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Hunter, guides charged with taking big gator on private property without landowner permission

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

From The Lufkin Daily News

Texas Parks & Wildlife press release

AUSTIN — A Dallas man and three fishing and hunting guides from Crockett have been charged with taking wildlife on private property without the landowner's permission following a state game warden investigation into the death of a 13-foot, 1-inch alligator killed in Leon County.

Named in arrest warrants filed Tuesday were 42-year-old Levi McCathern of Dallas, the hunter who allegedly killed the alligator, and the three guides, Steve Barclay, 47; Sam Lovell, 56; and Ryan Burton, 21. Barclay and Lovell operate a guide business called the Gar Guys. The four men were expected to turn themselves in Wednesday at the Leon County Sheriff's Office in Buffalo.

State game wardens in Leon and adjoining Houston County began an investigation when a man who owns land on the Trinity River in Leon County reported that a large alligator had been killed on his property without his consent on June 11. He also said a second, smaller ‘gator was taken on his property the day before.

As part of their investigation, game wardens seized a 13 foot, 1-inch alligator and an 8 foot, 8-inch alligator.

Taking wildlife on private property without the landowner's consent is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $4,000, confinement in jail up to one year or both. In addition, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will seek restitution for the two alligators, an amount likely to exceed $5,000.

The case was investigated by Game Wardens Oscar Henson and Logan Griffin of Leon County and Zack Benge and Eddie Lear of Houston County.

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