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Waterfowl Hunter and Guides Sentenced for Exceeding Daily Bag Limits


July 31, 2002

Jim Rothschild, 404/679-7291

Two hunting guides with Duck Hole Outfitters in Sledge Mississippi, and one of their clients were sentenced last week in a federal District Court in the Northern District of Mississippi for exceeding the waterfowl and dove hunting limits from 1997 to 2000. The guides, Chuck W. Aldison and Robert E. Aldison, Jr. and the client, Robert W. Hess, from Newark, Ohio, pled guilty to violating the Lacey Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

A covert investigation, conducted by Special Agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Wildlife Officers of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, exposed the violations. The prosecution of the case was handled by the Office of the United States' Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi. On July 23, 2002, Hess was fined $5,000 and placed on three years probation. On July 26, Chuck and Robert Aldison were each fined $3,500 and placed on two years probation. Hess and the Aldisons are prohibited from hunting, guiding, or outfitting any where in the world for their term of probation.

"This conviction should send a clear message to other guides and outfitters that if they aid and abet hunters with violating federal laws, they will be held accountable," said Robert Oliveri, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Resident Agent in Charge in Jackson, Mississippi.

According to Oliveri, the investigation revealed flagrant violations of killing more than the daily bag limit of federally protected migratory game birds. During 1997-2000, a hunter was allowed to take fifteen doves as the daily bag limit; however, Hess killed more than 60 doves during a morning and an afternoon hunt in September 2000. Hess also killed as many as 25 ducks during one hunt. Hess and the Aldisons often took two limits of ducks a day during this time period, a tactic to avoid apprehension often described as "double-tripping."

"We worked very closely, as we have for many years, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect our State's wildlife resources," said Lieutenant-Colonel John Collins of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. "It was a well-executed investigation, and the penalties were justified."

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2001 News Releases

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