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March 13, 2007

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Discussion Topic: Would You Accept a Poacher’s Apology?

After authorities seized 81 wild turkey beards—among other parts-- from his Virginia home, Jason Wayne Cook admitted that 90 percent of the birds he killed were taken illegally. Charged with 96 violations, Cook got 15 days in jail, 100 hours of community service, over $10,000 in fines, and in an unusual twist was ordered to apologize.

Here’s what he wrote in a document titled “To the Sports Men and Women of the Commonwealth of Virginia,” as quoted in the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

"I did not realize I may be taking opportunity away from others. However, looking back now, I realize I made a mistake and I am truly sorry for it.”

Are you satisfied?



Hell No!!!

Mike Diehl

Apologizing without qualifying or excusing bad conduct is the toughest thing to do IMO. "I didn't realize I was taking opportunities from others" is a real stretch for me to believe. Was he a coal country fellow and this the year 1931 I could give that claim some credence. But in this day and age where everyone knows that regs are about population management, the "I didn't know" excuse really undermines the sense of contrition.

Trent M.

Ignorance is not an excuse.

I'm not satisfied with the apology, or the punishment.


The apology was forced by the judge, so no, the apology is worthless.
The fines, jail time, community service and 7 years of no hunting in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico seem fair as well.
Should he violate the terms of the agreement anytime in the 7 years, he should spend the remaining amount of said 7 years in prison, preferably in Mexico.
He actually might learn a lesson in one of those hell holes.

Kristine Shreve

An apology after you've been caught basically means nothing. It also does very little to address whatever damage has been done.

The rest of the punishment may serve to teach him a lesson, but the apology basically served no purpose.


no they have to learn that it is not acceptable and should be made to do comunty service for wildlife departments.then and only then they can say i'm sorry.but the have to mean it from the heart!


Sounds to me like his lawyer wrote the apology for him. He is sorry he got caught, not for poaching. In his apology he admits to 81 mistakes!! Give me a break.

Tom James

The real crime to me is he is getting off so light. Poaching a federal military installation and taking a gun from a kid during youth only season.

This guy will be legally hunting again in 8 years! He should be banned for life.

He also lives near me in Caroline County Virginia. Another reason we need a full-time Commonwealth Attorney. Election in November we need an candidate to run against our CA.

Ricardo D

I don´t agree with trent M we dont´want this guy here in Mexico, send him to Siberia o somewhere else far away, I can´t see he is really soory, he may shoot the guard man in jail and after say I didn´t know, no way


No matter how hard this guy tries to sound sincere he will most likely poach again. This guy I am sure did it because he "had" to. It hard to break a bad habit

Mark M

He made a mistake 81 times? Not believable! Not just A mistake, but THE SAME ONE 81 TIMES! If he has an IQ below a first grader I may be able to believe him. Otherwise, no! The fines may be able to deter him some.


Hope they got the $10 grand. one thing to fine em' ,another to get it . If they did ,hope they gave it to conv.

Stephen R MacDonald

That is the best apology he could come up with?? Keep an eye on him he is not sorry - and he WILL do it again! I agree with Mike DIEHL -Maybe the next time there will be a stiffer penalty.


There was a day when I needed to feed my family and a few friends with kids. I didnt hunt turkey then nor do I today. 81 Beards is a lot of drumsticks. Im not sorry and those days are over,thank GOD.I have a hard time seeing "any" reason to be harvesting(poaching)this many birds.


i'll accept his apology only if he will accept mine and not sue me for beating him with in an inch of his life with a tire iron, if i ever happen to run across him!!!!


I think that his apology is a load of crap. I also feel if you poach once, it should be a lifetime ban, and it should be a felony with a mandatory 5 year jail sentence per animal. Maybe then we would slow down poachers...


I believe that he should never be allowed to hunt ..81 mistakes...that,s 81 memories that law abiding citizens could have had.If he had'nt got caught ,he would still be poaching.

Jim Ross

Since he was so greedy in the past
and no doubt has killed plenty of
turkeys, I'd say he never be issued another hunting license ever!


I think we all need to keep something in perspective. How does it look for us when this case gets printed. Is the headline going to read "Poacher fined for illegal kills," or will it read "hunter fined for poaching." He not only needs to apologize for missed opportunity, but for giving the liberal media something else to throw at us.


B.S. Should have been fined more!!


This guy is the type of person who ruins hunting for everyone else. He knew what he was doing and would have kept doing it had he not been caught. 81 birds is not a mistake, it's simple ignorance and arrogance. His apology is crap and he should receive a lifetime ban from hunting!

Joe Leigh

Hell No...this guy is nothing but a greedy poacher. He should never be allowed to hunt in not only VA but any state in the USA. This is the kind of guy who makes real hunters look bad.


He should at least lose the right to ever hunt again. (To bad we can't poach him and cut off his beard)

D Thompson

I know Jason Cook personally and you
people have no idea what you are talking about. It doesn't even matter if you like the punishment or accept it, it is what it is. Don't pass judgement on someone you don't know, Jason is a hard working family man that is very sorry, and I know him you don't.

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