The last of 46 defendants in Missouri has been found guilty of hunting deer with the aid of dogs on U.S. Forest Service property. Missouri Department of Conservation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently wrapped up "Operation Pulling Wool," a major special investigation that began in 2008.
The last defendant charged in the operation was found guilty by a United States Magistrate in Cape Girardeau. All 46 defendants were found guilty by trial or plea in federal court.
The MDC says the defendants paid a total of $67,425 in fines to the federal court. Another six defendants were charged with nine total violations in state court in Ripley County.
These defendants paid a total of $1,909 in fines and court costs. The combined fines and costs paid by the defendants was $69,334. Additionally, hunting privileges of all the defendants were revoked for periods of one to three years.
The investigation began in the fall of 2008, when the MDC's special investigation unit set up an operation targeting illegal poaching activity that was occurring on the Mark Twain National Forest in Ripley County. MDC joined with the USFWS and the US Attorney's office in St. Louis on operation "Pulling Wool" to stop the deer dogging activity.
Deer dogging is illegal and is commonly found in Missouri's Ozark country in the south-central part of the state. The practice includes using dogs to run deer toward shooters strategically set up at known deer crossings. More....