Thursday, February 21, 2013

Undercover Wildlife Operation Cracks Down on Poaching in NC & GA

State and federal wildlife officials in North Carolina and Georgia announced yesterday an undercover operation that involved about 80 wildlife violators and some 980 violations.

Primary violations documented by Operation Something Bruin stem from illegal bear hunting but include an array of state wildlife and game law charges. Some suspects could also face federal charges.

The four-year investigation, the largest of its kind in recent years, targeted poachers in North Carolina and Georgia, with work in some adjacent states. Officers began making arrests Tuesday, Feb. 19.

“Operation Something Bruin documented hundreds of wildlife violations. Today’s arrests bring an immediate halt to those crimes and, we hope, will make would-be violators think twice before breaking the law,” said Col. Dale Caveny, law enforcement chief for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. “Our long-term goal is to deter illegal wildlife activities from taking place in the future and serve notice to everyone that wildlife officers are ever vigilant in the service of conservation and public safety.”

Officers with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission infiltrated poaching circles to document violations including bear baiting; illegal take of bears, deer and other wildlife; illegal use of dogs; illegal operation of bear pens in North Carolina; and, guiding hunts on national forest lands without the required permits.

Operation Something Bruin partners also included the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service.

For those who persist in wildlife theft, Something Bruin will help agencies better train officers to catch them – an effort strongly supported by hunters and anglers, our nation’s first conservationists.

You can learn more about Operation Something Bruin by clicking here.

Hiking in the Smokies

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