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AZ: Game & Fish busts poaching family

Game & Fish busts poaching family

January 26, 2011

Hunting is a privilege, not a right, in Arizona. Those who defy the laws are apt to have their hunting privileges taken away.

Robert Allen Dozier, 36, of San Simon was recently fined $17,500 by the Arizona Game & Fish Commission for multiple poaching violations. His hunting, fishing and trapping privileges have also been revoked for 20 years. San Simon is about 60 miles southeast of Safford and is in Cochise County. The area is within miles of Graham and Greenlee counties and New Mexico.

The charges stem from a two-year investigation of Dozier by the Arizona Game & Fish Department. As a result of the investigation, Dozier was found guilty in the Greenlee Justice Court for unlawfully taking a mule deer doe during a closed season and littering while hunting in Greenlee County, according to a press release from the AGFD. Deer are the most numerous, widespread and popular big-game hunt animals in Arizona. The two distinct species are the mule deer and the white-tailed deer.

According to the AGFD, the mule deer is the larger of Arizona's deer, with some adult bucks weighing in excess of 200 pounds and standing 42 inches at the shoulder. Does average 125 pounds.

AGFD Public Information Officer Mark A. Hart praised the efforts of Gilbert Gonzales, AGFD Wildlife Manager for Unit 29 in Willcox, in his investigation of the case.

"He did a great job," Hart said. "It was an important case."

Dozier was also found guilty in the Cochise County Justice Court for unlawfully taking a mule deer buck during a closed season, possession of an unlawfully taken mule deer buck and possession of an unlawfully taken white-tailed buck. The bucks were illegally taken in Cochise County south of San Simon.

Previously, Dozier's father, Steve Dozier, 64, of San Simon was found guilty in the Greenlee Justice Court for allowing Robert to use his archery antlerless elk tag.

Robert's sister, Donna Wagner, 42, of Vail was found guilty in the Greenlee Justice Court for unlawfully taking a mule deer during a closed season during the 2009 antlerless archery elk hunt. Steve and Donna's hunting licenses were revoked for five years by the Arizona Game & Fish Commission, and the family was fined more than $2,632 in Greenlee and Cochise counties for their wildlife violations.

"The commission's action to revoke the Doziers' and Wagner's license privileges has far-reaching implications," AGFD Tucson Regional Supervisor Raul Vega said. "Arizona is a member of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact with 32 other states and seven Canadian provinces. Until their license privileges are restored in Arizona, they will not be able to legally hunt in any of those states or provinces."

The AGFD urges anyone with information pertaining to the unlawful taking of wildlife or other wildlife violations to report it to the department's Operation Game Thief toll-free hotline at 1-800-352-0700. Calls can remain confidential, and callers may be eligible for cash awards, according to the AGFD.

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