April 19, 2011 – A Department of Fish and Game (DFG) investigation led the Humboldt County District Attorney’s office to file 17 charges against a bear hunter and licensed guide. In an April 12 plea agreement, Edgar Ray Roden, 56, of McKinleyville, pleaded guilty to four Fish and Game Code violations.

In June 2009 DFG wardens caught Roden running his hounds in a dog control zone in Northern Humboldt County that was closed at the time. They later served a search warrant at his residence. The subsequent investigation uncovered 17 violations of California’s wildlife laws. Charges ranged from illegal take and possession of black bear to illegal possession of mountain lion hides that were made into rugs. Licensed hunting guides are subject to the same laws – and the same penalties for violating them – as all other hunters.

“People who offer guide services to hunters in California know the difference between legal hunting and poaching,” said Warden Jackie Krug, lead investigator in the case. “We count on them to help educate hunters, and expect them to know, respect and obey the laws and regulations.”

Roden pleaded guilty to taking two bears over the legal limit, using hounds to pursue/take mammals in a closed zone, falsifying his guide license application by failing to disclose a prior spotlighting conviction, and failing to keep and submit guide log records as required.

The court sentenced Roden to three years of probation and fined him $3,140. He was also ordered to forfeit his 2011 hunting license and hunting privileges for all species, beginning the opening day of bear season and ending the closing day of bear season. In addition, he will not be permitted to apply for or receive a guide license for three years from the date of sentencing.

The DFG Law Enforcement Division reminds Californians that environmental laws exist to ensure proper wildlife management and species survival. Poaching – illegally harming or killing fish or wildlife – is an insult to the vast majority of hunters and anglers who obey the rules. Californians can help protect their wildlife and habitat by reporting poachers and polluters to DFG by calling the toll-free CalTIP hotline: 1-888-334-2258 (888-DFG-CALTIP). For more information, please visit the CalTIP webpage at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/enforcement/caltip.aspx.

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