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A group of magnet fisherman who found rockets, unexploded ordnance, and Youtube fame while fishing at a Georgia Army base had their citations dropped. Bryce Nachtwey, Matt Jackson, and a third individual were cited for recreating without a permit, entering a restricted area, and unauthorized magnet detecting after they pulled belts of large caliber ammunition, mortar shells and other rusty military equipment out of the Canoochee River, which runs through Fort Stewart.
However, a federal court dismissed those citations because the men tried to get permission from the DNR to magnet fish and reported their findings of unexploded devices to police, according to WTOC11.
The group made a Youtube video of their original magnet fishing adventure, which included their interaction with a Fort Stewart military policeman and a wildlife officer. That video now has more than 4 million views.
“You’re all getting tickets,” the game warden says in the video. “You can come to court and talk to a judge. The reason magnet fishing is not allowed is because of exactly what y’all got right there. You don’t know what’s going to blow up and what’s not going to blow up.”
Fort Stewart Law Enforcement say magnet detecting remains illegal there and that the DNR does not have jurisdiction of recreation on federal property, according to WTOC11.
“It’s hard to report something that you don’t know what it is,” Matt Jackson told WTOC11. “And after doing some research and finally after a bunch more were found, then you kind of have to do some research to see why they’re down there and then that’s when the lightbulb clicked and we were like, ‘Ok, we need to call them.’”
Because this is America in the year of our lord 2022, the group also made a followup Youtube video on the day of their court case. After they announced the citations had been dropped, they offered this wise advice: “Do not go magnet fishing for anything on a military base. We’ve learned our lesson. Don’t make our same mistakes.”