Poaching of game and fish is a real problem that keeps wildlife law enforcement personnel busy all across the country. Here’s a roundup of recent reports about people doing bad things in the woods and on the water.
(Note: Game and Fish publishes “Poaching Updates” occasionally on this website)
Reward Increased in Mule Deer Poaching Case
Arizona Game and Fish says a reward has been increased for information leading to an arrest in connection with the apparent poaching of a female mule deer earlier this month. The agency’s Operation Game Thief is offering up to a $1,000 reward; in addition, the Mule Deer Foundation is offering $500, contingent upon a conviction.
The doe was reportedly pregnant and nearly full-term, according to authorities.
The agency said in a news release that Maricopa County deputies responding to a shots-fired call found the dead animal July 10 in a wash north of the Butcher Jones Recreation Area of Saguaro Lake.
“We hope the public will come forward with information regarding this incident,” Game and Fish Wildlife Manager Laura Orscheln said in the news release. “Losing a pregnant doe that was nearly full term equates to the loss of two deer from the population, not just one. It is a loss to wildlife enthusiasts across Arizona.”
DNR Seeks Poacher of 8- and 9-Point Bucks
The Michigan DNR is asking for help in finding who’s responsible for the poaching deaths of two male deer this week in Tuscola County. The two bucks — an 8-pointer and 9-pointer — were found by conservation officers Aug. 1 in a ditch in Akron Township. Both bucks were in full velvet.
“Not only is this a crime, but it’s a tremendous waste of two beautiful animals,” Lt. Jeremy Payne, District 6 supervisor for the DNR Law Enforcement Division, said in a news release.
Poaching an antlered white-tailed deer is a misdemeanor punishable by fines of $1,000, reimbursement of $1,000 per animal and $500 for each antler point on deer with antlers having between 8 and 10 points.
Tipsters with information that leads to a successful conviction may be eligible for a reward through the Report All Poaching (RAP) program.
Teens Charged with Several Hunting Violations
According to a report in the Uinta County Herald, two teens from the Evanston area have been charged with multiple violations, including intoxicated hunting and hunting without a license. Both also were charged with wanton destruction of a big game animal, wasting edible portions of a game animal, and violating a commission order, the newspaper reported.
The charges stemmed from an investigation into the alleged poaching on July 6 of a lactating doe, which was shot through the head and chest and left to die.
One of the teens has pleaded guilty to the charges. The other pleaded not guilty.
Suspected Poachers Found with Illegal Fish
Indiana DNR Conservation Officers made two significant fishing violation busts July 30, according to a Facebook post. The DNR’s Law Enforcement division said District 2 officers (based in Columbia City) found one group with several walleye, catfish and bass that were caught with a cast net near Roush Dam in Huntington County. Another group was found in illegal possession of mussels.