It seems only a short while back I typed up a report on a poaching case with a father and son duo killing a sow grizzly and receiving their just penalty, for more on that story click here. This story seems much simpler and is a first time conviction for JT Johnson, who shot a cranker velvet buck during archery season with a rifle! But is it really more simple?
We have seen time and time again that many trophy poachers are serial poachers. Of course we all want to hope for this lesson to be learned and that JT will take his five year hunting ban, pay his penalties and come away a changed man. I can say with confidence that many will hope and pray for this outcome. However, the premeditated plan to shoot and retrieve a large mule deer buck with a rifle during archery season is clearly a symptom showing a lack of fear of consequences and no respect for the animal or the sportsmen and sportswomen who legally hunt and pursue fair chase big game.
My goal with writing these articles is to bring awareness of these issues along with other topics in hopes that sportsmen around the globe can continue to unite and in this case take a stand against unethical hunting practices. I don’t know JT Johnson personally, but I have read many reports about poaching cases over the years, nearly all of them uncovered a long history of poaching. Maybe in this case it was caught early and will be snuffed out. That we can hope for! Actively taking a stance for ethics starts with teaching and exemplifying them to those around us, young or old. The future of our heritage depends on it. Good luck in the draws. I hope you enjoy your prepping and planning season.