Rowdy hunters cause concern in Quitman County

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

QUITMAN COUNTY, GA (WTVM) -  Authorities in Quitman County are cracking down on hunters. They say some out-of-state sportsmen are getting out of line and breaking the law.

Early Friday morning, Quitman County Sheriff's deputies got a call from an elderly couple saying someone was shooting a gun right outside their rural home.

When police got there, they found the couple's dog suffering from a gunshot wound as well as the alleged gunman, 57-year-old Henry Albert Jackson- a Florida man on a deer hunting trip.

They say he had been drinking, smoking weed, and carrying a pistol without a license and put him under arrest.

But authorities say this isn't the first problem they've had with out-of-state hunters this year. From night-hunting to illegal dumping of trash and deer carcasses, police say some visitors taking things too far.

"We've had several complaints here in the last couple of weeks with hunters shooting across roadways, shooting from the road, and doing things they're not supposed to. I know it's just a small majority because most of the people that hunt here from out of town abide by the law but there's a few up here that think they can do what they want to," said Eddie Ingram, Chief Deputy for the Quitman County Sheriff's Office.

And with another six weeks left in deer hunting season in Georgia, officials want hunters to know it's not fair game to break the law.

"It's starting to make a lot of Quitman County residents uneasy. Actually, they're getting mad about it. Some of them are just tired and fed up with folks bullying over them basically," Ingram added.

Quitman County officials say they've submitted all of the complaints they've received so far to the Department of Natural Resources to try to stop the hunting problems.

Quitman County authorities also say their beefing up patrols in the afternoon and night in the rural parts of the county where the complaints are coming from.

They tell WTVM some property owners are even using surveillance to catch any illegal activity.

©2009 WTVM. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.