The Never Ending Pursuit of Poachers

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The Newton Daily News is running a story about the Iowa Department of Natural Resource's efforts to crack down on poachers. With Iowa's record book whitetail bucks, comes a herculean effort to catch poachers. As the article notes some cases can take three or four years of investigative work before leading to charges.

“The general, ethical hunters we have are getting fed up with the illegal methods some people are using to kill deer. I’ve had many hunters come up to me in the field to tell me how sick and tired they are of seeing the tactics poachers are using,” Southwest Iowa Law Enforcement Supervisor Mark Sedlmayr said.


jim boyd's picture

Great story and I think this

Great story and I think this effort by Iowa does a lot more than catch poachers.

Their work gives the anti-hunters less ammunition - when poaching is reduced, they have one less "banner" to wave back and forth - "proving" that hunters are bad people and should be stopped.

It also creates a situation that allows the state to draw more hunters... people from out of state that know the officials in Iowa are doing everything they can to eliminate poaching have a better feeling about dropping some big dollars to come to Iowa to hunt - because they know that less deer have been taken illegally...

Lastly - and we have not talked about this much - I think it also creates a situation where Iowans can be more proud of their state.... they have premier deer hunting and they are doing everything they can to protect it!

I see they have the TIP line and I think this is great - I wonder also (and have asked about this recently) if some incentives would not increase the "catch" rate of poachers?? Myabe a free hunting license for a year - or 5 years - for a tip or information that led to a conviction?

In GA, a huge poaching crackdown has been completed in recent years, in spite of the fact that budget constraints have really hurt the DNR.

They have remote controlled deer - that raise their heads and flick their tails... and they place the deer at good vantage point and then catch criminals (hunters, darn it) that shoot at it... night hunting was the biggest form of poaching in GA and probably still is.

The other thing they have really cracked down on is baiting... they write reams of tickets for this.

I salute Iowa and am delighted to read this article!

Great work BGH!

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Yeah, I agree.  Tough Job. 

Yeah, I agree.  Tough Job.  As gthe title states, the job is never ending.  With al the stories we've had on here lately about poachers, it makes you wonder.

It'll take a combined effort by hunters, citizens, and law enforcement to get it done, and you'll still never be able to totally stop it.

If we can at least limit it, we could be okay.  California offers a 1-800 tip line to call 24/7.  They get alot of calls there.  Considering how huge some of the states are, and how few officers there are, they need all the help we can give.

Also, we need to stiffen the penalties.  Only $10,000 for killing and elk, say, isn't going to detur someone who probably has gotten away with it many more times, and made $$$ each time they do it.  They are still making a profit at that rate!

jaybe's picture

Tough Job!

It's always been a tough job to catch poachers because most of them (not all) are careful to know the whereabouts of the local game wardens and other law enforcement officers. Two-way radios used to be the technology of choice for this, but with the advent of cell phones it has become even easier for them to carry out their illegal activities while staying informed of the location of the law.

I believe that hunters need to step up and do a better job of reporting poachers. Sometimes they are hesitant to do this because it may be someone they know. It is easier to turn a blind eye to the offense than to risk damaging the friendship they may have with someone who violates.

Add to this the fact that many of our states are suffering economically, and the number of available officers has been trimmed to the point where they are simply spread too thin to be able to do an effective job of patroling their assigned area.

RAP - Report All Poachers. That's one way to help our wildlife and preserve our right to hunt.