Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited three Louisianans for alleged deer hunting violations on Jan. 24 in Tangipahoa Parish.
Agents cited Brandon McElveen, 27, of Mt. Hermon, Todd Sigrist, 47, of Kentwood, and Rainey Thibodeaux, 33, of Kentwood, for hunting without basic hunting and big game licenses, no possession of deer tags, taking deer using illegal methods, taking over the daily limit of deer and possession of illegally taken deer. McElveen and Sigrist were also cited for taking deer during illegal hours, hunting from a moving vehicle, hunting from a public road and taking over the yearly limit of deer.
Agents additionally cited McElveen for discharging a firearm from a public road. Sigrist was additionally cited for illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, driving under suspension and possession of untagged deer. Thibodeaux was also cited for not wearing the required amount of hunters orange clothing.
Agents seized 11 deer and two rifles in the case.
From Jan. 13 to Jan. 23 agents received many public tips about night hunting activities taking place in the Kentwood Springs Creek area. After setting up surveillance in the area and investigating the complaints further, agents learned that it might be Sigrist who was night hunting.
Agents went to Sigrist’s residence on Jan. 24 and saw a freshly killed deer hanging from a tree in the yard in plain view. After talking to some family members, agents received permission to look around in the yard. After a brief search, agents found six ice chests with 10 deer quartered up inside. When Sigrist arrived home, agents questioned him about illegal night hunting activities in the area. Sigrist said he was present when the deer were taken illegally during the past 10 days by Thibodeaux and McElveen.
Thibodeaux admitted to taking her deer during legal shooting hours, but using a rifle below the required .22 caliber center fire requirement. McElveen also admitted to killing seven deer at night during illegal shooting hours from a public road. None of the subjects possessed deer tags, basic hunting or big game licenses.
Illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon carries a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and 10 to 20 years in jail. Driving while under suspension brings up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.
Taking deer during illegal hours carries a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Possession of illegally taken deer brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days of jail. Taking deer using illegal methods, taking over the daily and yearly limits of deer, possession of untagged deer and hunting from a moving vehicle each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. Not possessing deer tags, discharging a firearm from a public road and taking deer from a public road each brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail. Hunting without basic hunting and big game licenses and not wearing the required amount of hunters orange each brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.
The three subjects may also face up to $17,870 in civil restitution charges for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer.
Agents involved in the case are Lt. Cullen Sellers, Sgt. Toby Miller and Senior Agent Lee Davis.
A Port Sulphur pleaded guilty on Jan. 22 in Plaquemines Parish to commercial fishing violations.
Nelson C. Williams III, 39 pleaded guilty for taking commercial fish without a commercial license, taking commercial fish without a vessel license, taking oysters from unleased state water bottoms, violations of the states sanitation code and a third offense of taking oysters from an unapproved area.
Judge Kevin Conner with the 25th Judicial District sentenced Williams to pay a fine of $2,799 including court costs and 210 days of jail suspended. He also sentenced Williams to 40 hours of community service in a parish litter abatement program, revoked his 2015 commercial oyster licenses and that he have a vessel monitoring system installed on any vessel he harvests oysters for period of one year.
The guilty plea stems from an incident that occurred on Feb. 8, 2014 when Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents found Williams harvesting oysters in an area closed to pollution near Port Sulphur. Upon further investigation Williams had no licenses for that year and also had not filled out his log book as required by law.
Jerry Lobrano with the District Attorney Charles Ballay’s office prosecuted the case.
Agents involved in the case were Sgts. Adam Young and Villere Reggio.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited two Louisiana men for alleged migratory game bird violations on Jan. 18 in Acadia Parish.
Agents cited Matthew Castile, 34, of Lafayette, and Jeremy Soileau, 32, of Ville Platte, for over the limit of ducks, wanton waste of migratory game birds and failing to comply with personal flotation device (PFD) regulations.
Agents observed Castile and Soileau hunting from a pirogue on Bayou Mallet and Agents saw Castile exit the pirogue from the Bayou just before Hwy. 98 with a large stringer full of ducks and hide them behind a tree. Castile and Soileau carried their pirogue up the bank to Castile's truck with another load of ducks.
Agents made contact with Castile and Soileau and were able to retrieve the hidden ducks. Agents found the men with a total of 46 ducks consisting of 26 teal, 11 wood ducks, eight mallards and one pintail. The men also didn’t possess a PFD in the pirogue. The legal limit of ducks is six in aggregate per person per day making the men 34 ducks over the limit.
Taking or possessing over the limit of ducks and wanton waste each brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Failing to comply with PFD regulations brings up to a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.
Agents involved in this case are Sgt. Keith Dellahoussaye, Senior Agent Donald Murray, Senior Agent Derek Logan and Senior Agent Jason Stagg.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited 15 Louisiana residents for alleged duck hunting violations on Jan. 17 in Acadia Parish.
Agents cited Blake Zaunbrecher, 22, John Gates, 17, Mason Menard, 26, Jordan Comeaux, 23, Millard Conques, 19, Caleb Robichaux, 18, Martin Dischler, 37, and Drake Conques, 22, all of Rayne; Bryce Credeur, 17, and James Richard, 17, both of Crowley; Brantley Yeager, 29, and Reese Besse, 18, both of Church Point; and Dustin Reiners, 18, of Branch, with wanton waste of migratory game birds.
Thomas Garrett III, 55, of Rayne, was cited with using lead shot in an area designated as steel shot. Scott Johnson, 53, of Rayne, was cited with hunting without a state duck license and a federal duck stamp. Martin Dischler was also cited for contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. Caleb Robichaux was also cited for hunting without a resident hunting license, state duck license and a federal stamp.
Agents received a tip on Jan. 16 about a large group of people hunting at the Rayne sewer plant with the possibility of over the limit of ducks occurring the next day.
On Jan. 17, agents watched as the hunters surrounded a large pond inside of the fenced in plant and observed the men shoot at ducks in the pond. After the hunt was over, agents observed all but one of the hunters leave the hunting area and return to their vehicles and begin to leave the area. Agents approached the hunters and checked them for hunting regulation compliance. Agents discovered that Robichaux and Johnson did not have the proper licenses to hunt ducks and that Garrett was using lead shot to hunt ducks.
Agents then went to the pond and discovered several ducks and coots left out on the banks and in the water of the pond. Agents seized a total of 89 ducks and 72 coots.
Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Keith Delahouyasse, Sgt. David Sanford, Senior Agent Buddy Murray, Senior Agent Jason Stagg and Senior Agent Justin Lowry.
Louisiana Department Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division Agents arrested two men for alleged night hunting activity and narcotic violations on Jan. 18 in Morehouse Parish.
Agents arrested Timothy Woodard, 38, and Randall Simmons, 43, both of Bastrop, for hunting wild game quadrupeds during illegal hours, possession methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.
Agents were investigating illegal night hunting activity in agricultural wheat fields in the area of Viney Woods Road and Fluker Road when they observed Woodard and Simmons actively night hunting with artificial light. After making contact, agents located a readily accessible rifle and methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia inside the vehicle. The men were taken into custody and transported to Morehouse Parish Jail.
Hunting wild game quadrupeds with an artificial light brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. Possession of methamphetamine brings up to a $5,000 fine and five years in jail. Possession of drug paraphernalia carries up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.
Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Josh Estis, Sgt. James Hagan, Senior Agent Wendell Weeks and Senior Agent Ray Ellerbe.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Gretna man for alleged charter guide fishing violations in Plaquemines Parish.
Agents cited Blake A. Mitchell, 29, for not having charter guide licenses, not having proof of adequate liability insurance on his vessel and not having proof of registration on his vessel.
Agents received complaints of illegal guiding practices in the area of Port Sulphur located in Plaquemines Parish. When Mitchell arrived back at the boat launch with saltwater finfish that were taken by means of bow the customers were interviewed at which point they stated the agreed upon price for the trip was $200 per person.
Agents learned that Mitchell purchased his 2015 charter guide license online moments after he completed a for hire trip when he saw an LDWF agent approaching him. He was also cited for not having proof of liability insurance for the vessel in use and not having the boat registration in possession.
Not possessing a charter guide license and having proof of liability insurance each carries up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail. Not having registration in possession brings a $50 fine.
Agents placed a forfeiture order on Mitchell’s truck and airboat until disposition of case.
Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Adam Young and Agent Travis Bartlett.