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Fish and Wildlife Escorts 2 Teens Out of Seminole Woods Area Over Illegal Hunting

| October 18, 2015

fish and wildlife illegal hunting palm coast

Fish and Wildlife going into the Woods Saturday evening to find the hunters. (© FlaglerLive)

Officers searched the woods with weapons drawn for hunters yesterday evening between Seward Trail East and Sea Breeze Trail in Palm Coast. Twenty minutes later two teen hunters were found and issued a warning for hunting on private property. They had a hunting permit, otherwise they’d have faced stiffer punishment.

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 3:30 p.m. Saturday reporting two men in camouflage parking their Jeep Cherokee and entering the woods in that area. A vacant lot where Seward Trail curves east into Seward Trail west is owned by Jacksonville-based D.R. Horton Inc., the home-building company. Right-of-way land beyond it belongs to Palm Coast.

Officers from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and a deputy from the Sheriff’s Office went into the woods around 5 p.m. in search of the hunters.

Police found two teenagers, 16 and 15, with a compound bow. They were hunting deer. Fish and Wildlife let the teens off with a warning about not to hunt on potentially private land without permission. Trespassing while in possession of a gun or bow is a third-degree felony that carries a maximum penalty of a $5,000 fine or five years in prison, though it’s seldom enforced to that extent.

Josh Reinert, who lives with his family across from the wooded area where the hunting was taking place, called the Sheriff’s Office after recognizing one of the hunters: the previous day the teen had exited the woods with a deer slung over his back. Reinert said he’d called authorities out of concern over stray bullets possibly harming his family.

“I really don’t want anyone shooting guns around the house,” Reinert said.

Game Warden and Fish and Wildlife Officer Eric Meade said he found the hunters by whistling, a method that safely alerts hunters to officers’ presence. One of the teenagers showed pictures of the deer kill from Friday to the officers, Meade said. The officers escorted the teenagers back to their Jeep.

The primary functions of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission when responding to a call are to look at the game being hunted and what type of weapon is used, Meade said. He chose not to issue a fine because there’d been no formal complaint from the property owner, he said.

“We’re glad to see kids outdoors,” he said, reiterating reiterated the need for permission when hunting on private property. Palm Coast’s code forbids hunting in city parks, but it is silent about hunting elsewhere.

In cases where there is a complaint from the property owner or when out-of-season game is being hunted or an illegal weapon used, hunters are interviewed and either fined or face charges that are forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office, Meade said.

Antlered and antlerless deer hunting season (with a bow) in the zone that includes Flagler County ends today, to be followed by crossbow or bow season and only for antlered deer between Oct. 19 and 23, according to Florida hunting regulations, leading to other regulations after Oct. 24 (as outlined here). All hunters must have a $5 deer permit as well as a hunting license.

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16 Responses for “Fish and Wildlife Escorts 2 Teens Out of Seminole Woods Area Over Illegal Hunting”

  1. Ron R. says:

    I do not agree with the decision to let these two knuckleheads off with just a warning. There’s no way they should have been hunting anywhere near where they were – permit or not!

  2. YankeeExPat says:

    I have seen Hunters on Colbert Lane more than a few times in the past year. Is hunting legit there? I know the Graham Swap preservation area encompasses a lot of acreage between 95 and Colbert lane.

  3. Fldeerhntr says:

    Yes, these kids should have gotten permission from the land owner. But I really dont think they did anything wrong. I rather have these kids doing stuff like this than breaking into cars at night. I live in Seminole Woods and I had my 9 year old sons bike stolen from our driveway at night. If more people encoraged their children to do outdoor activities maybe they would not get bored with the tv and video games and resort to getting in trouble. There is nothing wrong with bringing the family home some healthy organic meat. Its possible that this could have been the only way that thier family had something to eat this week. I have known officer Mead for quite some time and he handled this very professionally.

  4. tim says:

    . WOW CANT PLEASE EVERYONE!!!! what the officers did was the right thing, rather have the kids hunting on private property then looting a house or something. dont get your panties in a bunch over 2 harmless teens out having fun hunting. They did nothing wrong and probably learned there lesson. i guess you would have been happy to hear the officers arrested them and threw them in our over populated jail or possibly fired at them..

  5. Confidential says:

    No one should be hunting in the city jurisdiction not only on the city parks. A mountain bikers and hikers can be killed by stray bullets or arrows from hunters if allowed in Graham Swap or any of its vicinity land. When is the city going to extend its hunting regulations beyond our city parks and into our whole city jurisdiction? After someone is killed? Maybe like happened with that little girl running to her school bus?

  6. LiterateReader says:

    Give the deers the right to bear arms!!!!

  7. Hey says:

    And what are they going to change about that? Make it so cars can’t drive on roads? That was an accident. Stop trying to compare these two incidents, they’re not the same.

  8. Confidential says:

    Dear Hey:
    If that driver would have slow down at walk pace among those students this girl would be alive.
    Speeding in our city is a fun sport or while careless texting now…can you hear those engines raving in our pleasant afternoons and nights? We have streets and highways and not speedways to cruise around.

  9. Ron R. says:

    I beg to differ, FLdeerhntr – they DID do something wrong. They were illegally hunting on private land. I’m not saying throw them into jail, but I do think at a minimum a fine was in order.

  10. David B says:

    They had hunting permits. They just need to get permission the land owner. Nothing wrong with that.

  11. Kevin says:

    Comments that try to justify illegal action on the part of these violators by somehow saying they could have been doing something worse are absurd. Would these folks say the same thing if these guys were spraying graffiti on street signs…”well at least they weren’t breaking and entering” ! Give me a break. If you were out walking your dog and your or your pet got an arrow through your side you wouldn’t be so lenient.

  12. Outsider says:

    Gotta love it; kids doing something other than breaking into homes, cars, and doing drugs and people still complain. There aren’t lines drawn on the ground delineating every property line, so it is difficult to know exactly where you are at at all times. They weren’t doing anything irresponsible, so why punish them? Not every kids wants to play soccer. And why is anyone talking about bullets? They were hunting with a bow and arrow.

  13. Just me says:

    Amazing the how many say that ALL hunting should be banned within city limits because they have a FEAR of being hit by an arrow or bullet. First if you are dumb enough to walk in the woods during hunting season dressed like GAME then you get what you get. look at how often people get hurt while out in the woods during hunting seasons NOT often. I don’t own a boat or have water front land in PC so I say take away the “rights” to have a boat in the canals behind your homes just because I don’t like them.

  14. Just me says:

    ( Confidential)

    the driver was driving a safe speed as far as I know she did NOT get arrested or a ticket. The child just walked into the path of the oncoming auto.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Two kids come onto your property, uninvited, allegedly with the intention of hunting– How would you know that was their intention, anyway? Especially if they were kids you did not know–or/and especially if you lived in an area where illegal hunting was already taking place, with bullets flying near where other human beings happen to be innocently living their lives. Something tells me that even avid hunters and gun rights/weapons defenders wouldn’t be too pleased if it was THEIR property that was being trespassed–Or if it was their loved ones and neighbors being endangered by bored knuckleheads looking for a little fun.

  16. Anonymous says:

    There doing what they know best. Let them hunt, thy are not hurting anyone. They are minding their own business

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