Monroe man cited for cutting down trees on Ouachita WMA

Johnson admits to cutting down 14 trees, 79 limbs to clear a shooting lane, LDWF says

Agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries cited a Monroe man on Feb. 15 for criminal damage to property, intentional littering, hunting deer out of season and leaving a deer stand in hunting position on Ouachita Wildlife Management Area.

According to a press release, agents observed John Johnson, 63, returning from a deer hunt on Jan. 31 on the WMA, which was closed for deer hunting during the youth waterfowl hunt. Agents observed Johnson discarding plastic bottles on the ground, and leaving his deer stand in a hunting position from a few days prior.

Upon further investigation, the release states Johnson admitted to agents he cut down 14 trees and 79 limbs to clear a shooting lane.

Cutting down trees on a WMA is criminal damage to state property and carries a fine up to $10,000 and up to 10 years in jail.  Johnson may also face a civil restitution charges for the replacement value of the trees, according to the release.

Hunting deer out of season and leaving a deer stand in a hunting position on a WMA each brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Intentional littering brings a $250 fine and eight hours of community service in a litter abatement work program.

LDWF is still seeking leads for information on who cut down trees on the Spring Bayou WMA in Avoyelles Parish, where agents found up to 100 trees have been cut down since December of 2014.

LDWF has secured up to $1,000 in reward money each from the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, the Spring Bayou Restoration Team and Louisiana’s Operation Game Thief.  The reward now totals up to $3,000 to anyone with information that leads to the arrest in Spring Bayoiu case.

Anyone with information regarding the downed trees on Spring Bayou should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511, or use LDWF’s tip411 program.

To use tip 411, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the “LADWF Tips” iPhone and Android app from the Apple App Store or Google Play free of charge.