AZ: Game and Fish agents bust poachers, urge hunter safety in the field
Game and Fish agents bust poachers, urge hunter safety in the field
November 19, 2010
Agents from the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) cited two
hunters last month for illegally taking deer in the Santa Cruz County area.
On Oct. 23, Agent Mark Freiberg cited Ernesto Valenzuela of Fort Bliss,
Texas for illegally shooting two does in the Tumacacori Mountains.
"It is my understanding that he may have thought he had shot male deer,"
said AZGFD spokesman Mark Hart.
Hart said Valenzuela was also charged with illegal take, exceeding the
bag limit, take during closed season, and waste of game meat.
"Our recommendation in a case when someone accidentally shoots an animal
that they don't have a tag for, is to contact us," said Hart. "We understand
that mistakes can be made in the field but to have just shot the does and
left them there - that's a chargeable offense."
Then on Oct. 29, Robert Mull, a resident of Phoenix, was cited for
shooting a mule deer from his vehicle in Arivaca.
"He was also charged with shooting a quarter mile from a structure," said
Hart, who added that a nearby homeowner filed the complaint.
Hart said both men both might face both civil and criminal charges and
could lose their hunting licenses.
"We take a dim view of these cases," he said.
Hart said that aside from the illegal pursuit of game, agents are
concerned with keeping hunters safe. He said while big game hunters prefer
to don full camouflage, if another hunting party is in the field, agents
urge everyone to wear orange.
"That's where we have the most concern about accidents," Hart said. "We
also recommend hunters exercise caution in the field when hunting near the
border because of the prevalence of illegal immigration and drug smuggling
Hart said hunters should be especially leery of "lay-up spots" where
undocumented border-crossers are often picked up.
"Also be weary of abandoned vehicles and leaving your vehicle
unattended," he said. "Lock your cars up, use a steering wheel lock. Make
sure someone knows your destination and time of return."
Out of harm's way
Game and Fish agents also recommend that hunters in Santa Cruz County
keep the phone number for the Border Patrol stored on their cell phones.
"Call suspicious activity in and stay out of harm's way," Hart said.
Hart said many hunters are aware of the potential dangers of hunting on
the border and are therefore reluctant to visit those areas.
"That's a challenge for us as an agency because the borderland areas
often have leftover (unsold) game tags," he said.
Return to Hunting Accident Index
Fair Use Notice: This document may contain copyrighted material
whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owners. We believe
that this not-for-profit, educational use on the Web constitutes
a fair use of the copyrighted material (as provided for in section
107 of the US Copyright Law). If you wish to use this copyrighted
material for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must
obtain permission from the copyright owner.