CONCORDIA PARISH, LA — A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agent and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) agent arrested two Louisiana men on Jan. 31 for alleged hunting violations on the Bayou Cocodrie National Wildlife Refuge (NWR).
The agents were patrolling the NWR when they observed Duell S. Moreland, 23, of Monterey, walking down a trail shining a headlight in a searching manner. Upon approaching Moreland with the aid of night vision, the agents identified themselves as police officers and told Moreland to do not move. Moreland then attempted to run away on foot before being caught from behind by the agents.
The agents identified Moreland and learned that he is awaiting trial for the illegal killing of a black bear in Concordia Parish. Moreland was found wearing a head light on his forehead, carrying a loaded crossbow equipped with a night vision scope, a loaded .444 rifle, possession of marijuana and another person’s deer tags.
The agents then went back to a nearby camp on private property where Moreland originated his illegal hunt from and found Ronnie Mason, 43, of Jonesville. After further investigation, agents revealed that Mason is a convicted felon who was also illegally in possession of a firearm at the camp.
The agents also found a freshly killed untagged doe near the camp with several propeller cuts on its body. An investigation revealed that while travelling to the camp, Mason intentionally ran over the deer in his boat that was attempting to swim across Bayou Cocodrie.
Moreland was booked into jail for hunting deer during illegal hours, failing to comply with deer tagging requirements, second offense of illegal possession of marijuana, resisting an officer, possession of marijuana while in possession of a firearm, hunting deer using illegal methods, and using archery equipment with illegal sights. Mason was booked into jail for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, hunting deer using illegal methods and failing to comply with deer tagging requirements.
Moreland turned himself into the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 18, 2013, for his alleged role in the illegal killing of a Louisiana Black Bear.
Possessing a firearm while in possession of marijuana carries up to a $10,000 fine and five to 10 years in jail. Possessing a firearm by a convicted felon brings a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and 10 to 20 years in jail. Second offense possession of marijuana carries a $250 to $2,000 fine and up to five years in jail. Resisting an officer carries up to a $500 fine and up to six months in jail. Hunting deer during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Failing to comply with deer tagging requirements and using illegal sights each carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail. Hunting deer using illegal methods brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.
Agents involved in the case are LDWF Sgt. Trey Mason and USFWS Agent Mark Cupit.