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FL: Hunter smoking pot, and other violations

FWC Weekly Report

This report represents some events the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission handled over the past week in the Northwest Region.

OKALOOSA COUNTY

Two (hunters) were issued citations for hunting in a closed area.

The federal citations will bar both from hunting on Eglin Wildlife Management Area for three years. A black powder weapon was seized from one of the subjects when a computer check revealed a past felony criminal history. Officer Bartlett is conducting an investigation into whether the subject’s rights have been restored. Charges are pending.

BAY COUNTY

Officers Joe Chambers and Jeff Gager were working the replica deer in the western portion of Bay County near Steelfield Road and Bunkers Road. Two subjects shot the decoy and left the area, but were apprehended. Weapons were seized and citations issued.

Officers David Erdman and David Brady were working the replica deer in the eastern portion of Bay County near some private hunting leases. They had previously developed some information involving night hunting and taking doe deer. On Friday night, two subjects shot at the decoy and subsequently fled the area. Officer David Brady gave chase and the violators ended up on a dead-end trail, then fled on foot. Officer Brady found the abandoned truck containing rifles, camouflage jackets, and radios. As he secured the area and waited for backup to arrive, one of the suspects approached and surrendered. Officers Erdman, Neal Goss, Nick Price and Investigator Neal Goss arrived on scene along with a Bay County Sheriff’s Office K9 unit. The missing suspect was located and arrested. The two were cited for night hunting, fleeing and eluding and resisting arrest.

Officer Joe Chambers was on patrol in the Ebro area when he checked a subject whose vehicle had the faint smell of burnt cannabis. When asked about the odor, the subject gave Officer Chambers a wooden box which contained cannabis and rolling papers. Citations were issued. Later that day, Officer Chambers was patrolling in the Choctawhatchee Wildlife Management Area when he checked a hunter at his vehicle. Again, the odor of burnt cannabis was detected and when asked, the hunter produced a cannabis cigarette, a metal pipe, and a container of cannabis. Citations were issued.

K-9 Officer Mike Guy received information about a subject who had shot a doe deer. He located two freshly killed doe deer at the subject’s residence. One deer was being cleaned at that time. No permits for the deer were present so the deer and a rifle were seized and a citation was issued. Later, as Officer Guy was returning from taking the evidence to the Panama City Beach Office, he stopped to conduct a welfare check on a vehicle stopped in the roadway. The driver fled on foot and was picked up the next day and arrested by Officer Guy for resisting arrest without violence. When asked why he fled, the driver (recently released from prison) said that he was extremely drunk.

JACKSON COUNTY

Officer Kathy Jackson stopped a vehicle shining a spotlight into farm fields off Odom Road. The vehicle was occupied by a man, woman and infant. Officer Jackson’s investigation yielded one arrest of the passenger, the adult male, found to be night hunting deer with a gun and light. His two rifles and spotlight were seized.

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