I followed up with a google search: One December evening in 2004,
Wildlife Officer Amy Snyder heard shots
after legal shooting hours in a popular duck-hunting area in Madison County, Tenn. She put on hip boots and set out into the marsh. But when she arrived at the blind where she thought the shooting had occurred, she found it unoccupied.
Then Officer Snyder noticed a chemical odor in the air. She shined her light around and in the grass saw a large glass mason jar filled with what looked like corn hominy. She kicked over the jar, saw rubber hoses coming out of the top and panicked.
"It was a meth lab, actively cooking," Snyder recalls. "What I'd done was extremely dangerous. The stuff could have exploded, not to mention what might have happened if I'd surprised the cookers at work."............A Rural Scourge
These incidents are not isolated. Law enforcement and conservation officials we contacted across the country describe a wave of methamphetamine manufacturing activity that has crashed across the rural countryside in the last five years, causing a dramatic change in the way game wardens operate and in the way hunters, anglers and other recreationists should conduct themselves afield.........This super-meth took off in Hawaii and Southern California first, manufactured by Mexican drug cartels. But soon the drug was being manufactured by mom-and-pop cookers, and within 20 years it spread eastward thugh the Rocky Mountains, into the Midwest and onto the East Coast. An urban phenomenon at first, it turned rural as the rank odors associated with its production caused cookers to set up in less
populated areas to avoid detection. That practice has placed some meth labs in the same woods and waterways as hunters, anglers and other outdoorsmen......
Consider that in 2003 the greatest number of reported meth lab seizures on Department of Interior lands occurred on those managed by the Fish & Wildlife Service (38 laboratories), followed by the Bureau of Land Management (31
laboratories), National Park Service (8 laboratories) and Bureau of Indian Affairs (6 laboratories). That same year, the National Forest Service discovered 56 working labs on its land.
Hunters and Meth
But those numbers are believed to be only a fraction of the activity on federal land, not to mention state and private property. And anecdotal evidence of meth invading the outdoors is easy to come by.
In November 2004, for example, deer hunters on state land near Reelsville, Ind., came upon a duffel bag containing an actively cooking meth lab. They wisely backed away from the potentially explosive situation and notified the local police, who quickly dismantled and removed it.
Twelve months earlier in Ashley County, Ark., deer hunters tipped sheriff's investigators to the fact that methamphetamine manufacturers had taken over remote deer blinds and were using them as labs. Narcotics detectives ended up finding four
cooking operations set up in Ashley County deer blinds.
In Wright County, Minn., four years before, cookers decided to use ice-
fishing shanties to manufacture meth on Waverly Lake. Game wardens notified Sheriff's Sergeant Todd Hoffman of the activity. When Hoffman arrived to investigate, he noticed a solvent smell seeping from one of the shacks......Indiana conservation officer Gregg agrees: "Meth has changed my job. It's gotten to the point where as a conservation officer these days you're better off going into a
situation thinking you may be dealing with meth rather than a game violation." Have I made my point? Kellory.
The only real difference between a good tracker and a bad tracker is observation. All the same data is present for both. The rest is understanding what you are seeing.