By Alan Clemons
The Alabama Wildlife Federation issued during August almost $5,000 in Operation GameWatch Rewards to Alabama residents who provided the critical information that led to the arrest and conviction of multiple poachers in the state.
Thanks to the informants and anonymous tips, Alabama conservation enforcement officers obtained convictions on more than 65 charges involving 27 different individuals. Combined, fines and court costs imposed through these convictions totaled $40,000.
Convictions were obtained for a variety of illegal activities including night hunting, using night vision equipment, hunting from a public road, hunting private property without permission, baiting, and hunting out of season. Some of the convictions were for violations related to whitetail deer, along with other game animals.
“The hunting ranks are dominated by law abiding citizens that detest poachers,” stated Tim L. Gothard, Executive Director of the Alabama Wildlife Federation. “It is impressive when citizens step forward, most of them hunters themselves, and help put poachers and game law violators in their place. Poachers are not hunters.”
In one case that yielded a $1,000 Operation GameWatch Reward, the informant not only provided the initial tip, but also provided testimony that sealed the conviction of the poachers. Another $1,000 reward was issued to an informant who provided multiple tips that led to 14 separate convictions. More....