Growing up in a law enforcement home I picked up on a few things about negligent criminal behavior. One of the traits that always stuck out to me was the desire to be noticed. Many times people want to be known as rebels. It has been ingrained in us and that makes for interesting times now that we all are constantly carrying cell phones. We document everything we do or shouldn’t be doing, and let’s be honest, whether we are a criminal or not, we all enjoy seeing notifications that people like our posts. We all enjoy seeing others respond to our text messages.
In our hunting world it seems that we are seeing this desire for likes, documentation and the rebel spirit catching up with poachers and accused poachers across the West. A recent case in Oregon reported by The Chronicle out of Lewis County Washington is a bright shining example of documenting a crime for show and tell. As reported by The Chronicle, a “mountain” of evidence was acquired by law enforcement from the cell phone cameras of the suspects involved.
Follow this link and you can see that many of the pictures are particularly gruesome. Hunting is not clean and does involve an element of blood when you break an animal down for butchering and consumption. Many of the pictures depict brutality that I’m sure many of will find disturbing. Behaviors like these create the perception that we are nothing but bloodthirsty animals and not the hunter conservationist ideal that we all strive for.
What makes this particular string of crimes even more disturbing is that much of this was planned and went on for a significant period of time. The evidence points to a group of people who over the course of time continued to intentionally kill animals with the intent of sharing what they did with others. We take pictures to share with others but these poachers sharing their pictures could paint the wrong type of personification for the average non-hunter.
So the question that we need to ask is, how do we kill the cultures that encourage this type of behavior to pop up? What should the fines and punishment look like?
Here is to hoping we can discourage this type of behavior in the future!