An economic developer is the last guy you’d expect to help enforce the game laws, but it happened last month.
Matt Arnold, president of the Economic Development Council, was showing the Conners Island Business Park to a potential prospect. They were on a large section of the property on the backside in a borrowed 4-wheel-drive truck when Matt spotted an unusual blob out in the field.
Another local was with Matt and he asked his partner what the blob was.
“He said ‘It’s a portable hunting blind,’” Matt said. They drove in front of it and noticed 2 guys inside it. It was on a Sunday afternoon, the only time the industrial prospects could take the tour.
“I called Police Chief Jim Peterson,” Matt said. “It was just after church and he was at lunch, but he said he would get a black-and-white out there.”
Matt explained to the gentleman they were on Industrial Board property in the city limits.
“I told them you can’t hunt here, you can’t even discharge a firearm here,” Matt said.
The men said they thought they were on TVA property. TVA does adjoin the industrial park.
The men had a little boy with them.
After the police arrived, Matt and his guests moved on. But he knows it got followed up on because the next day, he got a call from a local conservation officer (game warden) wanting a statement.
“The city has had some other problems out there,” Matt said. “And they were going to charge these guys.”
Matt said he has picked up litter on the property before (he always checks his industrial sites the day before giving a tour to a prospect) and he once found a deer carcass out at Conners.
“They had cut the horns off and just harvested a little bit of the meat,” Matt said.