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Scott Co. hunters sentenced after pleading guilty to hunting doves over baited field

Source: FWS website
Source: FWS website
Updated: Aug. 31, 2018 at 3:44 PM CDT
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JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Eleven hunters pleaded guilty before a judge last week to federal charges of hunting mourning dove over a baited field in Scott County last September.

On September 2, 2017, agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found eleven men hunting mourning dove over a field that had been baited with cracked corn, millet and rice.

The field had been under surveillance after having been previously identified as illegally baited for purposes of hunting mourning dove.

The following individuals were arrested and sentenced:

38-year-old Richard Carl Boozer of Morton; 38-year-old George Mitchell Davis of Brandon; 34-year-old James Nicholas Davis of Forest; 38-year-old Dink Rainey Gibson IV of Morton; 34-year-old John Nick Harrison of Brandon; 52-year-old Mark Edward Holifield of Raleigh; 61-year-old Michael L. Parks of Brandon; 34-year-old Hiram Luther Richardson of Morton; 37-year-old Justin Cochran Russell of Forest; 38-year-old Preston Lamar Woods of Forest; and 65-year-old Roger Douglas Woods of Forest.

Each individual received a $6,000 fine and was sentenced to a one year term of probation, during which time they forfeit their right to hunt anywhere in the world.

Additionally, Gibson IV pleaded guilty to illegally placing the bait on the field and was ordered to pay an additional fine of $2,400 and serve two years of probation.

Russell pleaded guilty to hunting without a license and was ordered to pay an additional $600 fine.

Boozer pleaded guilty to hunting migratory birds with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shotgun shells, and was sentenced to pay an additional $600 fine.

All eleven defendants were charged under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, a federal law that regulates the hunting of migratory birds.

Hunting over a baited field carries a maximum possible sentence of up to six months in prison and up to a $15,000 fine. Placement of bait carries a maximum possible sentence of up to one year in prison and up to a $100,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dave Fulcher.

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