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Night Hunting Investigation Leads to Multiple Violations and Arrest

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited three men for alleged hunting violations in Avoyelles Parish in January and February of 2019.

Agents cited James A. Bacon, 53, Bruce Norman, 55, both of Marksville, and Henry Tidwell Jr., 50, of Pineville, for possession of an illegally taken deer, hunting deer during illegal hours, and hunting without basic hunting and big game hunting licenses.

Bacon was also arrested for illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, taking deer with an illegal weapon, taking deer illegally from a boat, failing to comply with deer tagging requirements and possession of marijuana. Norman was also cited for taking deer illegally from a boat. Tidwell Jr. was also cited for failing to comply with deer tagging requirements.

Agents received information on Jan. 6 that Bacon was involved in some illegal night hunting that was taking place near Slim Lemoine Road south of Marksville in Avoyelles Parish. Agents made contact with Bacon, during a traffic stop and found him in possession of two firearms in the back seat of the truck.

On Jan. 19, agents discovered that Bacon was a convicted felon and obtained a search warrant for his residence. During the execution of the search warrant, agents located three firearms, an ice chest of deer meat and and a bag of marijuana. Bacon admitted to killing the deer with Norman with a .17 rifle on the Coulee des Grous Bayou that runs parallel to Slim Lemoine Road. Agents seized the three firearms and the bag of marijuana.

Later that evening, agents made contact with Norman and he admitted to driving the boat at night and holding the spotlight while Bacon shot the deer. Normand also informed agents that he was involved with the taking of another deer at night with Tidwell, Jr.

Agents were unable to make contact with Tidwell Jr. during this time due to numerous warrants for his arrest. On Feb. 11, the Forest Hill Police Department informed agents that they apprehended Tidwell Jr. and booked him at Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office. Agents made contact with Tidwell Jr. and he admitted to shooting an antlerless deer at night with a 12-gauge shotgun.

Hunting deer during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Possession of an illegally taken deer carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Taking deer with an illegal weapon and from a boat, and failing to comply with deer tagging requirements each carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense. Hunting without basic hunting and big game licenses each brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.

Illegally possessing a firearm by a convicted felon brings a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and 10 to 20 years in jail. Possession of marijuana brings up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.

Bacon and Tidwell Jr. may also face civil restitution totaling $1,624 each for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer.