Homegrown poachers

Big Fin

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Since it is often that we pile on when poaching news stories are about those who live outside of the crime areas, seems worth the keyboard strokes to remind people that there are always plenty of "organic/homegrown" poachers in our midst.

No matter where you live, it seems common place to blame poaching on the out-of-area guys. Part of that is I suspect it is harder for the travelling poacher to hide his tracks than the local guy who decides he is above the rules. As a result, out of area guys get caught a bit easier. Yet, I suspect the local poachers have a far more damaging impact on game populations than the guys from out of area.


http://www.bozemandailychronicle.co...cle_79d30718-ad15-539a-b2bf-6b8c8dd70a28.html

Three Bridger mule deer bucks poached, and a Bridger moose (48" bull), all of which are coveted limited entry tags. The elk poached was a general tag area.

Makes me wonder how many other local DBs are out there doing the same stuff. I have an uncomfortable feeling that it is more than I would want to know.
 

Devil Diver Down

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He got off pretty light, considering what he stole from the public. According to the article, he got a felony drug charge dropped as part of this plea, which seems like crap to me. I'd agree that locals probably do way more poaching damage than out-of-staters and, sadly, probably are given a fee pass by a lot of people because they're buddies.
 

RobertR

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This is further reaching than just your average joe poacher. If FWP was on top of things they would be looking at what goes on behind closed gates on private ranches. It's the adage if no one can see us we can do it without consequences and i believe it happens a lot.
 

ashersdad

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$7,500 fine? Are you serious? My gosh, when will we start hitting poachers in the wallet. That moose is worth a helluva lot more than $7,500 (not to mention the deer and elk). Hit them with a fine that gets taken out of their paycheck for the next 5 years if they can't pay it.
 
M

MN Public Hunter

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I love how they say he can never hunt, fish or trap in Montana ever again....What a joke, he was ALREADY hunting without a license, you can't stop these people. I'm sure he will continue to hunt until caught again.
 

hank4elk

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It is way more common than believed everywhere,IMHO.
NMG&F is a joke and that doesn't help.....I call in a spotlighter and I get the third degree from my warden neighbor and our ranches hunters get stopped in middle of stalks last year to check our paperwork.....meanwhile I see the same vehicles out at night and their turnouts like a road.
 

kenton

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I also think it is easier to think more poaching occurs from outsiders when you live in less populated areas. In my area I would guess that for every poacher from somewhere else, there are twenty "homegrown' ones. A couple of years ago, I contacted our game warden and informed him one of my neighbors was shooting bucks and claiming he couldn't find them after the shot despite not looking for them. He did this on four bucks that I know of. The game warden told me that no wanton waste regs are on the books in Ohio and techically what he was doing wasn't illegal. So what we have are grey-area rules, ineffective law enforcement, and very lenient penalties.
 

sneakypete

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I think poachers get away with these crimes against nature way to lightly! I also believe plea bargains especially that involve a felony is absurd! Even the lifetime ban on hunting, fishing or trapping in Montana is a joke, he'll the guy didn't possess a hunting license for 12 years! You think that'll stop him! Wolf bait!
 

Greenhorn

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Looks like 5.5 years behind bars. That's a pretty good stint. Sounds like a real winner.
 

TimeOnTarget

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I agree, Most of our wardens now are pretty good guys, trying to do their job. The state of SD is to blame for their lack of effectiveness though. When 1 warden is on the payroll for 3 or 4 counties at a crack, they cannot possible patrol an area that large with any effectiveness.
 

twodot

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indiana no more
kenton, that sort of shoot now look later thing is big back in Indiana too. Unscrupulous guys would shoot several bucks and collect the horns later, calling them deadheads. Very hard to catch at that kind of thing. Now that elk horn is so valuable, I hate to think how many deadhead elk get that way from locals in mid-winter then picked up in the spring. Dollars for horns is very tough on breaks elk sometimes..
 

Randy11

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This is further reaching than just your average joe poacher. If FWP was on top of things they would be looking at what goes on behind closed gates on private ranches. It's the adage if no one can see us we can do it without consequences and i believe it happens a lot.

I think this is absolutely correct, and I would venture to guess the majority of illegally killed game in Montana is on private land by the landowners.

Montana has a deep, deep rooted belief system that what happens on your property is your business only. For most things, it's appropriate. I would even venture to guess that the vast majority of Montanans don't care that it happens.
 

brownbear932008

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What a darn shame some valuable wildlife lost to idiots like this. That moose is a huge loss with the spiral down of thier numbers recently. Looks like to me the guy got hit pretty darn good. I would go to say most states would not get this type of sentence on a guy.
 

noharleyyet

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At the time he was charged with the animal-related crimes, Shields was on probation for felony DUI and theft.

Might not be a good candidate for early release. I'm sure Montana has a mechanism for garnishment of future wages but my bet is he's a ranking member of the free chit army already.
 

Oldwyoelkhunter

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The shame is we as hunters tend to get painted with the same brush when these clowns hit the news.

Take the Cecil fiasco. Even on the Five on fox last night they talked trash about hunters and pooh poohed the idea that hunters pay for conservation. We as ethical fair chase hunters aren't getting our message across as the country urbanizes
 

MT_elk

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As law abiding hunters, I know this angers us more than anything.

I saw another poaching story just today (see below). Makes me fuming mad!

Looking for Information on Moose Poaching near Kalispell

FWP Game Wardens are investigating a poached bull moose shot and left alongside the Orchard Ridge Road near Foys Canyon. FWP is looking for any information on this illegal activity.

Anyone with information please call 1-800-TIP-MONT. Callers may remain anonymous and may be offered a TIP-MONT reward. Callers may also contact FWP Game Warden Weston Oedekoven at 406-270-4220.
 

LopeHunter

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I cringe when I hear about the hunter written up because he waited 10 minutes to affix the tag or forgot to sign the license or shot over an abandoned two-track in the bottom of the canyon or wearing a backpack over your orange vest so only have 195 square inches of orange, etc.

I understand the letter of the law is the law and no excuse for ignorance but I prefer wardens spend their focus on looking for crimes against wildlife that hurts all of us. Things like hunting in the wrong unit, without a tag, outside of the season, putting someone else's tag on it, using rifle in archery, shooting in the middle of the night with spotlight, baiting, etc.

The infractions that are administrative, were not blatant actions to give the hunter an unfair advantage, or did not put someone else at risk can create huge issues with the Hunter's Compact yet the blatant poacher shooting wildlife out of season gets a slap on the wrist and virtually the same restrictions as the guy wearing the backpack over the orange vest.
 

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