Not a lot of deer hunters get to experience the spectacular scenery around Inyo County, near the Eastern Sierras. The G-3 Zone includes land east of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, some of the state’s most rugged country.
“Ethical hunters prize the G-3 tag for the incredible landscape and quantity of large deer,” says Lt. Bill Dailey of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s law enforcement division. “With only 35 tags issued every year, hunters can apply for years and never draw this zone.”
Perhaps that’s what had allegedly prompted Bishop resident Joseph Eugene Bragdon to take his young son on a hunt in Division Creek, part of Zone G-3, but with a deer tag from another zone and hunted a month before the very short season that takes place between Dec. 6-21. CDFW officials received a call on its CalTIP hotline (888-334-2258) of the possible violation.
The investigation got a big boost from a CDFW tracking K-9, Sieger. The dog successfully followed the scent of a mule deer and found most of a rotting corpse. The three-point buck was missing just the antlers and some of its edible meat. A $15,000 warrant was issued by the Inyo County District Attorney’s office, which took Bragdon, 37, into custody.
“Bragdon faces possible charges for several violations of the Fish and Game Code, including taking a deer without a license, tag or permit, failure to fill out tags, waste of game, failure to have a tag in possession and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana,” a CDFW news release stated. “If convicted, Bragdon could face revocation of his hunting license, fines, probation and/or jail time.”
As for the K-9 that helped crack the case, Sieger is a candidate to be awarded exceptional certification status. Atta boy, it was a job well done.