By David Deaton
Law enforcement seem to be cracking down on poachers as Tuesday night around 6 PM in the Latham area a poacher was caught killing a deer when not in open season to do so.
According to LeFlore County Sheriff Rob Seale, the incident happen right in front of a deputy. The hunter took off and had to be chased down.
Hunters needs to know the laws of hunting and Oklahoma law say that poaching is the illegal hunting, killing or capturing of wild animals.
According to the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Department - LeFlore, McCurtain, Pushmataha and Latimer counties are where the worst poaching problem's occur.
Recently, game wardens wrapped up an important case that proves illegal hunting activity just isn't worth the cost.
A total of 73 wildlife violation charges were filed against 13 individuals who pleaded guilty in both Oklahoma and Arkansas courts, mostly for crimes involving the illegal killing of deer and obtaining fraudulent hunting licenses.
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's Law Enforcement Division is made up of about 120 game wardens stationed across the state with a commitment to make sure that wildlife is protected and conserved for the enjoyment of legal hunters, wildlife watchers and future generations of outdoor enthusiasts.
Game wardens are available to assist sportsmen who have witnessed a wildlife violation. Their numbers are printed in the current "Oklahoma Hunting Guide," available free online at wildlifedepartment.com or in print anywhere hunting licenses are sold.
Wildlife violations also can be reported by phone - anonymously - by calling the Department's Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-522-8039.
Hunters be aware that the deer gun season opens the Saturday before Thanksgiving and runs for 16 days.
In Oklahoma the first time offense penalty for poaching is a fine of $500 to $1,500. A second offense would be punishable by a $1,500 to $2,500 fine or six months in a county jail, or both.