Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited two St. Bernard Parish men on March 17 for alleged deer hunting violations.
Steven V. Bergeron, 19, and Matthew Martinez, 18, both of St. Bernard, were each cited for taking deer in a closed area and during a closed season. Bergeron was additionally cited for taking over the limit of deer because he allegedly killed both bucks. In addition to the criminal charges, Bergeron will be assessed civil restitution for two deer that are valued at $524.54 for each deer.
Agents were tipped that Martinez and Bergeron were seen in St. Bernard Parish transporting two bucks on a four-wheeler during the hunting closure enacted by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission after Hurricane Katrina. Flooding and habitat destruction had a negative impact on most wildlife populations and left surviving animals vulnerable. The closure prohibited hunting of all small and big game animals in St. Bernard Parish.
Agents began an investigation and located the two sets of deer antlers at a St. Bernard taxidermy shop. Bergeron and Martinez were questioned and admitted to killing the deer in St. Bernard Parish with a .270 rifle.
The violations of taking or possessing deer in a closed area and taking or possessing over the limit of deer carry fines up to $500, or imprisonment up to 90 days or both. Taking or possessing deer during a closed season carries a fine up to $999, or imprisonment up to 120 days, or both, and includes forfeiture of anything seized in connection with the violation.
Agents participating in the investigation were Capt. Brian Clark, Sgt. Scot Keller, and Sr. Agents Jason Gernados and Roy Pier.
EDITORS: For further information, contact Lt. Col. Keith LaCaze at 225-765-2469 or firstname.lastname@example.org.