Meet Me at the Sheriffs Department

Several years ago I had a friend that joined our hunting club located in central Georgia along the Flint River. This property was loaded with wild hogs and he seemed as anxious to shoot one of them as he was to shoot a big deer. He had no idea where to get started so I told him where one of my secret spots was and that he would be welcome to hunt there. But:  I asked him to focus on killing a big buck and to hold off on the pig killing until after the rut was over. I specifically asked him not to shoot a hog in the place I was sending him because there was a good buck using the area and that I’d be hunting some there as well.

I explained that the best way in to this location would require him to park just off the main highway and I told him where the “bright eyes” markers were that led to the area he could use his portable stand. He had the luxury of adjusting his work schedule and could hunt during the week. Several days later he called me on my cell phone and said he had shot a big boar out of the stand but left him there because he couldn’t do anything with him by himself and he didn’t really want him anyway.  I couldn’t leave work and drive two and a half hours to our lease to help him and I was also a little disappointed that he hadn’t heeded my request about not shooting a hog out in a good buck area that early in the season.

Sometimes it pays to know the “right “people, so after I got off the phone and had time to think about it, I called my “Special delivery” friend (see “Special Delivery “ / Humor in the Field” ) who worked with a guy that was just incredible at doing impersonations. This guy really had “Hollywood “talent and could entertain you and sound like anyone he wanted to.  Together my buddy and I formulated a plan and recruited Mr. Hollywood to help carry it out.

The next afternoon my friend who had killed the hog called me and seemed upset and said, “Man I think I have a problem”. Being the good friend that I am I voiced concern and asked what happened?

He told me that he’d just gotten off the phone with the game warden that had tracked him down through his tag number and obtained his home and cell phone numbers. He continued to tell me that a couple of the timber cruisers that were marking trees along the waterways for future timber cutting had heard him shoot, found the dead pig, saw his truck parked on the highway, and just happened to get his tag number. They according to my friend had reported all of this to the game warden.

The warden had told him that based on the timber cruisers statements that he was a suspect of violating the “Cruelty to Animals” and “Game Waste Act” and that his hunting license had been electronically suspended until further notice. He stated that he was now in their computer data bank until this issue could be resolved. The warden also demanded that he appear at the county Sherriff’s office the following Saturday morning at 8:00 for questioning by the DNR officer and a sheriffs deputy. He was told to bring his hunting rifle which would be confiscated so they could conduct a forensic and ballistic analysis.

Of course being surprised that my friend was being put through the wringer and really impressed with how well “Mr. Hollywood” had done his job, I expressed my concern for him and acknowledged it did sound serious. I suggested that he might want to have an attorney present and mentioned how bad the timing was since the weather was going to be great that weekend and the rut was getting close.

I could tell that he had bought into our recruited Hollywood impersonators acting program and had bit hook, line, and sinker. I began to feel bad about it so I started letting him slowly know that he had been had. I know he wanted to be mad at me and he did have a few abusive words for me but he was so relieved he never got really angry.

I reminded him that next time someone shared their hunting spots with him and made special request regarding such, that he might want to keep those suggestions in mind so bad things wouldn’t happen. I’m pretty sure it sunk in this time.