Indiana Conservation Officers have had their work cut out for them this year, with an increase of over 60% in hunting violations this year. To date, 489 separate hunting violations were reported within District One, which covers the seven north-central counties of St. Joseph, Elkhart, Marshall, Kosciusko, Fulton, Miami, and Wabash. Last year, only 304 violations were reported.
The most common violation was hunting without a license, with 97 reports filed. Fifty-four reports of hunting without the consent of the landowner were made, and 27 of hunting over a baited area. Conservation officers have announced that they will be continuing their investigations into hunting violations into 2012, as many hunting seasons continue into the new year.
There were five non-fatal hunting accidents reported this year: two self-inflicted gunshot wounds, two deer hunters were injured after falling from their tree stands because they were not wearing a fall arrest system, and one archery deer hunter was mistaken for a game animal and shot in the stomach.
Lieutenant John Karris encourages anyone with information regarding the illegal taking of wildlife to call 1-800-TIP-IDNR to make a report which is eligible for a cash reward if the information leads to charges filed.