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Kentucky Poachers Cited
For Hunting Over Live Decoys

Frankfort, KY (January 24, 2004) - Five Scottsville men were cited for illegally taking waterfowl over live decoys last week in a joint state and federal fish and wildlife law enforcement operation in Allen County.

Officers issued federal citations to Chad Harston, 28, Chadd Foster 29, Chad Wilkinson, 29, Bruce Hovecamp, 35, and Eric Burley, 30, all of Scottsville, for shooting waterfowl over a half-dozen wing-clipped Muscovy ducks. The tame ducks were swimming near their duck blind in a flooded cornfield near Barren River. Harston also was charged with the illegal use of lead shot and Wilkinson for hunting waterfowl with an unplugged shotgun with four shells in the magazine.

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife officers Brett Zalla and Robert Olds and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Special Agent Bob Snow set up to watch the blind after hearing shots in the area before legal shooting hours the previous weekend. Zalla discovered the tame ducks swimming around the blind while scouting a surveillance location.

"They were so used to hunters being there," said Zalla of the Muscovy ducks. "The dog and the gun shots didnít phase them at all. The landowner even referred to them as pets."

Zalla and Olds approached from behind the blind after observing the five shooting wild ducks over the live decoys as Snow recorded events from another secluded location. Snow observed Harston allegedly throw a box of lead shot shells from the blind.

"This is a good time to remind waterfowl hunters they may not use or possess in the field shot shells made of lead, or any other shot not approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for waterfowl hunting," said KDFWR Director of Law Enforcement Col. David Casey. "Shotguns must not be capable of holding more than three shells, and taking wild waterfowl over live decoys is also illegal."

Duck Season statewide remains open through January 30, and Canada goose season continues through January 31. A portion of Fulton County will be open for goose hunting through February 15. Youth waterfowl season, for persons who have not yet reached their 16th birthday, will be February 5-6.



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