Friday, May 30, 2008

Wildlife crime notebook makes for interesting reading

From "The Wild Life" with Mark Taylor.

t's a proven fact that everybody loves the Police Blotter. You know, that feature in the local paper that lists that week's arrests. (The big crimes usually get more ink, of course.)

Police blotters might not be so appealing if they contained only boring things like vehicle break-ins, basic larcenies and speeding tickets. But they don't. Along with those basic crimes, the blotters detail all kinds of crazy and, frankly, funny stuff.

Regular cops aren't the only ones dealing with wacky stuff. Conservation Police Officers (formerly game wardens) run into some kooky situations, and now the regular public can read some of the highlights (or lowlights, in some cases).

The report runs in the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' Outdoor Report.

Not all of these are funny. One of the reports in the latest version details an officer's involvement with a case in which a woman died when her car went into the water at a boat ramp on the Shenandoah River.

But then there's the story about the felon who, when caught with a dead deer and a muzzleloader, claimed both belonged to a mysterious friend. The friend, of course, never showed up to claim the deer and gun.

The report a couple of weeks ago included a write-up on a couple of bass fishermen nailed for cheating at a tournament at Claytor Lake. I'm planning to use that story as a basis for a newspaper column.

The only problem with the notebook? Unlike the regular police blotters, this one doesn't include the names of the arrested.

Be sure to check out Mark's blog, it's full of good stories and information!

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