Poaching in the Midwest

K E Johnson

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Today is opening day of rifle season for deer in my home state. Hope this doesn’t get too wordy.

I am hunting on my own ground. I could see a couple of other hunters heading to stands with flashlights on an adjacent property after I got set up.
There was a shot fairly early after season opened from a stand a few yards from the property line. No big deal.

I had a couple deer come through, one was a fork horn, protected in this county by minimum point restrictions. It would be legal 4 miles away at my home place.
I am hunting, but I am being extremely picky. I have already harvested two does, they’re in the freezer. I also harvested an 8 point buck that I donated the meat to a “Share the Harvest” program during bow season. My meat processor Is not taking more deer this year due to Covid and demand for beef and hog processing.

As I was, and still am, sitting here. I noticed what appeared to be a deer back through the woods, 163 yards from my stand. It was not moving.
I glassed the area, and it looked for sure to be a deer. I can only see part of it from my stand. I got down and walked down to investigate.
It is a decent buck, but no monster. I grabbed an antler to see how long it had been dead. It is stiff as a board. The body is in full rigor. I am guessing it was shot last night. The blood still looks fresh.
I texted my wife to call the department of conservation. They forwarded information to an agent. I am waiting to see if anything is done about this.
I found a mostly intact skeleton of a nine point this spring on my property, looked to be older than just the previous fall. I maybe starting to see a pattern. I am hoping not.

What kind of low life would waste animals like this?

I am waiting to see if conservation agent want to see it before I move it, or turn it over. It couldn’t have traveled very far.
 

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TTundra

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Very frustrating. I've seen the same by me in NC. Invested in many more wireless trail cams that are doubling more as security cams. I found new one hang on where it shouldn't be. Cam up and waiting to see if they come back. Small surprise when they'll see the steps are pulled and a note on the tree...
 

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Don't blame you for being frustrated with this situation. I am curious whether the deer you found today had been shot with a rifle or a bow / crossbow. There have been a few deer in recent years that were wounded by bowhunters and which escaped onto my property. Neighbor's son-in-law has come over last year and again last week, looking for deer he wounded.
Not saying that you don't have a poaching problem, but it is another possibility. Either way, I hope that you get it resolved to your satisfaction.
 

meigsbucks

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As my screen name indicates, I hunt Meigs County OH. I use the same name on an archery forum. A few years ago a guy from NYcontacted me and asked about hunting that county as he, thru a convoluted way, got permission to hunt some property only a couple of miles from the property I hunt. I told him that as it is an area that is economically depressed, around sunset you’ll hear some shooting. A few weeks later I got a message from him that he arrowed a nice buck. He also said that I wasn’t kidding, “It sounded like a war zone.”
Additionally, I leased some property in KY. On one of my recent trips there, one of the neighboring locals saw me on the road and told me flat out that “I’ve lived here 29 years. I’ll hunt that property if I damn well please.”
Unfortunately poachers are everywhere.
 

Gemsbok45

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I have a farm in Kansas and road hunters/ poachers are everywhere.Caught three guys with a boy last year. Game warden prosecuted them except for the boy who was taken aside and given a talking to,The best was is to just prosecute when you catch them and then word gets out! It is an ongoing process.Not much fun but necessary!
 

K E Johnson

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I know this is a wide spread problem, sorry to hear the rest of your experiences.
I had a conservation officer call me. At first he said there wasn’t much he could do. He didn’t think it would do any good to investigate. He told me he is supposed to get a K-9 unit at some point. It is not available yet. He asked if I wanted the antlers and I replied why not. No reason to let squirrels eat them. I intended to move the body out of my hunting area. He wanted to know how many points it had. I told him and sent him a picture. Not long after getting the picture, he started texting asking if he could come out. I replied “absolutely.”
It took him longer to get there than he anticipated. He came across a couple deer hanging in a tree on his way. There were violations at that location.
He did arrive. I gave him directions to drive back to where I was, but he elected to walk.
We walked back to the deer and we saw where a neighbor was hunting, maybe 50 or 60 yards from the deer. The Officer went immediately over to talk to him. They were over talking for some time . Upon returning to the deer I was told there were minor violations there. The hunter admitted to shooting this morning, but said he missed. I was told the hunter also said he hunted last night and heard several shots.
The Officer asked me if I hunted last night, but I did not. He then asked about a blood trail. I had not looked, as I was waiting for him to show up before I disturbed anything. Blood was easy to find and was headed back to a distinct direction. That was even after some rain last night.
the officer was receiving more calls throughout. I lost the blood trail after 20 yards or so. At this point the officer opined that he really wished to have a K9 unit. I wished so too.
I brought the deer back to the house to dispose of. I intended to look for the bullet. It was not a through and through as I thought. Instead the bullet went In the front shoulder And then back in to the paunch. I gave up on looking. Even though it was stiff as a board, the internal organs still had some warmth.
I am not accusing anyone of anything. I do however have my own suspicions.
On the bright side,I took my .416 Rigby out hunting for the first time ever today. Inaugural Hunt was very different. Brought home a deer and never fired a shot.
 

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This kind of stuff happens everywhere. I saw some deer hunters in Utah bringing out a buck on opening morning and that deer had been dead for a long time and he had a huge set of antlers. I figured that they shot it during the elk hunt which had ended 3 days before the deer hunt started and then hung it up in a tree to go pick up once the deer hunt started. I didn't think quick enough to get a license number off of the truck but I wagered that it was some locals.

I have even seen where hunters had hit a buck and never followed up to see if it was hit or not. I followed a blood trail for a half mile one year and found a small buck that had been gut shot a few hours before he was dead so I headed back to the road and drove around to where I had seen a couple of hunters sitting that morning. When I got there I asked them if they had gotten any shots off and one said that he had shot at a small buck but didn't think that he had hit it. I told them where the deer was hit and where it had died. I also told them that if they didn't go get it I'd turn their truck license into the DWR. They went and picked up the deer, I don't know what they did with it but they got it.
 

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Poaching will only be curtailed through prosecution, regardless of the pain and loss of time personally if you do prosecute. I have seen properties turned around with a few successful prosecutions. Word travels fast in these circles.
 

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Common here too. Every year lots of moose and elk are found and left laying.
 

Certus

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Are you sure it’s poaching? Sounds like a shot and lost deer. The one that was skeletonised - could have been shot elsewhere, ran into yours, died and www processed there. If I recall US law allows going into property to retrieve a downed animal? Though if I recall further you’re meant to ask the owner then contact the game warden.
 

thriller

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Today is opening day of rifle season for deer in my home state. Hope this doesn’t get too wordy.

I am hunting on my own ground. I could see a couple of other hunters heading to stands with flashlights on an adjacent property after I got set up.
There was a shot fairly early after season opened from a stand a few yards from the property line. No big deal.

I had a couple deer come through, one was a fork horn, protected in this county by minimum point restrictions. It would be legal 4 miles away at my home place.
I am hunting, but I am being extremely picky. I have already harvested two does, they’re in the freezer. I also harvested an 8 point buck that I donated the meat to a “Share the Harvest” program during bow season. My meat processor Is not taking more deer this year due to Covid and demand for beef and hog processing.

As I was, and still am, sitting here. I noticed what appeared to be a deer back through the woods, 163 yards from my stand. It was not moving.
I glassed the area, and it looked for sure to be a deer. I can only see part of it from my stand. I got down and walked down to investigate.
It is a decent buck, but no monster. I grabbed an antler to see how long it had been dead. It is stiff as a board. The body is in full rigor. I am guessing it was shot last night. The blood still looks fresh.
I texted my wife to call the department of conservation. They forwarded information to an agent. I am waiting to see if anything is done about this.
I found a mostly intact skeleton of a nine point this spring on my property, looked to be older than just the previous fall. I maybe starting to see a pattern. I am hoping not.

What kind of low life would waste animals like this?

I am waiting to see if conservation agent want to see it before I move it, or turn it over. It couldn’t have traveled very far.
Reminds me of when we used to find deer in our pasture with the heads cut off after the season ended. Used to find 4-5 a year like that. Ended up getting the guy after about 10 years of this. Hope you get this guy.
 

Troubleshooter

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I told them where the deer was hit and where it had died. I also told them that if they didn't go get it I'd turn their truck license into the DWR. They went and picked up the deer,
Mister, I like your style!
 
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K E Johnson

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Are you sure it’s poaching? Sounds like a shot and lost deer. The one that was skeletonised - could have been shot elsewhere, ran into yours, died and www processed there. If I recall US law allows going into property to retrieve a downed animal? Though if I recall further you’re meant to ask the owner then contact the game warden.
Yes sir, I call it poaching when I find a rifle shot deer in full rigor mortis on opening morning of rifle season.
I agree about the skeleton. Missouri law does not allow for trespass to retrieve game. I would have no problem letting someone retrieve game. I have asked and received permission to do so when I needed to.
I will never know for sure, I suspect that no effort was made to retrieve the buck I found yesterday. It was in plain sight about two yards off a trail I made for access.
 

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Could they have been a delayed road kill? It would seem the poachers would cut off the antlers or head. In my area, buck road kills are an every early morning and evening occurrence. We usually find them after the season looking for sheds. They go several to a hundred yards off the roads, lay down and die.
One creek bottom I hunt crosses a heavily traveled morning rush hour traffic road. In one two month period, there were seventeen road kills, one a nice twelve point buck.
 

fourfive8

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Tip of the iceberg. If interested, do some serious research into the Bowmars, recently within the past year, and Kirt Darner from some years ago. The idea that poaching is not a "real" crime is ingrained within portions of our culture. Chasing fame and the spotlight- currently the selfie/video/and I want to be famous generation ???
 

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In Pennsylvania if an animal doesn't go down until it's on property where you don't have the ok to hunt, permission is required to retrieve it.
 

leslie hetrick

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i don,t know what killed this large doe i found in late flint lock season, but the coyotes had good meal for a day or two.

DSCN0420.JPG
 
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Randy F

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That is SO maddening! Sorry to see that. I hope they get caught.
Why?!
 

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Warden friend of mine just nabbed a spotlighter he’s been after for years. This idiot actually shot a couple of my neighbors goats, apparently mistaking them for deer.

I hope they throw the book at him.
 

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I had an interesting incident yesterday. My father and I own a half section of land that has a busy grid road running alongside for the entire mile. During whitetail season we hunt it ourselves for the duration of the season so a few years ago we posted it No Hunting. The neighbours across the road have theirs posted for the mile as well, yet every morning and evening road hunters slowly drive up and down between the two properties hoping to snipe an easy deer. Well yesterday morning the wife and I were sitting in our blind when a very loud rifle shot rang out quite close to us. I jumped out of the blind, ran to my truck and went ripping over in the direction that the shot came from. Before I got to the road I saw a guy in my Dad’s quarter trying to run back to the road to get to his truck, but I beat him there. Also in Saskatchewan it is mandatory to wear colours and this clown was in a cami jacket. I texted Dad right away and he showed up within minutes but meanwhile I was chewing this guy out and he grovelled and whined the whole time. He is a well known drug addict around town and always in trouble with the law. The big complication for me is that he is my cousin’s son. He claimed he didn’t know it was posted. He offered us money. Finally we went in to look for the deer and there wasn’t one. Ended up telling him to get out of there and that if I ever saw him there again I’d beat the piss out of him even if he was my cousin’s kid.
 

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