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Tip Leads to Multiple Recreational Fishing Citations in Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 10/08/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited four men for alleged recreational fishing violations on Oct. 6 in Plaquemines Parish.

Agents cited Roberto A. Escobar, 47, Leonel Escobar, 49, Oliver Banegas, 47, and Franklin Escobar, 18, all of Gretna, for possessing fish without a basic fishing license and saltwater license, possessing undersized black drum, over the limit of black drum, possessing undersized red drum and taking female crabs during a closed season.   Leonel Escobar was also cited for driving without a driver’s license.

Leonel Escobar and Roberto Escobar were arrested and booked into the Belle Chasse Lockup for multiple prior recreational fishing citations.

Agents received an anonymous tip that the four men were over their limit of black drum in Lake Hermitage.  Agents found a vehicle that matched the description from the tip and pulled it over in Belle Chasse.

Agents found two ice chests with 30 black drum, three red drum and female crabs in the bed of the truck.  None of the men possessed basic or saltwater fishing licenses.

Possessing undersized black drum, possessing over the limit of black drum, possessing undersized red drum, and taking female crabs during a closed season each carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.  Possessing fish without basic and saltwater fishing licenses each carries up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail for each offense.

The four men may also face civil restitution for the replacement value of the illegally taken fish.

Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc. Issued Monetary Rewards at Meeting

Release Date: 10/07/2019

Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc. (LOGT), a Louisiana wildlife crime-stoppers program, awarded $3,950 to diligent citizens statewide at their quarterly meeting on Oct. 2 in Mansura.

The LOGT board reviewed 12 cases that included public tips from informants.  A total of 27 subjects were apprehended and a total of 62 offenses were written in regards to the reviewed cases.

The cases reviewed and awarded money to the public for their assistance consisted of deer, migratory game bird, alligator, oyster and fishing cases.

Anyone wishing to report wildlife or fisheries violations should anonymously call LDWF’s 24-hour toll free Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or utilize LDWF's tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, tipsters can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone and Android apps.

LOGT was instituted in 1984 and provides cash rewards for information leading to the arrest of violators of fish and wildlife regulations.  Funds are raised through private donations, court directed contributions and through contributions from cooperative endeavor agreements with organizations such as the National Wild Turkey Federation and Quality Deer Management Association.

To make a donation to the LOGT that can be used for cash rewards, please contact Lt. Will Roberts at wroberts@wlf.la.gov.

Two Men Cited for Deer Hunting Violations in Lincoln Parish

Release Date: 09/24/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Agents cited two men for alleged deer hunting violations on Sept. 23 in Lincoln Parish.

Agents cited Gregory Rayner, 22, of Chatham, for taking deer during a closed season, hunting from a moving vehicle, discharging a firearm from a public roadway, hunting or taking deer from a public road, and hunting without a resident hunting license.

Agents also cited Heath Page, 38, of Choudrant for possession of an illegally taken deer and hunting without a resident hunting license. Page was later arrested by Louisiana Probation and Parole Agents for violating his probation.

Agents received information that the two men harvested a deer on Sept. 22 behind Page’s residence.  Agents made contact with Raynor and Page and the men admitted to shooting the deer from a moving vehicle on a public roadway.

Agents seized the antlerless deer and the firearm that was used to take the deer.

Hunting deer during a closed season brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Possession of an illegally taken deer carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Hunting from a moving vehicle carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Hunting deer from a public road and discharging a firearm from a public road each brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.  Hunting without a resident hunting license carries up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.

The men may also face civil restitution totaling $1,624 for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer.

Three Subjects Cited for Alligator Violations in St. Mary Parish

Release Date: 09/24/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited three subjects for alleged alligator violations on Sept. 7 in St. Mary Parish.

Agents cited Johnny P. Templet, 64, and Patricia M. Templet, 62, both of Pierre Part, for removing alligator tags, failing to maintain required records, illegal possession of alligators or skins and intentional concealment of wildlife.  Agents also cited Patricia M. Templet for failing to comply with alligator parts tagging requirements.  Agents cited Ellery A. Mayon, 72, of Morgan City, for failing to tag alligator upon taking and taking more alligators than he had tags for.

Agents received information on the night of Sept. 5 about an alligator buyer that was removing alligator tags and returning them to the hunter to be used on other alligators.  On the morning of Sept. 6, agents visited and questioned Patricia Templet at her place of business in Berwick about removing alligator tags and returning them to the hunter.

After questioning, agents determined that Patricia Templet acquired an 11-foot hide and nine-foot alligator hide and removed the tags and returned them to the hunter.  Agents also learned that Patricia Templet did not document acquiring the hides in her records and she had the hides buried on her property.

After finding where the two alligator hides were buried, agents also found a whole seven-foot alligator decomposing on the property.  Agents learned that Mayon had brought four alligators to Patricia Templet to sell, but since the seven footer on the line had drowned, she didn’t want that one and removed the tag to return to Mayon.  Then the owner of the business, Johnny Templet, put it in the back of his truck and threw it into the weeds where agents discovered the alligator.

Intentional concealment of wildlife brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Illegal possession of alligators or skins and failing to tag alligators upon taking each carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.  Failing to maintain required records brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Failing to comply with alligator parts tagging requirements, taking more alligators than you have tags and removing alligator tags each carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.

Two Men Arrested for Stealing Game Camera and Equipment

Release Date: 09/23/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents arrested two men for allegedly stealing property on Sept. 18 in Rapides Parish.

Agents arrested Ernie Jenkins, 53, of Woodworth, for illegal possession of stolen things.  Agents also arrested Kurt Wiggins, 55, of Woodworth, for theft of property.

Agents received information on Sept. 16 from a U.S. Department of Agriculture feral hog trapper that his game camera, external battery pack and camera mount were stolen from a trap site on the Kisatchie National Forest near Woodworth.  The camera was marked as being federally owned.

The camera was cellular and was still sending images to the trapper.  Agents were able to use these images to identify the person who now possessed the camera.

Agents were able to get a search warrant on Sept. 19 and searched the home of Jenkins where they found the camera, the battery pack and the mount.  Jenkins told the agents he bought the items from Wiggins.  Agents then went to Wiggins’ residence to arrest him.  Both men were brought to the Rapides Parish Detention Center.

Illegal possession of stolen things and theft of property each brings up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.  Agents seized the camera equipment and returned them to the trapper.

Port Sulphur Man Pleads Guilty to Oyster Violations

Release Date: 09/23/2019

A Port Sulphur Man pleaded guilty to commercial oyster violations and flight from an officer in the 25th Judicial District Court of Plaquemines Parish on Sept. 19.

Judge Keven Conner accepted the guilty pleas from James Phillips, 67, and sentenced him to pay fines totaling $1,500 plus courts costs and 90 days in parish prison suspended for flight from an officer, taking oysters from unleased state water bottoms and taking oysters from a polluted area.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents witnessed Phillips dredging for oysters from a vessel in a polluted area in Gran Bayou on April 4, 2019.  Agents attempted to stop the vessel, but Phillips quickly removed the dredges from the water and led agents on a vessel pursuit throughout the marshes of Port Sulphur.

Agents observed Phillips and his crew intentionally dump oysters into the water during their pursuit.  Agents chased the vessel into Sicola Canal #2 where Phillips and the other three occupants abandoned the vessel and ran down the levee.

The agent found white oyster tags with Phillips’ harvester ID on the vessel indicating the oysters were going to hit the market intended for raw consumption.  The GPS coordinates of where these oysters were harvested were inside the polluted area that was closed by the Department of Health and Hospitals.

LDWF agents obtained an arrest warrant on April 15 and set up an arrangement for Phillips to turn himself into authorities.  Phillips was subsequently booked into the Plaquemines Parish Jail.

Judge Conner also placed Phillips on six months inactive probation and ordered him to forfeit his oyster harvester license, oyster dredge license, oyster seed ground permit, and recreational oyster tong license for a period of four years.  Phillips is also forbidden from being on board any vessel that’s harvesting, possessing, possessing gear to take, or processing oysters for a period of four years.

Assistant District Attorney Jerry Lobrano prosecuted the case for the state.

Two Men Cited for Alligator Violations in Calcasieu Parish

Release Date: 09/16/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two men for alleged alligator hunting violations in Calcasieu Parish on Sept. 10.

Agents cited Jerryd Tassin, 37, of Marksville, and Hilton Rushing, 37, of Denham Springs, for taking alligators during a closed season.  Tassin was alco cited for taking alligators from an unapproved area.  Rushing was also cited for taking alligators without a license.

Agents received information about an illegal alligator hunt that took place on Aug. 30 in Avoyelles Parish.  Agents also learned that Tassin had one alligator tag for Calcasieu Parish and three tags for Avoyelles Parish and that Rushing didn’t have a license.

Tassin and Rushing took three alligators in Calcasieu Parish and used two Avoyelles Parish tags on two of the alligators.  They used a Calcasieu Parish tag on the other alligator, however agents found out that the alligator was taken from an unapproved area.

Alligator hunting season for this part of the state didn’t open until Sept. 4.  Agents seized a 12-foot alligator and two 4 to 6-foot alligators and Tassin’s last alligator tag.

Taking alligators during a closed season and from an unapproved area each brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.  Taking alligators without a license carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  The men may also face civil restitution totaling $1,127 for the replacement value of the illegally taken alligators.

LDWF Urging Boaters to Practice Boating Safety During Hunting Season

Release Date: 09/13/2019

With the fall and winter outdoor season underway in Louisiana, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division is reminding hunters about boating safety during the hunting season.

Hunting season for many people in Louisiana means utilizing boats to get to remote hunting blinds, stands or other areas.

The fall and winter boating season for Louisiana is a lot different than the spring and summer boating season for various reasons.  Most hunters are operating vessels during low visibility times usually before dawn and after dusk.  Also, most hunters are operating vessels in remote areas navigating smaller water tributaries.

The hunting season also usually means colder months and thus hunters are wearing and bringing more gear and the water temperature is colder.  If a hunter does go overboard, they will probably have the weight of their warmer hunting clothes and the colder water temperature making survival that much more difficult.

“Boating in the fall and winter months during the hunting season is much different than in the spring and summer boating season,” said Major Rachel Zechenelly, the state’s boating law administrator.  “We want to remind all boaters during the hunting season to follow some simple safe boating practices to ensure a good hunt and a safe trip.”

LDWF would like all boaters to wear a personal flotation device while in a vessel, have a sober operator and also let friends and family know of their whereabouts and what time they intend on going hunting and coming back.  It is also a good idea to keep a cell phone device in some kind of waterproof container on your person.

Checking to make sure your vessel is equipped to run at night and in colder temperature is also important for safe boating practices.  LDWF is reminding boat operators to make sure all lights are operational and that the engine has no trouble starting and running.

LDWF reported a total of 22 boating fatalities the last three hunting seasons.  To date, Louisiana has reported 15 boating fatalities for 2019.  Louisiana had 19 boating fatalities in both 2018 and 2017.

As always LDWF offers free boating education classes year round.  Those interested can take either an online or classroom safe boating course.  The safe boating course is required for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 and operating a vessel over 10 horsepower.  For a list of boating classes please visit www.wlf.la.gov/boating.

LDWF Agents Issue Multiple Dove Hunting Citations During Opening Weekend of Dove Season

Release Date: 09/11/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents wrote 78 citations to 62 subjects for alleged dove hunting related violations during the opening weekend of the dove season, Sept. 7-8.

In Caddo Parish, agents issued four citations to three subjects for possessing over the limit of doves, and possessing untagged migratory game birds and hunting without a basic hunting license.

Agents issued four citations to three people for hunting with an unplugged shotgun and hunting without a basic hunting license in Bossier Parish.

In St. James Parish, agents issued five citations to five subjects for hunting doves over a baited field and aiding and abetting others in taking doves over a baited area.

Agents issued two citations to two individuals for possessing lead shot in Terrebonne Parish.

In Pointe Coupee Parish, agents issued two citations to two people for hunting without a basic hunting license and rallying migratory game birds.

Agents cited one person for hunting with an unplugged shotgun in St. Martin Parish.  In Vermilion Parish, agents issued four citations to two subjects for placement of bait and hunting doves over a baited area.

In East Carroll Parish, agents cited one person for hunting with an unplugged shotgun.  Agents issued four citations to two people for hunting from a moving vehicle, hunting from a public road and discharging a firearm from a public road in Morehouse Parish.

Agents cited one person in Richland Parish for hunting without a basic hunting license.  In Madison Parish, agents issued five citations to two subjects for placement of bait, hunting doves over a baited area and hunting with an unplugged shotgun.

In West Feliciana Parish, agents issued eight citations to seven people for hunting doves over a baited area and placement of bait.

Agents issued five citations to four people for hunting doves over a baited area and placement of bait in East Feliciana Parish.

In East Baton Rouge Parish, agents issued 10 citations to nine subjects for hunting doves over a baited area and placement of bait.

Agents issued 15 citations to 11 people for taking over the limit of doves, hunting doves over a baited area, aiding and abetting others in taking doves over a baited area, placement of bait, hunting without a basic hunting license and hunting with an unplugged shotgun in Concordia Parish.

In Sabine Parish, agents issued seven citations to six subjects for hunting doves over a baited area and aiding and abetting others in hunting doves over a baited area.  Agents cited one person for taking a non-game bird in Rapides Parish.

Haughton Man Cited for Recreational Fishing Violations

Release Date: 09/10/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a Haughton man for alleged recreational fishing violations on Sept. 1 in Bossier Parish.

Agents cited Clint A. Smith, 23, for taking over the limit of black bass, angling without a resident fishing license, violating Wildlife Management Area (WMA) rules for no self-clearing permit and for having oversized All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) tires on a WMA.

Agents were on patrol on the Bodcau WMA when they found Smith in possession of 13 black bass without a fishing license.  The limit for this area is 10 black bass per licensed fishermen per day.

Possessing over the limit of black bass, having oversized ATV tires on a WMA and no self clearing permit on a WMA each carry a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.  Angling without a resident fishing license brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.

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