Frankfort, KY - It was opening morning of the spring wild turkey season and
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife law enforcement officer Lt. Doc Hodges
had already had a busy day.
He and Sgt. Brett Zalla apprehended a poacher attempting to take turkeys over
bait in neighboring Allen County. But it was after his return home to Simpson
County that things truly began to pick up.
"Several hunters came up to me and they were mad," said the 12-year veteran
officer. "'You'll never believe this,' they said. 'The guys hunting next to us
today were using live turkeys for decoys. They had all the birds over there, and
they killed two.'
"These guys were pretty upset about it," said Hodges. "Then, when I got
home that night, a group hunting on the other side of those same guys called and
said, 'You'll never believe this, but...' It was the same story."
"I knew the place they were talking about and I was in there before
daylight the next morning," said Hodges. "I found where they were hunting and
hid in a fencerow to watch. It got to be past daylight and the turkeys were
gobbling, and I thought no one was going to show up. I started to leave.
"But then I heard one real terrible gobble. I waited another minute and
here they came,' he said. "There were three guys coming across the field and
they were carrying four live turkeys - two hens and two gobblers," he said. "One
guy had a turkey under each arm."
Hodges dug in and watched the men scramble to tie the birds to a 2x6
board near their blind. One then ran back to the house to get his shotgun. He
watched another run across the field and set up in a fence row.
"It was comical," said Hodges, "watching them chasing those birds
everywhere trying to get them tied out..."
Later, when things settled down, he approached the two men in the blind and
called the third over as well. He also discovered a pile of corn near the staked
birds and a wildlife camera mounted to a tree focused on the corn.
Today, Jeffrey A. Randolph, 43, Jordan A. Randolph, 19, and Joseph A. Randolph,
22, all of Auburn, face multiple charges, in Simpson District
All three men are charged with hunting wild turkeys over bait and with using
live decoys. Joseph and Jordan also are cited with failure to tag or check the
turkeys they killed opening morning, and Jeffrey also faces charges for hunting
without a license and without a turkey permit. A charge of using illegal shot
size likely will be added as well.
They each may face fines of $100 to $1,000, loss of their shotgun, and
up to a year in jail on each charge, plus court costs.
The three are scheduled to appear before Simpson District Judge Frank Wakefield
on May 12.