November 04, 2005
The Forest Service issued 16 citations between Oct. 28 and Oct.30 to six people for three separate incidents of illegal spotlighting. Attempting to take game with the aid of an artificial light, also known as "spotlighting" or "jack lighting," is illegal under both state and federal statutes.
The citations also included shooting from a road, hunting without a license, damage to government property, operating a motor vehicle without a license and possession of a controlled substance. Additionally, one individual was arrested on an outstanding domestic violence warrant.
"Using spotlights to poach deer at night is not only illegal but it's dangerous," said Tongass National Forest Lead Law Enforcement Officer Ken Pearson. "It's a matter of public safety."
Local-area subsistence users have also voiced their concern about illegal night hunting and its negative effect on deer harvesting.
"We understand the legal hunters concerns and are addressing it," said Pearson. "Protecting the resource is important. There has been a history of this type of activity on Prince of Wales and we are cracking down on 'spotlighting' because we do not want to see anyone hurt or killed."
Increased patrols by Forest Service law enforcement officers on Prince of Wales Island produced the latest results. Pearson said the night poachers negatively impact the resource, endanger other forest users, and may end up costing themselves in more ways than one.
Federal penalties for spotlighting can include fines up to $5,000 and/or six months in jail.
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