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 the wrong things in the field.
(Note: Game and Fish publishes “Poaching Updates” occasionally on this website)
Go Fund Me Effort to Find Poacher
Vermont Fish & Wildlife said a recent poaching case in which a cow moose was illegally killed and then dragged 11 miles behind a vehicle has prompted an online fund-raising effort to find who’s responsible.
A Go Fund Me campaign called “Moose Poacher – Vermont” is raising reward money to help solve the Sept. 23 crime. The moose was killed at night from a road out of season, according to the state wildlife agency.
The campaign, begun by Craftsbury Common resident Cindi Bollettieri, had raised $2,695 as of Friday morning, Nov. 3. The campaign’s goal was $2,500.
Vermont Fish & Wildlife reported in a news release that after the animal was shot in Westmore and allegedly dragged 11 miles to Orleans, where it was left on the side of the road. The cow was lactating and biologists believe it likely had a calf with her.
“This action was particularly heinous, so I can understand why people are outraged,” said Col. Jason Batchelder, Vermont’s chief game warden. “The fact that people are giving to this campaign shows that Vermonters will not stand for poaching in our state.
“These poachers demonstrated tremendous disrespect for the law and for this moose,” Col. Batchelder added. “We’re asking for anyone with information about this incident to come forward so that we can hold the people who did this accountable.”
Members of the public with information about the incident should notify Operation Game Thief at 1-800-75ALERT (1-800-752-5378) or online at www.vtfishandwildlife.com. Operation Game Thief also pays rewards to members of the public who identify poachers.
Huntingdon County Poacher Sentenced
Rusty Stephen Garlock of Three Springs, Pa., was sentenced in Huntingdon County court after pleading guilty to charges stemming from an assault on a Wildlife Conservation Officer.
Garlock was sentenced to serve 18 months to three years in a State Correctional Institution for the felony count of aggravated assault on a law-enforcement officer. Garlock also was fined $2,000 and ordered to pay the costs of prosecution.
For the felony count of criminal mischief, Garlock was sentenced to seven years of probation. He was fined $250 and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $6,624.35. On the last two summary counts of unlawful killing or taking big game, and resisting or interfering with an officer, Garlock was ordered to pay additional fines totaling $2,000.
A Bevy of Short Fish
State conservation officers issued several tickets after dozens of under-sized black sea bass and porgy were seized on Oct. 20 at the Port Jefferson Boat Ramp in Brookhaven.
The group of six anglers were in possession of 43 short sea bass (15 inches is the minimum) and 12 porgy under the minimum of 10 inches. The sea bass number was 11 over per-person allotted limit. Also, only one person has a marine fishing registration. In all, nine tickets were issued.
Mule Deer Buck, 2 Bull Elk Left to Waste
Wyoming Game and Fish Department reports a buck mule deer and two bull elk were poached in the Elk Hunt Area 21 near Braggs between Oct. 24 and 29. All three animals were left to waste; the heads of the two elks were removed.
The agency said it’s likely the 4 X 3 buck mule deer was shot and killed after being misidentified in low light conditions as an elk. The deer was believed to have been killed late Oct. 24 or early Oct. 25.
One of the bull elks was found Oct. 29 and left to waste in the Mill Creek area of area 21. Nearby, a second elk was harvested.
Also on Oct. 29, another dead elk was left to waste. The elk was shot in the Cow Creek area of the Sandhills in hunt area 21, and was most likely shot several days prior to discovery.