WORTH CO., GA (WALB) - South Georgia hunting landowners and managers said poachers and trespassers are becoming a big crime issue.
The Department of Natural Resources' game wardens said they see it quite often and agree it could be a dangerous issue.
Woody Brooks manages a large hunting property in Worth County and said that he and his neighbors are seeing a real problem from poachers and trespassers.
"The other day we had somebody actually pulled into the field and was shooting out of the car," said Brooks. "They said they were shooting pigs."
DNR game wardens agree, receiving six calls a day reporting unknown people on hunting property.
Brooks said that since a near state record deer was taken in Worth County, they have seen more unknown cars riding the back roads and too often poaching deer.
"These guys don't have hunting land. Or can't afford hunting land or don't want to afford hunting land," explained Brooks. "So, they ride the roads, they shine them at night."
"You don't know who they are, what they are doing. They could just be parked there eating lunch. They could be involved in criminal activity. You just never know," said DNR Game Warden David Jones.
Because you just never know, game wardens are warning property owners not to confront these unknown people.
"If you see cars on your property, don't approach them," said Jones. "Just get as much detailed information from a distance."
Brooks said another problem is theft. Property owners will prosecute anyone who is caught.
"What we want to do is warn people," said Brooks. "If they, and when they get caught, they most likely going to go to jail."
Another issue with poachers is people firing high powered guns without knowledge of who is on the property. That's a crime that could turn deadly.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has a tip hotline, 800-241-4113.
Game wardens said property owners can just get a license plate number of a suspicious car. You can stay anonymous reporting it, and not put yourself at risk.