Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Pensacola Big-Wigs Busted in Wisconsin

"A righteous man respects the life of his animal: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel."
An undercover sting of illegal deer and turkey hunting in southwest Wisconsin "culminated Wednesday when state and federal prosecutors filed 186 charges against 46 people from 11 states." Out of the 46 people charged, 18 are from Pensacola, including prominent Pensacola politicians and a Baptist minister.

In a top-of-the-front-page headline story, the Pensacola News Journal's Kris Thoma reports, "Escambia County Sheriff Ron McNesby, Escambia County Commissioner Mike Whitehead, the Rev. Gordon Godfrey of Marcus Pointe Baptist Church and 15 other local residents" were among those being charged in Wisconsin.

Also involved in some unspecified way, the local reporter writes, is Escambia County administrator George Tuart. Touart purportedly "has not been charged and refused to discuss the matter Monday night."

Thoma says the charges against
McNesby and Whitehead include hunting deer during the closed season and hunting deer "over bait." McNesby also faces an additional charge of hunting deer without a license, the paper reports.

At the center of the case is
Adam Lee Lawinger, who owns and operates Blue River Outfitters. Lawinger has been charged in federal court "with conspiring to sell deer and turkeys that were illegally hunted and transported across state lines." Wisconsin news reports say it is alleged --
"that he sold guided deer and turkey hunts on land he and an unindicted co- conspirator owned or leased. In the process, the charges allege, Lawinger allowed hunters to kill deer and turkeys without licenses, used female deer carcasses more than once to register multiple bucks, baited deer within chronic wasting disease control zones, and shined and shot deer at night.
Baptist minister Godfrey told local reporters that over the past few years he "organized Christian hunting trips... for numerous church members" led by Lawinger.

What's a "Christian hunting trip" involve? Among the accusations Godfrey faces are:
· Hunting deer with an improper license.
· Hunting wild turkey during the closed season.
· Hunting wild turkey without a valid permit.
· Hunting wild turkey without a license.
· Transporting/possessing untagged turkey.
· Failure to make an effort to retrieve downed game.
According to Randy Stark, Wisconsin's chief game warden, during the multi-year undercover sting operation, "We observed an almost obsessive overemphasis on trophy hunting. By making shooting a trophy the only goal of hunting, cutting corners on fair chase became acceptable to these poachers, and complying with conservation law became optional."


Anonymous said...

Hunting over bait isn't Hunting. It's one step away from enticing little kids with Lollipops.

No license makes sense because they don't sell them for closed seasons, or for shooting baited animals do they.

Anonymous said...

(Mark 1:17 KJV) And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.

G.G. says: "Follow me and make you to become hunters of illegal game."

3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Need I say more?