In a headline that could come straight out of a “Dukes Of Hazard” episode a rather crazy poaching story has emerged from the great state of Wyoming. According to Cowboy State Daily a yet unnamed man poached a mule deer buck out of season and then proceeded to break through fence gates when he realized that he was in trouble. By the time a warden arrived on the scene Johnson County Sheriff’s deputies had hemmed the poacher in.
This is certainly one of the more interesting poaching cases to come across my desk. The fines ended up topping out at $9,000.00 with restitution to be made to the land owners. My gut says this may be a little light on the fine side of things, but who knows what “restitution” will look like to take care of the damaged property.
Bottom line though is that this case is rare on all fronts. Sadly many poaching cases end due to a lack of evidence, this one had plenty from witnesses all the way to a recovered buck on the flatbed of the truck. Which leads me to keep a look out this fall for incidents that need to be reported. Every year the best help a warden has is from witnesses who happen to see something. Wildlife belongs to all of us and when animals are taken out of season the herd suffers first and foremost and then the public suffers due to lost opportunity.
What say you? Did the poacher get a high enough fine?