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TN - Firefighters Charged With Illegal Dove Hunting

Firefighters Charged With Illegal Dove Hunting

Chattanoogan.com
by Richard Simms
posted September 2, 2008

Tennessee wildlife officers made several cases involving illegal dove hunting activities on Labor Day.

TWRA spokesman Dan Hicks says that in one case in Hamilton County, two Chattanooga firefighters were charged with hunting over illegal bait after they were allegedly found shooting dove on a gravel driveway where grain had been thrown on top of the gravel. The two firefighters were not identified.

There were several cases made in Bradley County as well.

In one case on Lower River Road wildlife officers said they discovered five people with 144 dove in their possession. The legal limit is fifteen per person.

Three of the five who officers said had clearly over the limit were charged and a juvenile was given a warning.

Officers said one man ran when they approached the field, throwing dove away as he ran. He was apprehended and officers said he was charged with 17 counts of being over the limit and "refusing inspection."

State law makes it illegal for anyone hunting or fishing to refuse inspection by wildlife officers.

In another Bradley County case on Strawhill Road, officers say they found a field which had been overly "spiced" with winter wheat seed. They wrote two people there for illegally hunting over bait.

Hamilton County authorities said they also received complaints of people hunting geese on the Tennessee River, inside the Chattanooga city limits.

However Tennessee Wildlife officials say that as long as hunters are on public land, hunting in a safe area in accordance with state law, it is perfectly legal.

The Tennessee State Attorney General has issued a formal opinion which says that local law cannot supersede state law, and the parameters above apply.

TWRA officials however emphasize that hunters should always be sure they are hunting in a safe manner and means.

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