Texas bird-baiting case settled

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Bird-baiting case settled

By Ralph Winingham, San Antonio Express-News

6/14/2002

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department's Operation Game Thief program received a $15,000 donation Thursday from the 74 Ranch and Hunting Resort as part of a settlement for a dove-baiting case last year.

George Robinson of Houston, owner of the 28,000-acre hunting operation near Campbellton, agreed to the donation as a condition of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service case involving 17 dove hunters at the ranch on Sept. 22, 2001.

In addition to the donation, the ranch owner was fined $15,000 for illegally baiting areas of the facility for commercial hunting purposes in a case handled by Special Agent Jerry Monroe, on special assignment from Beaumont for the opening of the South Zone dove season.

"This is our first and last violation," said Milo Abercrombie, manager of the 74 Ranch on Thursday.

Grain had been distributed on ranch roads to provide food for quail because of poor forage conditions and some dove hunters were inadvertently allowed to hunt there, he said.

The 74 Ranch primarily caters to quail, waterfowl and deer hunters.

Monroe pointed out that under both federal and state law, migratory birds like doves may not be hunted in areas where grain has been distributed, even if the grain is to be used by other species.

As part of the agreement, federal authorities dismissed the notice of violation filed against ranch employees and dropped charges against the hunters.

rwiningham@express-news.net
 

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