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October 29, 2013 7:12 am

EDITORIAL: Poachers deserve to be caught, so turn them in

Written by Tom Lawrence

It’s fall, and that means hunting season in Wyoming.

We support the right of ethical, responsible hunters to take game. We are appalled by the slobs who kill for the sheer thrill of inflicting pain and damage.
Two weeks ago, we reported that three deer had been shot six or seven miles southwest of Byron in Big Horn County on either Oct. 12 or Oct. 13. “They were shot and left,” said Powell Game Warden Chris Queen.
Last week, we learned of three elk that were shot near Green River. The two adult elk were killed, and the meat was wasted. The younger animal later died, but that meat was successfully harvested.
“Wyoming’s wildlife resource is a valuable commodity and it is really disheartening when people feel the need to target practice on wildlife,” said Green River Game Warden Duane Kerr. “As we teach in Wyoming Hunter Education classes, if you shoot at an animal, always follow up your shot. Look for any evidence of having hit the animal and do the work it takes to recover it. Don’t let game animals go to waste. It’s not only illegal, it is unethical.”
Mike Choma, Wyoming Game & Fish’s law enforcement supervisor, said there are hundreds of poaching cases in Wyoming each year, and thousands of similar violations. Sadly, it remains a constant concern through good and bad economic times, Choma said.
“It never really seems to slow down,” he said.
If you want to report poaching or any wildlife violation, call the Stop Poaching Hotline at 1-877-WGFD-TIP (1-877-9433-847). Tips may be reported to local game wardens or online at wgfd.wyo.gov. Choma said tips from the website are becoming more frequent, and the department will soon offer a way to text tips to Game & Fish.
You don’t have to give your name, and may be eligible for up to $5,000 cash if the information leads to a conviction. We encourage people who witness or know of such crimes — and that’s what these are — to make the call and report the violators.
Choma urged people to send their information in, saying even what might seem like a minor bit of information can help crack a major case. There are only 85 sworn G&F officers in the state, and only 60 in the field on a regular basis, so they would welcome the help, he said.
Deer, elk, moose and antelope are frequent targets of poachers who kill out of season, in closed hunting areas, or, in what Choma said especially bothers game wardens, just for the twisted thrill of it. It’s cases like that, in which the meat is usually wasted, that “really sticks in our craw,” he said.
We also applaud a website that maintains a Poachers Hall of Shame. It’s one thing to pay a fine or forfeit a license, gun or vehicle that was involved in poaching. Having your name published is another means to discourage people from breaking the law.

Go to http://www.wyomingoutdoorsradio.com/you’re.htm to see the reports of outdoor criminal behavior and the fools who were responsible.

Wyoming’s game belong to the people of the state. To steal from us, to slaughter animals and waste them, is a despicable action, not a game or a bit of outdoor fun. Turn ’em in.

1 Comment

  • Comment Link October 30, 2013 7:51 am posted by clipstein

    like the last sentence. to waste is not tolerable. now if someone has come on hard times and will use it all to feed a family? you forgot the waste of fish.......by the way feel the same way about the waste of taxpayer money.....

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