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$74,000 poaching fine
This may be old news but the NM supreme court recently turned down the appeal on this case. Even $74,000 is too low.
Wow near 24/7 surveillance on the head’s location for four months. Glad they caught the SOB and sounds like they will recoup the cost (if the guy has the funds to pay). However that is a lot of resources to catch one guy that poached one deer. Especially considering how crime on people is out of control. I wish there was that much tenacity to catch bad guys in our towns and cities.
Based on what that guy did, I agree!
John I bet 24 your surveillance was a game camera? At least I would hope so! If someone was sitting their for 4 months that would be something!
It says -- "conducted nearly 24/7 surveillance on the head’s location. When Davis loaded the mule deer head into his truck four months later, officers were there watching"
That does not sound like cameras. Last sentence says they were there watching .
John that was exactly my thoughts. Incredible stake out. I know it's a ton of time to spend but it might give a poacher pause. You never know if you're the guy that gets chose to have unlimited resources spent on. You'd think dumping a head and coming back 4 months later you'd be out of the woods but bam! They were there. Pretty awesome.
Guy must've had plenty of money for an attorney to take it to the appellate court and Supreme Court.
What was the guys reason for going to get it after 4 months only to dump it in the a river? Did he know they were following him?
JohnMC, that's what I was thinking. Not only that, but how would he know the head (antlers) would even be there four months later (?). I would think a freshly killed/severed head would be fairly attractive to the carnivore animals in the area. A few gaps to fill in....
With 2000 hours and 25,000 miles driven, they lost a lot of money on this deal.
To spend those resources they wanted that asshat pretty bad. I’m guessing the extensive game law violations in his past had something to do with that.
Seems absurd unless this was a big organized poaching ring.
I get the deterrence factor of a big fine but what's a mule deer worth? Our $25k car was stolen. As far as I know, other than the 10 minutes an officer spent taking a report in my kitchen, I'm not aware of any resources that went in to solving it. Never heard a thing until another dept. 100 miles away got a call that it was abandoned in a parking lot a couple months later. I dropped off a video of the guy getting into our other vehicle and rummaging around before stealing my wife's. Maybe check for fingerprints? Nope.
As Jaq said, this cost New Mexico hunters a lot more than the perp paid.
Wardens have nothing better to do.
I do think the proportionality question is legitimate. I'm really happy they caught him, but the amount of effort expended to find this poacher seems hard to justify given the amount of other crime that is not efforted, even a little. And then the cashless bail, light sentences for violent crimes, lack of prosecution for burglary, etc. Imagine if those hours were spent trying to find fentanyl dealers, human traffickers, and carjackers?
Imagine all the black moms (who lost their sons to violence and never get any attention from police departments) read about how the State expended 2000 hours and 25k miles to find a guy who killed a deer?
Good to nab a serial poacher. He may have a dozen deer he got away with.
Of course if the biologists guess on lion quotas is a couple too low, it has a bigger negative impact on mule deer populations.
I think it’s odd they use the SCI scoring system.
Ohiohunter that's the most disgusting thing I've read. 17 charges, multiple animals killed out of season with no license left to rot in illegal manner and they get an $800 fine and "supervised probation??????" Brutal. That costs less than a tag for Pete's sake. I'd be better off driving to NM and killing an elk out of season with no license and paying the fine then trying to draw a tag!
Iowa Rut Nut's Link
Charlie, Game agencies use the SCI scoring sytem because it gives them a higher number. The higher the number the higher the fine.
A number of years ago, they caught a guy from Iowa who would kill huge elk in NW Colorado with a rifle out of season, stash the racks and come back to pick them up during turkey season, claiming he just found the dead heads. It worked until he got caught.
I agree that this is a lot of effort for "just a poached deer" but this is what we pay them to do. They are not tasked with fighting violent crime. Their efforts worked out and the perp pays for the cost. If only the system worked this well for crimes against humans.
Link to article on "POACHER KING"