Poachers are criminals, thieves that break wildlife and trespass laws. Sportsmen are unanimous in their disdain for poaching, yet it can be hard to discourage or control once it begins. Acquiring new leases or acreage can be particularly difficult, as those who previously hunted the land will insist that they still have the right to be there, like a person selling a car and still driving it whenever he wants. Brad Herndon offers a “take no prisoners” approach to this criminal activity in this post from The Whitetail Institute.
A few years ago during deer season, I was sitting in my easy chair late one evening when the phone rang. When I answered the phone, I recognized the voice of a landowner next to one of our leases in an adjoining county about 40 minutes away.
“Brad,” he said, “a few minutes ago I heard a shot down the road on your lease, and I jumped in my car and raced down there as fast as I could. Unfortunately, I didn’t get there quickly enough to get any identification on the vehicle. I believe they probably poached one of your deer near the wooded point that comes down close to the road.”
The next morning, I drove over to our lease and, sure enough, just inside the woods I could see the outline of a deer’s body. I walked to the deer and found it to have a huge body for our region, but it was headless. Obviously, a poacher had shot one of our best bucks and took only the head and antlers, which, though taken illegally, was still obviously a “trophy” to him. Instances of poaching such as this just leave us with a sick feeling in our stomachs… [continued]
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