.  “This float plan allowed the family to make a decision early on that they were missing and needed help.  The men also were able to get the boat to an area that was less turbulent and safe once they knew they were not going to make it back to the launch.”

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2465.

Migratory Game Bird Violations Lead to Five Guilty Pleas and Fines

Release Date: 10/24/2012

Oct. 24, 2012 -- Two Vermilion Parish men pled guilty in the U.S. Western District Court of Louisiana in Lafayette on Oct. 17 for migratory game bird violations.

Ryan Frederick, 23, of Kaplan, and Dustin Fontenot, 23, of Abbeville pled guilty to taking over the daily bag limit of white-fronted geese, hunting geese with an electronic calling device and for failing to maintain custody of their birds in the field.

Judge Patrick Hanna ordered Frederick and Fontenot to each pay a total of $2,155 in fines and fees and placed them on two years of probation, which includes no hunting of any migratory game birds.

In connection with this case, Zayne Greene, 23, Robert Russo, 21, and Drew Laborde, 21, all from Abbeville, pled guilty outside of court at an earlier date to hunting geese with an electronic calling device and failing to maintain custody of their birds in the field. These three men each paid $1,770 in fines and fees.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents observed Frederick and Fontenot on an afternoon hunt north of Kaplan on Jan. 12, 2012.  When agents attempted to make contact with Frederick and Fontenot, the two threw geese into a nearby canal to hide them.  Agents recovered 17 white-fronted geese and five snow geese from the canal and an electronic calling device used during the hunt after making contact with Frederick and Fontenot.

After further investigation, agents learned that Greene, Russo and Laborde participated in the hunt earlier in the afternoon in which the electronic calling device was used.  Greene, Russo and Laborde also left harvested birds in the field.

Senior Agents Justin Sonnier and Lonnie Campbell investigated this case, which was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett L. Grayson.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Agents Investigating Fatal Hunting Incident

Release Date: 10/19/2012

Oct. 19, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are investigating a fatal hunting incident that took the life of a Lake Charles man in Allen Parish.

The Reeves Police Department received a report on Oct. 18 about a truck that had been parked on the side of Hwy. 190 near Rodeo Pen Road in Reeves for two to three days and notified the Allen Parish Sheriff’s Office (APSO).

A sheriff’s office deputy found the truck and noticed a trail into the woods.  After walking the trail for approximately 100 yards, the deputy found the body of Donald C. Hodge Sr., 60, shortly after 5 p.m. on Oct. 18.

The APSO deputy found Hodge under a tree with a lock on type deer stand lying next to him with what appeared to be broken straps that would normally secure the stand to the tree.  Authorities did not find a safety harness attached to Hodge or the tree.

His body was turned over to the Allen Parish Coroner’s Office.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency and do not suspect foul play.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Houma Man Charged with Deer Hunting Violations and Drug Possession

Release Date: 10/17/2012

Oct. 17, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Houma man for alleged deer hunting and drug violations on Oct. 11 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents were on patrol in Terrebonne Parish when they made contact with Ryan Young, 34.  Agents found Young in possession of an untagged doe deer that he had harvested with his bow and arrow.  Young was hunting in Area 6, which had a bucks only season with bow and arrows until Oct. 16.

Agents also found Young in illegal possession of marijuana.

Young was charged with taking an illegal deer during the open season, failing to comply with deer tagging regulations and illegal possession of marijuana.

Taking an illegal deer during the open season brings a fine of $500 to $750 and 15 to 30 days in jail.  Failing to comply with deer tagging regulations carries a possible fine of $100 to $350 and up to 60 days in jail.  Illegal possession of marijuana brings a fine up to $500 and up to six months in jail.

In addition to the fines, Young faces civil restitution for the value of the illegally taken deer in the amount of $1624.61.

Agents involved in the case are Senior Agents Dean Aucoin and Stephen Rhodes.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

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