A Georgia Department of Natural Resources wildlife technician from Rock Spring, Ga., has been convicted of maintaining a baited area within the boundaries of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park as well as game cameras in the park.
Authorities said James Alfred Jones "was actively hunting on the edge of the national park on private property with a clear view of the baited area.
"During the investigation and during the execution of a search warrant of Jones’ residence, he made several false statements to federal law enforcement officers. He also admitted to falsifying his deer harvest record and shooting a deer over bait in 2018 on private property adjacent to the national park. These violations occurred off federal property and were passed on to the Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division to prosecute at their discretion.
"In recent years, the Walker County portion of the park has seen an increase in illegal hunting activity."
Jones, who was recently under a lengthy investigation, has been fined in Federal Court for providing false information, for placing game cameras, and for deer bait within the boundaries of the national park."
Officials said, "Hunting and trapping is a national pastime and has been since American Indians first settled the mountains and valleys of North Georgia.
Every year, many venture out to private and public lands to hunt game. The U.S. Forest Service allows hunting on almost 867,000 acres in 26 Georgia counties, along with Georgia’s Wildlife Management Areas, which make over 100,000 acres available to the public for hunting. However, not all public land is open to hunting. Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park is closed to all hunting and trapping.
"In recent years, the Walker County portion of the park has seen an increase in illegal hunting activity. If you are in the national park and see or hear illegal hunting activity, please call 911 and inform them of your location. On duty rangers will be dispatched immediately to that area."
Park boundary maps are available at the visitor center or online at: https://www.nps.gov/chch/images/CHCH-TRAIL-MAP.jpg