Undercover Agent Helps Hunt Down Poachers
Some poaching cases are simple and can be handled with some tips, and some investigation. Others are not that clear cut, and that is when people like Lucinda Delaney Schroeder come in. She is now retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service, where she was a special agent. She has become an author, using tales from her real life experiences. Schroeder has moved to Montrose, Colorado with her husband who is a wildlife biologist, after visiting Colorado during some of her work, she fell in love with the state.
One of Schroeder's most memorable poaching rings she infiltrated, took place in Alaska. She met the guide after a local Wisconsin warden had notified her that the bar owner had been bragging about illegally hunting in Alaska. She spent 18 months working at gaining his trust. He owned the bar, and was a guide and poacher. Bob Bowman was an outfitter and pilot at the illegal Alaska camp. They were very specific about who they would allow into the camp. Rich Europeans were preferred, as they could pay, then leave the United States and never have to come back. Schroeder was a female hunter, and that was kind of a novelty, and helped her get into the camp. She had pictures from other cases she worked that she could show them to gain their trust as well.
She was in the camp for 11 days and participated in 2 illegal hunts. Hunters paid thousands of dollars to be flown into the wildlife refuge which guaranteed them a relatively fast trophy kill in a location where all hunting was illegal. For example, the pilot would herd grizzly bears right to the waiting hunter. The bear would have no chance to escape. The poacher would have his trophy photo with the dead bear and its hide to show off.
During this time she was able to gain enough evidence to close down the camp forever. Bob Bowman also served some time in prison, the poachers had to return their trophies.
Schroeder worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife for 30 years. She retired in 2004, and that is when she wrote her first book. From Delta County Independent.