Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Ouachita Parish resident for alleged Wildlife Management Area (WMA) violations on the Ouachita WMA.
Agents cited John Johnson, 63, of Monroe, for criminal damage to state property, intentional littering, hunting deer out of season and leaving a deer stand in a hunting position.
Agents observed Johnson returning from a deer hunt on Jan. 31 on the Ouachita WMA, which was closed for deer hunting for the youth waterfowl hunt. Agents observed Johnson discard plastic bottles on the ground and leave his deer stand in a hunting position from a few days prior.
Upon further investigation, Johnson admitted to agents that he cut 14 trees down along with 79 limbs in various sizes and diameters to clear a shooting lane. Agents cited him for criminal damage to state property on Feb. 15.
Cutting down trees on a WMA is criminal damage to state property and carries a fine up to $10,000 and up to 10 years in jail. Johnson may also face a civil restitution charge for the replacement value of the trees.
Hunting deer out of season and leaving a deer stand in a hunting position on a WMA each brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail. Intentional littering brings a $250 fine and eight hours of community service in a litter abatement work program.
Agents involved with the case are Lt. Lane Kincaid, Lt. Thomas Risser, Sgt. Scott Bullitt and Agent Joshua Harris.
LDWF is still investigating and seeking leads for information about who cut down trees on the Spring Bayou WMA in Avoyelles Parish. LDWF has found up to 100 trees cut down on the Spring Bayou WMA since early December of 2014.
LDWF has secured up to $1,000 in reward money each from the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, Spring Bayou Restoration Team and Louisiana’s Operation Game Thief. The reward now totals up to $3,000 to anyone with information that leads to the arrest in this case. Anyone with information regarding the cut down trees on the Spring Bayou WMA should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or use LDWF’s tip411 program.
To use the tip 411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the “LADWF Tips” iPhone and Android app from the Apple App Store or Google Play free of charge.
For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or firstname.lastname@example.org.