Hunters rely on trail cameras to help scout areas for game animals and to plan their hunts.
Earlier this month in Allen County, one trail camera image quickly led to the arrests of three Bowling Green, Kentucky men suspected of numerous fish and wildlife-related violations.
The arrests by Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Conservation Officer John Jackson followed a tip from a concerned landowner. An individual from Mississippi who leases the property for hunting notified the landowner -- a retired conservation officer -- soon after a trail camera captured and wirelessly transmitted an image of an unauthorized person with a rifle and a blue backpack on the property.
Jackson responded to the area near Gainesville Port Oliver Road shortly before 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17 and found a car parked near the property. He hid his patrol truck from view and moved to an area where he could observe the car and surrounding area with night-vision equipment.
Three men returned to the car approximately 90 minutes later. Jackson and an Allen County Sheriff's deputy, who responded to assist, approached the men. According to initial reports, one threw a rifle into the weeds and tried to walk away while another tried to run before he was told to stop.
Jackson's initial investigation found one raccoon, two hen turkeys, four ducks and nine squirrels had been harvested. Three .22 rifles were seized. The men were arrested on multiple charges and taken to the Allen County Detention Center.
Oo Reh (26), Plu Reh (43) and Jay Reh (49) are all charged with entry on land to shoot, hunt, fish or trap without consent, two counts of illegal take or pursuit of deer or wild turkey, four counts of illegal taking of a migratory bird and hunting without a license or permit.
In addition, Plu Reh is charged with hunting under the influence. Oo Reh also had an outstanding warrant from 2015 for fish and wildlife charges in Butler County with a $2,500 bond.
The men are due to be arraigned on the charges next month in Allen County District Court.
Anyone who observes or suspects illegal fish and wildlife activity is encouraged to report it to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife by calling 1-800-25-ALERT.
Kentucky's conservation officers are sworn law enforcement officers with statewide jurisdiction but a primary mission focus on hunting, fishing and boating enforcement. In their everyday role, conservation officers ensure compliance with hunting and fishing laws and ensure that the state's waterways are a safe place for all to enjoy by using a two-pronged approach consisting of education and enforcement.