Wildlife Officers Have Covert Operation to Catch Illegal Hunting Practices

By: Amelia Nahmias Email
By: Amelia Nahmias Email

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va -- Conservation Officer Wayne Bilhimer was out on Wednesday trying to catch hunters shooting from the road. That is illegal and a problem especially in this area.

"We had several complaints on this road. What happens is the poachers come down this road. And it's private property, the hunters that come down this road are trespassing because this guy doesn't want anyone here," said Bilhimer.

They set up a decoy deer that is remote controlled and placed in an obvious location to lure offenders. An officer dresses in camouflage and wears a bullet proof vest just in case. Then the officer finds a safe location to wait.

"He'll focus the head actually looking at the person, then as they slowly drive by he'll bring the head around as if the deer is watching the person drive by."

Poaching from the road isn't the only problem this year. Illegal littering of carcasses is another thing that Billhimer is watching for.

"There's seven deer here and a bear as well. So this is definitely something that is illegal, you can lose your hunting privilege if you're caught doing this. This is one of the areas we're definitely working on and hoping to find the violators who are trashing up the community in this unsightly manner."

To try and catch people, officers set up a hidden camera that takes a picture every five seconds.

"This year alone, we've had several arrests we've made where we were able to catch these guys doing this. We're not going to give up. We have the technology the resources to go in after these guys and get it to stop."

This is a covert operation the officers carry out during this time of year. They will be in different places and always hidden to make sure hunters follow the rules and stay safe.

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