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Poaching, Partnerships, and Profits

Pucky Freak

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 4, 2019
Messages
4,845
Location
Iowa
Erik Van Woerkom, AKA “Muley Freak”, should have long-since hung up his 1000-yard wounding stick, and joined the ranks of washed-up former hunting influencers. Poaching for content conviction in Utah? Fool me once, I guess. A second offense in Idaho in 2022, I see a pattern emerging… Not only did he get convicted a second time, he added injury to insult by whining to the judge that he could not weather a second “hunting” ban, because no poaching = no social media content = sale revenues and corporate partnerships dry up. And of course, he never admitted wrongdoing either.

A corporate sponsorship with Muley Freak should be a poison pill for any outdoor company. Rather, it is a profit-booster. Sales tick, more $$$ pours into Erik’s “poaching for content” coffers.

That the Muley Freak franchise continues to exist at all in 2024 is a testament to the average values US hunters espouse. The privilege to hunt hangs in the balance in multiple states - the last thing we need at this juncture is establishing a reputation as sponsors and sympathizers of poaching and poor sportsmanship.

Do you still use any of these brands? They all currently do business with Muley Freak.

MTNTough Fitness Program
Nightforce Optics
Black Ovis / CamoFire
Sportsman’s Warehouse (Cabellas, Bass Pro Shops)
 
Unfortunately most hunters probably have no idea of who he is or his history (I didn’t until participating in this forum). I’ve never watched one of his videos but I’m sure the average consumer finds him entertaining and does not research his background. Maybe we should all spam those company’s PR contacts and see if that motivates change.
 
And of course, he never admitted wrongdoing either.
I think this is the main thing that needs to be pointed out.

Honestly, I think it would be pretty hard to go your entire hunting career without doing a single thing wrong. There are so many rules and they are constantly changing. Toss in high emotions, long days, long hikes and the quickness in which animals move and you are bound to eventually screw up. You can also run across wardens that are purely just stubborn about finding something you are doing wrong. For example, we were checked once at a boat launch after duck hunting one day and the warden used his rubber measuring device for checking for a plug in the guns and he jammed the thing so hard into my wives gun that it got stuck and we had to take the gun apart to get it out. He was just trying hard to prove he could get a 3rd shell in there and afterwards I showed him with real shells that it wasn't possible.

If you do something wrong and own up to it, pay the fine and move on that's one thing. Fighting it in court and maintaining you did nothing wrong is going to end up being worse for you in the long run.
 
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Was there a final resolution to his Idaho poaching case. I know he claimed he had permission but can’t find the final result. He seems like a tool IMO and seems to have a hard time staying off private property.
 
considering that a majority of the country still believes both the current and former president are fit for office it's almost laughable that anyone would be surprised that Erik Van Dicklick continues to successfully have business partnerships and viewership.

just kind of another good little case study about the state of the world.
 
I think this is the main thing that needs to be pointed out.

Honestly, I think it would be pretty hard to go your entire hunting career without doing a single thing wrong. There are so many rules and they are constantly changing. Toss in high emotions, long days, long hikes and the quickness in which animals move and you are bound to eventually screw up. You can also run across wardens that are purely just stubborn about finding something you are doing wrong. For example, we were checked once at a boat launch after duck hunting one day and the warden used his rubber measuring device for checking for a plug in the guns and he jammed the thing so hard into my wives gun that it got stuck and we had to take the gun apart to get it out. He was just trying hard to prove he could get a 3rd shell in there and afterwards I showed him with real shells that it wasn't possible.

If you do something wrong and own up to it, pay the fine and move on that's one thing. Fighting it in court and maintaining you did nothing wrong is going to end up being worse for you in the long run.
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A little more serious than an opps. He lost his privilege to hunt in Idaho for three years after a reduced sentence was negotiated.
 
Was there a final resolution to his Idaho poaching case. I know he claimed he had permission but can’t find the final result. He seems like a tool IMO and seems to have a hard time staying off private property.

Plea deal to get him off the felony charge, probation, community service, no hunting in Idaho for 3 years. Plea deal documents below. Still can't figure out how these guys keep circumventing the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact.

 
These companies just don’t care is the honest truth. You can send them all sorts of comments and what I tend to get back is either silence or an incredibly sensitive defensive statement.

I don’t think we really have any influencer doing something positive for hunting
 
Idk I didn't read all your or any of your posts. Why not make it life changing consequences. Everyone knows the rules. People wait years for tags. Some $*)Q!#@$ idiot. Takes that from them. Steals from the public.
 
Problem is $$$ talk. Why fwp too chicken shit to go LE. The 90 percent can change that.
 
Reminds me of Jeff Foiles. Still had supporters after what he was caught doing over and over....

I remember trying to reason with the owner and operator of a huge game fair here why it was a bad idea to bring him in as a speaker AFTER all his trouble. Got nowhere.

Game Fair near Anoka. Chuck Delaney couldn't be persuaded against bringing him in for educational talks.

I think he's (Foiles) is gone for good but not certain. Plenty of chatter still online about him if people want to check it out.
 
Reminds me of just bs. Most shows show bs. Not real otc hunting. In any state. Most shit u c is private or LE tags. Not real for average hunter. They should make a show on hunting mule deer in mt. Otc. Be real and funny.
 
Reminds me of just bs. Most shows show bs. Not real otc hunting. In any state. Most shit u c is private or LE tags. Not real for average hunter. They should make a show on hunting mule deer in mt. Otc. Be real and funny.
It’s been done; what do you think you guys are seeing the increasing pressure in r6 and 7. Influencers love to sell out a fun hunt, burn it to ground and then move on to something else
 
I think this is the main thing that needs to be pointed out.

Honestly, I think it would be pretty hard to go your entire hunting career without doing a single thing wrong. There are so many rules and they are constantly changing. Toss in high emotions, long days, long hikes and the quickness in which animals move and you are bound to eventually screw up. You can also run across wardens that are purely just stubborn about finding something you are doing wrong. For example, we were checked once at a boat launch after duck hunting one day and the warden used his rubber measuring device for checking for a plug in the guns and he jammed the thing so hard into my wives gun that it got stuck and we had to take the gun apart to get it out. He was just trying hard to prove he could get a 3rd shell in there and afterwards I showed him with real shells that it wasn't possible.

If you do something wrong and own up to it, pay the fine and move on that's one thing. Fighting it in court and maintaining you did nothing wrong is going to end up being worse for you in the long run.
Spot on.

When I first started duck hunting I launched my boat at 11 PM before opener. We were not aware of the 12 AM official start time. One guy in another group confronted me and was livid. I apologized and he kept on ranting. He kept threatening to call the game warden. I said, go right ahead - I’m clearly in the wrong here, and ignorance is not an excuse.

I always read the regs and I am sure I read the rule, but didn’t recall it when it mattered. Learn from it, accept the consequence if there is one, and continue to support law enforcement for their hard work.
 
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