Undercover Wildlife Operation Cracks Down On Poaching In North Carolina And Georgia

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

State and federal wildlife officials in North Carolina and Georgia announced an undercover operation Wednesday that involved about 80 wildlife violators and some 980 violations.

Primary violations documented by Operation Something Bruin stem from illegal bear hunting but include an array of state wildlife and game law charges. Some suspects could also face federal charges.

The four-year investigation, the largest of its kind in recent years, targeted poachers in North Carolina and Georgia, with work in some adjacent states. Included in Georgia are eight defendants facing a total of 136 state charges.

Dan Forster, director of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division, said Operation Something Bruin is a great example of a multi-agency effort with a unified goal: protecting a public trust resource that provides “tremendous natural, social and economic benefits to citizens.”

“It is incumbent upon us to ensure that we have sustainable natural resources for the public to enjoy for generations,” Mr. Forster said. “And particularly in these economic times, it’s critical for us to work across geopolitical boundaries with other agencies to provide the best possible protection for the resource.”

Officers with Georgia DNR and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission infiltrated poaching circles to document violations including bear baiting; illegal take of bears, deer and other wildlife; illegal use of dogs; illegal operation of bear pens in North Carolina; and, guiding hunts on national forest lands without the required permits.

Operation Something Bruin partners also included the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service.

Officers began making arrests on Tuesday. Totals given for violators and violations are approximate.

This investigation will help safeguard wildlife by making poachers pay now, and making would-be violators think twice before breaking laws that conserve natural resources.

For those who persist in wildlife theft, Something Bruin will help agencies better train officers to catch them - an effort strongly supported by hunters and anglers, our nation’s first conservationists.

Col. Eddie Henderson, chief of the Wildlife Resources Division’s Law Enforcement Section, emphasized that the effort also reinforces the public’s role in helping combat poaching and conserve wildlife.

“Conservation officers cannot be everywhere,” Mr. Henderson said. “The public can be a great asset by reporting poaching and suspicious activity through their state’s toll-free report-a-violation line. Wildlife belongs to everyone. Reporting poaching helps us protect something the public owns.”

Learn more at www.operationsomethingbruin.org or www.georgiawildlife.com/operationsomethingbruin.

Waterfowl WMA Application Deadline Approaching

Applications will be accepted until midnight (CDT) on Wednesday, Sept. 28 for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s 2016 Wildlife Management Area waterfowl hunts. A computerized drawing system will be held to select successful applicants based on the priority drawing system. Hunters may apply at any TWRA license agent, at any TWRA regional office, or online at www.tnwildlife.org ... (click for more)

Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Here are upcoming news and events from Outdoor Chattanooga: NPS Guided Canoe Tour of Lookout Creek September 27 You're invited to join Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park and Outdoor Chattanooga for a free, family friendly guided canoe tour with a ranger on Tuesday, September 27, at 5:30 pm. The Friends of Moccasin Bend and the Friends of Outdoor Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Boy In Critical Condition; Another Person Stabbed And Man Shot In Dispute At Apartments On Citico Avenue

A boy is in critical condition after being stabbed on Sunday afternoon in what police described as a dispute between neighbors. One other person was stabbed and a man was shot in the stomach in the melee in the 2700 block of Citico Avenue. The injuries to the second person stabbed in the neck and the shooting victim were said to be not life-threatening. The 12:45 p.m. incident ... (click for more)

Woman, 25, Shot On Dodson Avenue Early Sunday Afternoon

A 25-year-old woman was shot on Dodson Avenue just after noon on Sunday. Officers with the Chattanooga Police Department were notified at 12:13 p.m. by a local hospital that a victim arrived with a gunshot wound. The shooting reportedly occurred in the 1300 block of Dodson Avenue. Shaday Millener arrived at the hospital in a personal vehicle with a non-life threatening ... (click for more)

Patrol Cars Donation To Kevin Muhammad's Nation Of Islam Sets A Dangerous Precedent

Re: City Police donating two patrol cars to Kevin Muhammad's Nation of Islam: While I know it's unpopular to mention the wisdom of separation of church and state, this sets a dangerous precedent and should meet with concern from everyone who values religious and secular freedom. What's next? Southern Baptists getting old city parking scooters to patrol church parking lots ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Pitch Called ‘The Defector’

When Jose Fernandez was killed early Sunday morning in a boating accident, he was 24 years old yet had already lived a life much larger than almost all old men. He had spent part of a year in an unimaginably cruel Cuban prison, this when he only 14 years old and sandwiched in an inhumane cell among grown criminals. There were murders daily – in his very cell -- and nobody cared. ... (click for more)