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October 27, 2006

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Discussion Topic: If You Shoot a Fake Elk Out of Season, Should You Lose Your License?

So if you had to guess, what percentage of people do you think would shoot at an elk out of season, from their vehicle, and without a hunting license? According to this Jackson Hole Daily article the answer is an outrageously whopping 31 percent.

The article details a recent sting operation in which Wyoming game officials put out a bull elk decoy near Union Pass Road. Of the 29 people who slowed down their vehicles to look at the decoy, nine, or 31 percent, fired a gun at it, resulting in 19 citations and four warnings from officers.
All nine hunters fired either from their vehicles or from the road itself. A total of 30 bullets hit the decoy.

The fines totaled about $7,700, and according to the Jackson Hole Star Tribune break down like this: “. . . shooting from a roadway (a $210 fine), taking elk from a vehicle (a $410 fine), taking elk during closed season (a $410 fine), taking elk without a license (a $780 fine) and transfer of license (a $410 fine).

Now you tell us: Are these punishments sufficient? I mean, four of these guys only got warnings. And is there maybe just a slight chance that insufficient deterrents have something to do with the number of violators?

Comments

AJG

These fines are weak - and not stiff enough to prevent "poaching".

Hunters know that game laws not only maintain healthy herds, but also that following the laws helps hunting preserve/enhance its image in the public eye.

Poachers of all kinds - hunters or not - should pay heavier fines, do community service - not to mention a swift revocation of their hunting license/privleges for a set period of time (no less than 2 full seasons.)

Hunters need to protect the image of our sport - becuase no one else will.

Jon

As a hunter who makes it a point to follow all game laws to the letter, I am both shocked and embarrassed that blanant poachers like this get off so easy. Why should they? Anyone who is moronic enough to shoot at a fake elk out of season and from his vehicle deserves to pay through the nose--and does not deserve to keep his hunting license.

HunterX

These yahoos should be flogged.

casey

I think they should not be able to hunt a season or two and pay maybe like five-hundred dollars, but not lose there hunting liscence cause, come on people need to eat, and its not like they are out doing it evey night... thats a poacher.

donny

A "poacher" is a person who breaks the game laws--period. The "people need to eat" argument doesn't wash. There are plenty of government programs--all of which have my full support--to help people eat. They shouldn't need to break the game laws to do it. And if they do, the courts should be able to determine true hardship and count it as a mitigating factor where it really applies. The standard punishment, though, should be much tougher. We have to weed out the people who give us all a bad name. If they are blatantly breaking the laws the rest of us have to follow, they don't deserve to be called hunters.

patrick

all punishments should be harsher exept the taking an elk from a vehicle. cause the didnt take an elk,but they should be punished for trying

John Snyder

Re-write the book then throw it at them. How many real Elk did these fools kill?

The conservation department should not be allowed to use entrapment to catch anyone. This is against the American Constitution. You want Freedom and then you encourage the Law enforcement agencies to take it away. It no different than a policeman speeding while not in pursuit then giving citizens tikets for going slower than they do. No they should not lose their license for shooting at a dummy that should not be there. But if they are caught actually poaching...

George

A law is a law.

If people still break the law, a stronger penalty should be put in place to deter a person from breaking the law.

If the law is unjust then it has to be changed by the people.

As for now, the law is law.

Entrapment is a big word. Who made the person stop the vehicle? Who made them take out the gun? Who made them pull the trigger, the DNR? I would bet not. But according to some, they made it IMPOSSIBLE for a normal thinking, law abiding, freedom loving, gun carrying person to not break the law. Strange, I do not see it that way.

The people who do not obey the laws set out are criminals no matter what they are doing. Whether they are taking wildlife unlawfully or stealing from a store. Poaching meat is the same as robbing a supermarket. It is wrong to call these people hunters. Hunters are law obeying citizens who carry out ethical hunting practices. Drive bys are not considered ethical hunting practices. If more people would uphold the laws then less conservation officers would be required and more of our dollars spent on hunting - licences - outdoor cards etc would be put to better use to enhance more wildlife hunting opportunities for law obiding citizens. Poachers should also loose their hunting priveledges for at least 3years or more.

Andrew

In some states, any thing used while breaking a game law is subject to confiscation. Take their gun and vehicle. As long as the punishment is light, it won't be a deterrent. The honest people are already obeying the laws, make the penalty stiff enough and the dishonest people will obey the law too.

Chad

Somebody needs to understand the meanins of the words they are using before they use them and make a fool out of themselves. Entrapment would be if a law enforcement officer gave you a choice of doing something illegal or facing unresonible penalties. These people were never confronted with law enforcement until after they already broke the law. It is not entrapment to put out a decoy, nobody was forced to shoot at it.

If they were caught actually poaching...
I hate to be there bearer of bad news to you who remains nameless, but they were caught actually poaching. Just because it was a decoy does not mean it wasnt poaching. For the same reason you can be arrested for selling oregano passed off as a marijuana, a reasonable person would believe the decoy was real, therefore it is considered poaching. As for the sentencing, they should increase the fine and lose their licenses permanently.

Bob

The Game Warden where I lived in SE KS got a mounted deer & put it out along a farm road. A guy came by & saw it & started shootin
it, when it didn't drop he emptied
the rifle at it. Didn't see all the stuffing blown out the backside. When arrested he turned out to be a retired police detective. A sympathetic judge gave him back his rifle about 6 mo
later!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




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