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This may be old news. Sorry if it's already been posted.

TV Hunting Show Host Charged in Jackson County
04/20/10 - 07:17 AM
Jackson County Floridan
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click for larger image Jackson County, Fla:

The host of an outdoors show has been charged with five misdemeanor wildlife offenses, which allegedly occurred as he was filming one of his programs in Jackson County.

Gary Finch, host of Gary Finch Outdoors, is charged with two counts of taking turkey within 100 yards of a feeding station, two counts of possession of being over the bag limit for wild turkey, and one charge of making a false statement in his application for a license or permit.

He is accused of killing two turkeys in one day, while the limit is one per day. He is also accused of killing three turkeys within two days, while the overall spring season limit for turkey is two per hunter.

Finch, 48, is accused of being 12 yards from the bait at a feeding station in one case, and 22 yards from the bait in another instance. Florida law prohibits hunters from being within 100 yards of any feeding station when feed is present while hunting turkeys.

Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission say Finch used a Florida address to gain resident status on his hunting license and turkey permit, when he actually lives in Fairhope, Ala.

Finch?s cameraman, Steven Royce Layton, of Brewton, Ala., is also charged with one count of taking wild turkey within 100 yards of a feeding station. Authorities say he was within 67 yards of an active feeding station.

According to the report filed by FWC in the cases, the incidents took place in March of this year.

Charges were only recently filed, however, as an investigation into the matter took several weeks.

Authorities say two wildlife officers were working a turkey hunting detail on March 21, looking for signs of illegal turkey baiting, when they discovered several food plots on some property off Cecil Road.

The plots had disturbed areas and the officers noticed some wheat seed in the area. Wheat seed, officers said, serves as a feed and attractant for birds, including wild turkeys.

One of the officers found a turkey feather on the ground and noted that it had trauma to the stem ?that looked like it was from bird shot passing through it,? the officer reported.

The officers heard two rapid gunshots as they were examining the find, and began walking toward the sound.

They saw a truck parked in a roadway, noting two fresh turkey legs and a turkey beard in the bed of the truck. They then saw Finch and Layton walking toward them, one of them carrying a camera and each carrying a dead turkey and a firearm.

When the officers inquired about the camera equipment, Finch told them that he and Layton had just finished taping the hunt and re-enactments for his syndicated program, which airs on several stations.

The two officers walked with Layton and Finch back to where the two had just been hunting, an area where there was also a food plot and wheat seed spread heavily on the ground.

There were turkey feathers and blood in the seed, officers said. Finch acknowledged killing a turkey in that area.

Layton and Finch then took the officers to another location where a second turkey was killed, this one by Layton. There were fresh shotgun shells on the ground, and Layton had been sitting about 67 yards from an active feed station, officers allege.

The wildlife officers then informed Finch and Layton that they?d found evidence of another turkey hunt on the other side of the property. An officer had found a feather walking into the site, the report states.

As officers talked with Finch and Layton about their hunting activities the day before, Finch allegedly lied about taking two turkeys on March 20, but later admitted killing two, one above the daily bag limit.

?He told me he lied because he was scared and that it would not happen again,? officer Mike Guy wrote in his report.

After Finch confessed, Layton took officers to the site of the evening hunt of March 20. Officers report that they found turkey decoys still present.

According to the report, Finch told officers during the investigation of the hunting license issue that ?he had a lot of problems and could not get a Florida driver?s license? He?d used the address of the person who owned the land where he was hunting to obtain his resident hunting license.

The officers seized the hunting tapes as evidence in the case.

According to the Web site for Gary Finch Outdoors, the program airs on Sunday mornings on WTVY Channel 4 in Dothan, Ala., as well as other Alabama stations in Baldwin County, Opp and Troy. It also airs on stations in Fort Walton in Florida, and a station that serves the Pensacola and Mobile, Ala. communities.
 

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Sad to say the least. No Wild Game deserves to die for such as that.


Makes you wonder how many other "Celebrity Outdoorsmen" or "Outdoors Personalitys"are Posers.
 

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I've heard some horror stories from folks who have hunted anf fished with him in the past.

This still surprises me. Being a fake is one thing, blantantly breaking the law is another.
 

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Found this online this morning.


<H1>TV host Gary Finch disputes wildlife violations filed against him in Florida</H1>
<H4>By Jeff Dute </H4>
<H5>April 21, 2010, 6:30AM</H5>


<span class="mt-enclosure mt-enclosure-photo" style="DISPLAY: inline"><span class="photo-breakout photo-center large">
<span class=caption>Gary Finch is the host of "Gary Finch Outdoors."Gary Finch, host of the outdoors television show "Gary Finch Outdoors," has been charged with five second-degree misdemeanor wildlife violations while filming his show in Jackson County, Fla. </p>


Finch, 48, of Fairhope, was charged March 21 with two counts of taking turkey within 100 yards of a feeding station, two counts of possession over the bag limit of wild turkey and one count of making a false statement in his application for a Florida license or permit. </p>


"I have never had a game or fish violation in my entire life," Finch said Tuesday. </p>


Finch is charged with killing two turkeys on the same day while the daily bag limit in Florida is one. He was charged with killing three turkeys in two days when the Florida season limit is two per hunter. </p>


He also is accused of killing one turkey 12 yards from bait and another 22 yards from bait. Hunters are prohibited from being within 100 yards of any feeding station when feed is present when hunting turkey in Florida, said Stan Kirkland, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. </p>


Kirkland said Finch also was charged with making a false application to get his resident Florida hunting license when using the address of the property he was hunting. The property is owned by Kern Clark of Dothan, Kirkland said. </p>


Finch?s cameraman, Steve Layton of Brewton, is facing one charge of taking wild turkey within 100 yards of a feeding station. Layton is charged with shooting a turkey within 67 yards of an active feeding station. </p>


A written statement provided by "Gary Finch Outdoors" insisted Finch and Layton were not guilty. </p>


"?Gary Finch Outdoors? takes any such allegations seriously, and looks forward to the opportunity to show its viewers that there was no intent to commit any game violations or any attempt to evade questioning by Florida Wildlife officers" the statement read. </p>


"Neither Finch nor Layton were aware of the presence of baiting stations in the proximity of where the turkey hunting was taking place. The property was not managed by Finch or Layton and the locations of wheat on the property were not disclosed to the two hunters. Requirements for licenses had been verified in a previous season and additional licenses and turkey permits were purchased specifically to meet additional game limits, prior to hunting. The number of turkeys harvested by the two hunters did not exceed the </p>


total Florida limits allowed for two hunters in a single season. </p>


"During the course of production and airing for over 14 years, ?Gary Finch Outdoors? has hunted, fished and filmed in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, Texas and Alaska. There has never been a single game or permit violation against the host or personnel in any of these states over the course of the show?s history. While the events of the recent Florida turkey hunt are regrettable, they should not overshadow the weekly efforts that the show and its host have made towards promoting conservation, education and safety in the outdoors." </p>


According to arresting officer Mike Guy?s narrative of events, he and fellow officer David Arnette were on foot on the Clark property on March 21, the second day of Florida?s spring season, when they noticed a disturbed area in a food plot, then found scattered wheat seed. </p>


Arnette found a turkey feather that he believed showed evidence of having had bird shot pass through the stem. </p>


Guy and Arnette then heard two gunshots in rapid succession and started walking in that direction. They found a truck parked in the road and noticed two fresh turkey legs and a beard in the truck?s bed. </p>


While at the truck, Guy said Finch and Layton came into view. Each man was carrying a turkey and the officers noticed one of them carrying camera equipment. </p>


While Guy checked licenses and permits, Arnette went to the location where they were hunting. When asked about the camera, Guy said that Finch told him they had just finished taping the hunt and re-enactments and were heading to the truck. </p>


Arnette returned and indicated he had found a violation. Guy said officers found turkey feathers and blood among wheat seed 12 yards from where Finch said he was sitting when he shot the bird. </p>


Finch and Layton then took the officers to another location where Layton?s turkey was killed. They found a fresh shotgun shell where Layton was sitting 67 yards from an active feed station. Layton allegedly shot his turkey 65 yards from the same feed station. </p>


Officers then told Finch and Layton about the feather Arnette had found and asked them to go with them to that location. </p>


While talking to Finch and Layton separately about their opening-day hunts, Layton told Arnette that Finch had killed two birds the day before and that he?d filmed both hunts. Layton said one turkey was given to the landowner and the other was in an ice chest in the truck. </p>


According to the report, Finch said he had wounded a bird opening morning but couldn?t find it before killing one that afternoon. Guy said Finch later admitted harvested both turkeys. </p>


When officers went to the location of the March 20 evening hunt, they found an active feeding station 22 yards from the ground blind the men sat in to film the hunt. </p>


Finch and Layton, who Kirkland said are first-time offenders in Florida and must appear in Jackson County Court on May 3, face maximum fines of $500 and 60 days in jail on each count. Kirkland added, though, that jail time is not common for offenders who have not had previous wildlife violations. </p>
 

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He knows good and well that his career is over if he does not dispute the charges. Chalk it up to the same game that Bill Clinton played.

I may not agree with alot of the Laws on fish and game, but I abide by them anyway. This guy thinks he is above the law.
 

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Just another poser douche bag, making all of us real hunters look bad! And now he claims to be innocent??? What a frigan joke! I hope the people airing his show drop his [email protected]@ with a quickness!

This story reminds me of our former sheriff who claimed to not know he was breaking the law on his hunting trip a few years back...as if we all(the responsible hunters, anyway)do not know to ALWAYS look into the laws for the area(s) we plan on hunting!
 

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Give the guy a break... I mean I know a 350#+ capcity feeder that's 8 feet off the groundis hard to see in the middle of a 5 acre food plot. Especially if you sit directly under it. I mean who looks up when your turkey hunting.

I know there are two sides to every story but that is ridiculous.Unfortunatley I'm betting this is more common than not on a lot of the shows we watch.
 

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Yes I think it is sad. I hunted with him in Alabama and thought he was a pretty good guy. There is always two sides to a story. But if he was doing it then he is probably done for sure. At least any where near here anyway.
 

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I've quail hunted with Gary and Steve and both seemed like good guys. I don't know enough about it to comment and you can't believe everything you read. Hopefully this is just some kind of mix up.
 

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Know the LAW.... If you knowingly break it then you have to accept the criticism that follows. Bag limits, catch limits its always something that is tempting to do. Shooting Turkey in Florida is tough enough. Taking 2-3 in a couple days it must be a zoo!

Hunt legally and ethically.

Its just a deer, rabbit turkey dove, red snapper or whatever. You dont get ribbons for multiple games kills.

If nothing else, Gary get rid of the dang spurs and beards!! Comeon... LOL

Oh well....

Yall do some googles on the Drury Bros and some of the Big Outfitters in like IL, MO, MI, OH...... ya gonna get caught one day....Right Ron McNesbee! Boy there is a great story!!! I know 4-5 of those guys and all good people, but, greed got to them!
 

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I knew a couple of guys who fished okeechobee 20 years ago when Roland Martin filmed alot of his big bass fishin' shows there, they actually stayed at his marina. They said he was a real jerk and always seemed to be in a bad mood but that he fought with his wife so much that it would put anybody in a bad mood. He eventually divorced her and she got the marina.- Any way these guys said that Rolands crew would take huge gill type nets (small mesh) and circle afootball field sizearea weeks before a shoot - they would then protect it and fill it with 7 -12 pounders that the other local guides were catching, the local guides and FWCalso protected the area knowing that they would benefit from the TV show as well. After a few weeks Roland and the camera crew would show up and film (not showing the netted off area) using shiners and boat several of the big captives- a few weeks later the marinas would fill up with people from all over. Don't know if there were any laws being broken, but it sounds a little unethical to me. On the other hand the guys I knew used to fill their freezers every time they went.
 
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