ALBANY, GA (WALB) – The Department of Natural Resources will not charge or fine a Lee County property owner who they say admitted he set up a remote hunting device to kill wild hogs.
Wednesday, the Department of Natural Resources said the setup included eight guns and was not connected to the Internet as initially reported. But it was illegal.
It was a set up just like this, in an area, just like this right away. All the DNR has to go on is this picture, they never could find the device, but they've talked with property owner Jay Williams and explained why it's against the law.
In southwest Georgia wild hogs are a huge problem. Farmers and plantation owners have been fighting this losing battle for years suffering property losses. Two menacing four gun remote set ups found by utility workers on a Georgia Power right of way to hunt hogs is simply illegal.
"A hunter has the responsibility to identify what his target is and the area beyond that target that everybody and everything in the background is safe," said Captain Jeff Swift, DNR Law Enforcement.
The remote system set up by former property owner Jay Williams turns out not to be Internet based, but that doesn't matter.
"Whether it be remote or whether it be remote via the Internet, either way both of them are violations of Georgia law and would be treated as such," said Swift.
When the set up was brought to DNR's attention in November they did both aerial surveillance and searched the area on foot, but never found any sign the device had been fired, they showed us today why they don't believe it was operational.
"It's not operational because the shot gun shells are sitting right here, and you can't see the shot gun shells on the other, but you can see that the action's open and the bolt right here is pulled back," said Swift.
They also point out what's believed to be the web camera is likely the power source.
"That's the antenna and this you've got to have a battery source, you've got to have a power source and you've got to have a receiver," said Swift.
DNR law enforcement says the gun mounts are legally sold for sighting guns and they strongly discourage anyone using them for this purpose. Because the DNR can't prove the device was fired, they won't file charges in this case. They say if evidence comes forward to prove otherwise then they'll reconsider.
The investigation remains open. The DNR says articles about this device have appeared on Georgia Outdoor News and Field and Stream. They've also received dozens of phone calls about the device.