Hunting Accident File > Violations

LA: Seven cited for illegal hunting

March 4, 2010

Seven cited for illegal hunting in Kisatchie 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents recently cited six men and one juvenile for deer hunting violations in the Kisatchie National Forest in Natchitoches Parish.

Arrested were Robert L. Belsha, 37; Jeremy C. Martin, 23; John D. Redden, 31; Michael L. Sanders Jr., 23; John H. Saucier III, 27; George F. Sheppard, 45; and a 16-year-old juvenile -- all of Leesville. Each was cited after an investigation of deer being illegally taken during the bucks-only segment of deer season in the forest, according to officials.

Agents began the investigation after receiving information that a doe had been killed in the forest during a deer hunt with dogs on Dec. 22. During the investigation, agents were able to document six does that reportedly were killed illegally by the hunters from Dec. 19 through Dec. 26, officials reported.

All six men and the juvenile were cited for possession of illegally taken deer during open season. Belsha, Martin and Saucier also were cited for three additional counts and Sanders for two additional counts. Belsha, Redden, Sanders, Sheppard and the juvenile also were cited for illegally taking a deer during open season, with Belsha being cited with two counts of the charge. The seven were cited for failing to comply with deer tagging regulations, with Belsha being cited with four counts and Martin with two counts.

Belsha, Martin, Sanders and Sheppard also were cited for failing to comply with deer harvest record requirements, with Belsha and Martin receiving two counts of the charge. Belsha also was charged with two counts of taking over the legal limit of deer.

Agents were able to seize three of the illegally taken deer and an antlerless deer tag. In addition to criminal fines, Redden, Sanders and Sheppard may be ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $524.54 and Belsha in the amount of $1,049.08 to the department for the illegally taken deer, officials said.

The penalty for illegally taking a deer during open season is a fine of $500 to $750 and imprisonment between 15 and 30 days. Possession of an illegally taken deer is punishable by a fine of $400 to $950, or up to 120 days in jail, or both plus court cost and forfeiture of anything seized.

Agents also recently arrested a Coushatta couple for deer hunting violations made in February in Natchitoches parish.

Donald and Tonette Mason were both cited for failure to comply with the deer tagging requirements while Tonette Mason was also charged with taking over the daily limit of deer.

Agents received a complaint about two deer reportedly being taken on the same day by Tonette and agents were able to confirm that information through pictures posted online and through the investigation.

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