Turkey hunting season is underway in Eastern Carolina, an event that's attracted a lot of controversy on our website Witn.com after we reported in April the death of a hunter who officials say was shot and killed by a North Carolina Wildlife Officer in self defense. While the State Bureau of Investigation reviews that incident in Wilkes County, Natalie Kaplan headed out with a local wildlife officer to learn about his job:
State Wildlife Officer William Cain is in charge of enforcing game and fishing laws plus boating safety in multiple counties throughout our area so he's had his fair share of close encounters.
"As we looked down the path where he was and he was looking back at us in a rifle scope, which is not what a scope is intended for and we let him know what he was doing was wrong and possibly he could be charged with assault by pointing a gun and if he needed to he needed to get binoculars and use those to look at stuff instead of a rifle scope."
While Cain spends most of his time enforcing the law, his job is also about education.
Cain says, "During hunting season 98% of people we come in contact with have firearms and the number one thing is careless handling of firearms."
Turkey hunting wraps up this weekend and it's Cain's job to make sure hunters stick by the rules.
Wildlife officers tell Natalie the main problem they've been dealing with this season is baiting, they've handed out several violations in multiple counties
Handing out violations can be easy, staying safe while doing it is where Cain's job gets tricky sometimes. That's why he says he plays it safe at all time.
"Some of our officers don't wear a bullet proof vest, the main reason I wear one, I have a 9 month old baby at home and I'm going home at the end of the day."
That's exactly what Cain's been able to do every night this turkey season, no serious violations have been reported thus far.