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Homer man sentenced for turkey hunting violations in Claiborne Parish

by Minden Press-Herald

A North Louisiana man was sentenced on April 3 in Claiborne Parish for turkey hunting violations.

The Honorable Judge Walter May sentenced Justin Lester, 36, of Homer, to pay a $500 fine, pay $1,539.37 in civil restitution and sentenced to serve 60 days in jail.

Lester’s conviction stems from a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) investigation that resulted in him being cited for hunting turkeys over a baited area, possession of an illegally taken turkey and failing to tag a turkey on April 16, 2023 in Claiborne Parish.

Agents were on patrol when they came across Lester actively hunting turkeys near Athens. Agents then heard a shot shortly thereafter and were able to make contact with Lester.

During the hunting check, Lester was in possession of a freshly harvested turkey and agents documented corn spread on the ground where Lester was hunting. Agents also found that Lester was on probation and had his hunting licenses revoked for being cited for hunting turkeys over a baited area in April of 2022.

Agents participating in this case were Sgt. Ryan Brasher and Agent Evan Hoek.

Placing bait to attract wild turkeys causes them to congregate in places they would not normally be and is not a substitute for good habitat management. Continued use of baited areas by flocks of wild turkeys increase predation risks and the potential for disease transmission. In addition, hunting over baited areas violates the basic principles of fair chase with regard to hunting wild turkeys. For these reasons, hunting wild turkeys over bait or within 200 yards of a baited area is prohibited.

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