(UNDATED) - Indiana Conservation Officers of District 8, which includes Clark, Crawford, Floyd, Harrison, Jackson, Lawrence, Orange, Perry, Scott and Washington counties in south central Indiana made 349 hunting related arrests and issued 153 warnings in the 2011 Hunting Seasons, according to Conservation Officer Jeffrey Milner.
Lt. Phil Schuetter, commander of District 8, stated, "I am proud of the job our officers did during the hunting seasons. Not only were there a large number of arrest, but the quality of the investigations was impressive."
The most common violation that Conservation Officer's encounter was hunting without license violations. 136 license violations were found during the various hunting seasons, including 101 occurring during the whitetail deer season. A close second was illegal possession/taking of game.
Officer's issued 116 citations to poachers for illegal possession. Many of those were for whitetail deer, but one included illegal possession of a bobcat, which is an endangered species in Indiana.
Forty-five hunters were charged with hunting without landowner consent.
According to Officer Milner, "this is generally the most common complaint that we receive during the hunting season". In Indiana you must receive permission from the landowner to hunt on private property.
Twenty-four poachers were arrested for hunting in closed season, which included the species of deer, fox, opossum, raccoon and turkey.
There were also forty-eight check station violations that include such violations as, using someone else's name on a deer or turkey tag and providing false information to the check station
In addition, 12 were charged with hunting with illegal weapons during the deer season. Charges were also filed on 27 individuals for hunting without the required hunter orange.
According to Corporal Terry Allen, "this is a major safety violation and is strictly enforced".
Sixteen poachers were charged with hunting with the aid of bait and fourteen for shooting from a public roadway. Use of an artificial light to take deer was charged on 15 poachers along with 20 charges with hunting with the aid of a motorized conveyance.
The remainder of the charges were for various other hunting violations. Also, during the 2011 hunting season Conservation Officers had several other criminal charges, hunting accidents and lost person investigations. One violation that added additional charges not included in the 502, was the dumping of deer carcasses along the roadways.
Conservation Officers are still investigating several other cases that will eventually add to the totals for the 2011 hunting seasons.
One common violation that is found after the season is the abuse of the landowner exemption to the hunting license requirement.
"Many individuals claim to be landowners, when in fact they only rent a dwelling on the property, have a family member that owns the property, or lease the property for hunting rights, which none of these fit the exemption for the license requirement," according to Officer Gary Pennington.
Conservation Officers would like to remind all sportsmen and women to report violations to the Turn In a Poacher (TIP) line by calling 1-800-TIP-IDNR.
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