The recent hunting season, more precisely the recent deer hunting season, allows a slight revision in an old line — “The bigger the rewards, the harder they fall.”
The “they” in this case are what Wildlife and Fisheries’ reports continue to identify as “hunters,” although most of us “hunters” would brand them outlaws or poachers.
Most of the big headline-makers reported during the recent season by the LDWF Enforcement Division have come from illegally taking deer.
Check out last year’s Louisiana’s Operation Game Thief report to know why the Enforcement Division continues to receive information about violations.
LOGT handed out $16,800 in reward money last year. LOGT handled 43 cases in 2015, and 72 “subjects” received 385 citations.
Already this year, a handful of hunters have been cited for taking over the limits and alleged violations of the state’s deer-tagging regulations.
Among those violators — one guy, and we won’t call him a “hunter” — allegedly killed 11 deer during the season, five more than the season limit allows. Night stalking (notice it’s not “night hunting”), killing deer from roads, selling venison from illegal kills, and killing swimming deer fill out LOGT’s report cards.
Calls to the LOGT’s 24-hour hotline, (800) 442-2511, are what put a target on these violators.
It’s not like this is anything new. LOGT has been around for a long time, but 2015 was a “banner” year.
While it’s difficult to explain the increase in reporting potential violators, there is some reason to believe more and more folks are just plain sick and tired of others who believe they can live outside our state’s game laws. Some folks don’t like the idea of nighttime rifle fire near their homes, even in rural areas.
Another reason, and it shows through some of the reports, is there’s some sort of “pay back” in a long-standing feud among families and hunting groups in smaller communities, places where everybody knows what everyone else is doing with their time, especially during the fall and winter. Guys bragging about taking three deer in one day, telling the guys at feed store that deer are moving at night in a particular location, or selling venison to get enough money to buy a four-wheeler is enough to get the ball rolling on a hotline call.
The height of braggadocio has come with modern technology: Enforcement Division agents have made recent cases after some goofballs reported kills on Facebook. It’s crazy to think that we’re living in a world in which these people breathe the same air we do, shop in the same places and drive the same roads.
A word to the wise for the 2016-2017 hunting season. In this day of cell phones, it’s only a matter of time before someone decides to take up LOGT on their cash offers. They’re out there and they’re listening, watching and reporting.