HOMER — An Auburn man is facing nearly a half-dozen charges after being arrested for hunting under the influence and other offenses in Banks County on Saturday.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources charged Terryl Scott Seese, 55, with hunting under the influence; hunting big game over bait; and receipt, possession or transfer of a firearm by a convicted felon or felony first offender, Banks County Detention Center records show.
“Under the influence of alcohol is incredibly dangerous,” said DNR Law Enforcement spokesman Mark McKinnon. “Your judgment is impaired. Your motor skills are impaired. It’s just not a good combination to be drinking at all — even if you are not intoxicated. To drink at all and then go hunting is very irresponsible.”
McKinnon summarized the incident that resulted in the charges against Seese.
“[The DNR ranger] said that he was patrolling and came across some bait, and then began searching the area,” McKinnon said. “He saw the individual, Mr. Seese, at a distance and he seemed to be walking away so he went after him — not really a chase.”
Further investigation revealed a firearm.
Seese “had tried to hide the firearm and, when he was asked about it, he was not truthful about it, and our officer did find the firearm,” McKinnon said. “He tested him for hunting under the influence. Anything over 0.05 I believe they can be booked in for what’s called hunting under the influence less safe. It’s not like legally drunk like an 0.08 would be, but determines that you’re impaired enough that it is a problem for safety.”
Seese also faces charges of interference with the performance of a ranger’s duties and failure to wear fluorescent orange clothing, both misdemeanors, Banks County records show.
Interference is a charge that may not be as familiar as other hunting-related offenses.
“It’s a misdemeanor charge,” McKinnon said. “That is based on the fact that he tried to hide the firearm and then was not truthful about it. It’s not an obstruction as in a physical altercation.
“He also is charged with failure to wear the fluorescent orange clothing,” McKinnon said. “That can be very dangerous in the woods when people are hunting. You’ve got folks out there on a lot of land with firearms, and you need to be seen. They need to know that it is a human that is in the woods with them, because you could very easily be mistaken for an animal that they’re hunting.”
In addition to offering cautions against hunting under the influence, McKinnon provided other hunting safety tips to those who will be in the woods during hunting season.
“When you climb in your tree stand, be sure that you’re got a harness,” McKinnon said. “So many of our hunting incidents are because people aren’t wearing harnesses in their stands. It’s a big deal. So many people, when they think of the words hunting incident, they think shooting. Shootings are pretty rare actually. We had none last year. But we had a lot of tree stand falls. That’s really our biggest hunting incident, with a lot of people injured and had a few fatalities.”
McKinnon also encouraged hunters to be courteous to those around them, and to make sure they know what is beyond their target before making the shot. He also offered reminders of the legal prohibitions on hunting at night and hunting from a public roadway.
“We’d have a lot less trouble with injuries and even deaths if folks would follow those rules,” McKinnon said.