Mid-September Marks Start of Marijuana Harvesting Season

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As we enter the fall season, many farmers are getting ready to harvest corn and soybeans. But, drug officers say they’re targeting another kind of farmer – those who are growing illegal drugs.

Eau Claire County Sheriff Ron Cramer says marijuana growers usually start harvesting their plants after the first frost.

"We've seen them in corn rows, we've seen them in the Ice Age Trail in Chippewa County, we've had people out hiking on their own land and found it,” Sheriff Cramer said. "We've found them booby trapped with bear traps."

But, Sheriff Cramer says some of those spots can be hard to reach – forcing drug officers to take a bird’s-eye view.

"We used to use helicopters to spot the marijuana from the air,” he said. “Because right now, when the leaves are changing, after that first frost, its pretty easy to see the marijuana from the air."

Jeff Wilson, with the West Central Drug Task Force, says investigators also rely on your help.

"Traditionally this time of year is when there are a lot of people in the woods,” Wilson said. “A lot of times that's where some of our tips come from -- is that a hunter in the woods will see what they believe to be a marijuana grow."

And, if you carry a GPS, Sheriff Cramer says you can help lead drug officers right to the plants.

"If you're out hiking and you find what appears to be a marijuana field or a few marijuana plants that look like they're cultivated, just put those coordinates into your GPS,” Sheriff Cramer said. “Because it’s easier for us to go back with those GPS coordinates and find a few plants of a field of plants."

Sheriff Cramer says a lot of marijuana growers do their work at night. If you see any suspicious activity, call your local Sheriff’s Department and ask for a drug investigator.

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