MO: Agents shine light on illegal hunting practices
November 17, 2009
Agents shine light on illegal hunting practices By BRENT FRAZEE The
Kansas City Star NEVADA, Mo. | Justin Fogle, a conservation agent for the
Missouri Department of Conservation, was on night patrol.
Sitting in the passenger seat of the agency’s plane, he stared out the
window and strained to see signs of poaching activity.
When a spotlight swept across a dark field, he found it.
Fogle pulled out and ticketed the driver for a common offense during the
days leading up to deer season: attempting to use a spotlight to get deer to
freeze and become vulnerable to a rifle shot.
“The violators admitted right away that they were trying to spotlight
deer,” Fogle said. “They told me they do it every night.”
• • •
A week before the Missouri deer opener, Fogle and Farr were taking their
search for poachers to the sky.
Fogle, who is the agent in Vernon County, had received several reports of
deer carcasses with their heads cut off being found by landowners. And he
knew what that meant.
“Our county is up near the top in the state in Boone and Crockett (a
record book) bucks in the state,” he said. “We’ll have poachers who will go
out just for the antlers.
“They’ll spotlight a deer, shoot it and just cut off the head.”
• • •
That’s also when the illegal activity reaches its peak. Last year,
conservation agents wrote 1,899 tickets for deer-hunting violations in the
11-day statewide firearms season alone. That doesn’t include the days
leading up to the season.
• • •
“Anywhere there’s a lot of deer and a lot of hunters, you’re going to
have violations,” he said. “I don’t want to make this sound like an outlaw
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