Oklahoma game wardens report several poaching cases over Thanksgiving holiday

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Over the holiday weekend, Oklahoma Game Wardens saw a rash of poaching cases across the state.

From fur to feather, and even fish - they were working to stop these often dangerous and senseless crimes.

"Thanksgiving weekend is usually one of our busiest of the year for sure," said Lt. Col. Wade Farrar with the Oklahoma Dept. of Wildlife Conservation.

With folks home for the holidays, Farrar says there was an increase of activity - and in the amount of rules broken.

"There's a reason we don't want people driving down the road shooting guns out of the windows," Farrar said.

That's what happened in one of several poaching cases recently posted on the Oklahoma Game Wardens' Facebook page.

A cow elk was found shot at Camp Gruber, one of the departments' management areas.

The elk was left paralyzed while the suspect drove off.

"Still looking for that one," Farrar said.

But in Logan County, a social media slip-up led to a different suspect being captured.

"[He] said he was out hunting coyotes when he found this deer. So, what really happened there, we really don't know," Farrar said. "[He] didn't have a hunting license or a deer license, either one."

Though deer poaching keeps game wardens busy this time of year, that didn't stop them from catching these fishermen over the limit on hybrid-striped bass at Kaw Dam in Ponca City.

"So, they were able to sack those guys up and kind of surprise them on a Thanksgiving weekend," Farrar said.

Then in Checotah, an eagle-eyed wildlife biologist spotted a blue heron shot dead in a ditch. The animal's body - like in so many poaching cases - was left to rot.
It's something that leaves wildlife officials frustrated, something senseless they hope to stop.

"Animals are just like us," Farrar said. "They have a life, and when that life is taken from them it needs to be used for the most."

If you see suspicious hunting activity, you're urged to contact a local game warden or you local sheriff's office.

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