5 men cited with deer-hunting violations

Violations allegedly included night hunting and hunting without licenses, LDWF says

State wildlife agents cited five men  for a variety of deer-hunting violations, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reported today.

One of the men, West Monroe’s Joe Willis, was cited for allegedly shooting a deer at night in the investigation into alleged illegal activity in Ouachita Parish, the agency said. And two out-of-state hunters were cited with deer-hunting without licenses, the LDWF said.

Agents also cited the 37-year-old Willis — along with Dana J. Murray, 66, of Monroe, and Bert T. Willis, 62, of St. John, Fla. — for possession of an untagged deer on Dec. 12, the LDWF said.  Willis was also cited for possession of an illegally taken deer and failing to comply with deer tagging requirements, according to the agency’s news release.

Also cited were John Pineda, 32, of Benton, Ark., and Edward Grant Jr., 22, of Bryant, Ark., for hunting without non-resident basic and big game hunting licenses, failing to comply with deer tagging requirements, criminal trespassing and possession of an illegally taken deer on Dec. 14, the LDWF said.

Agents received a tip on Dec. 12 about night hunters on Whitewood Road in West Monroe, the LDWF said.

Agents arrived on scene and stopped a vehicle near a hunting camp and found an 8-point and 7-point deer head in the bed of the truck, the release stated.

The driver of the vehicle, Joe Willis, admitted to shooting a deer in a field across from the camp at night using a spotlight that did not belong to one of the antlered deer heads in the back of the truck, the agency said.

Agents then escorted Joe Willis back to the camp, where they came into contact with Bert Willis and Murray. Agents found an ice chest with quartered-up deer meat, which the men claimed as theirs, the LDWF said.

The agents then found another ice chest with more quartered deer meat with no possession tags, and the men said it belonged to Grant and Pineda, the LDWF reported.

Joe Willis then allegedly stated he legally killed the 8-point deer on his land in Luna, the LDWF said. He then allegedly stated the 7-point deer was shot by his friend, Grant, across the river from the camp on Dec. 11, the agency reported.

Willis allegedly also admitted to Pineda harvesting an antlerless deer behind the camp on Dec. 11, the LDWF said. Willis also allegedly told the agents Grant and Pineda had returned to Arkansas, the agnecy reported.

Agents then discovered Joe Willis had not tagged three antlered deer from earlier in the season that he admitted to taking, the agency said.

Agents seized Willis’ .30-30 rifle, spotlight and all the deer meat.

The Arkansas Game and Fish was contacted, and Grant and Pineda were interviewed on Dec. 14 in relation to the incident of the two deer they shot in Louisiana, the LDWF said.

Both men allegedly admitted to killing the deer without licenses, the LDWF said.

Grant also stated that he and Pineda went across the river in a boat and retrieved one of the deer from private property, the LDWF said.

Failing to comply with deer tagging requirements and hunting without non-resident and big game hunting licenses each brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 30 days in jail for each offense. Hunting deer during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Possession of an illegally taken deer carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

The men also may face civil restitution totaling $4,872 for three illegally taken deer.

Criminal trespassing brings a $100 to $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail.