onX Maps
Inside the mind if a poacher
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Stekewood 13-Jan-24
Stekewood 13-Jan-24
Old Reb 13-Jan-24
Stekewood 13-Jan-24
Shug 14-Jan-24
Shiloh 14-Jan-24
HDE 14-Jan-24
Boreal 14-Jan-24
Defender 14-Jan-24
Nick Muche 14-Jan-24
Straight Shooter 15-Jan-24
IdyllwildArcher 15-Jan-24
DanaC 15-Jan-24
doubleeagle 15-Jan-24
Timex? 15-Jan-24
Nick Muche 15-Jan-24
Bou'bound 15-Jan-24
elkster 15-Jan-24
Topper 15-Jan-24
Screwball 15-Jan-24
Shiloh 15-Jan-24
doubleeagle 15-Jan-24
BoggsBowhunts 15-Jan-24
Shiloh 15-Jan-24
Tracker 15-Jan-24
Grey Ghost 15-Jan-24
Shiloh 15-Jan-24
Straight Shooter 15-Jan-24
Timex? 15-Jan-24
Nick Muche 15-Jan-24
Shiloh 15-Jan-24
Glunt@work 15-Jan-24
IdyllwildArcher 15-Jan-24
RK 15-Jan-24
Stekewood 15-Jan-24
Glunt@work 15-Jan-24
Stekewood 15-Jan-24
BoggsBowhunts 16-Jan-24
Shiloh 16-Jan-24
Stekewood 16-Jan-24
Grey Ghost 16-Jan-24
Stekewood 16-Jan-24
Groundhunter 16-Jan-24
BoggsBowhunts 16-Jan-24
Stekewood 16-Jan-24
JohnMC 16-Jan-24
HunterR 16-Jan-24
APauls 16-Jan-24
Timex? 16-Jan-24
Glunt@work 16-Jan-24
Owl 16-Jan-24
BoggsBowhunts 16-Jan-24
WV Mountaineer 16-Jan-24
Timex? 16-Jan-24
Stekewood 16-Jan-24
Stekewood 16-Jan-24
JohnMC 16-Jan-24
Timex? 16-Jan-24
Stekewood 16-Jan-24
Timex? 17-Jan-24
Catscratch 17-Jan-24
Timex? 17-Jan-24
Boreal 17-Jan-24
KHNC 17-Jan-24
elkster 18-Jan-24
BigEight 18-Jan-24
Bou'bound 18-Jan-24
Stekewood 18-Jan-24
Bowfreak 18-Jan-24
BigEight 18-Jan-24
Old Reb 25-Jan-24
Nick Muche 25-Jan-24
APauls 25-Jan-24
Jimmyjumpup 25-Jan-24
Jimmyjumpup 25-Jan-24
craig 25-Jan-24
APauls 25-Jan-24
Hancock West 25-Jan-24
ILBow288 25-Jan-24
Bou'bound 25-Jan-24
Slate 25-Jan-24
160andup 25-Jan-24
Stekewood 26-Jan-24
Stekewood 26-Jan-24
Trial153 26-Jan-24
elkster 27-Jan-24
Bou'bound 27-Jan-24
elkster 27-Jan-24
Glunt@work 28-Jan-24
PGA Pro 28-Jan-24
Grey Ghost 28-Jan-24
PGA Pro 28-Jan-24
Bou'bound 28-Jan-24
PGA Pro 28-Jan-24
doubleeagle 29-Jan-24
doubleeagle 29-Jan-24
Catscratch 29-Jan-24
Bou'bound 29-Jan-24
APauls 29-Jan-24
Grey Ghost 29-Jan-24
Bou'bound 29-Jan-24
Grey Ghost 29-Jan-24
Trial153 29-Jan-24
2Wild Bill 29-Jan-24
Hancock West 29-Jan-24
AndrewM @ Work 29-Jan-24
From: Stekewood
13-Jan-24

Stekewood's Link
This is an incredible interview with Donnie Baker, who was convicted illegally killing a 204” buck in Missouri, and includes some very good insight from the host Clay Newcomb. Well worth a listen.

From: Stekewood
13-Jan-24

Stekewood's Link

From: Old Reb
13-Jan-24
Yes. Good podcast. Waitng for part 2.

From: Stekewood
13-Jan-24
Was so bummed that it wasn’t available to listen right after finishing part one. Every hunter should listen to this, especially those who opine on all the poacher threads here.

From: Shug
14-Jan-24
Good story yet I found myself cursing at the interviewer… I don’t need biblical references throughout the entire thing

From: Shiloh
14-Jan-24
I enjoyed it as well. Really appreciate the Biblical references that Clay throws in!!

From: HDE
14-Jan-24
^^^ LOL. Nobody asked...

From: Boreal
14-Jan-24
Good tale. Very relatable. I couldn't help but picture Chris Pratt speaking while I was listening to this.

From: Defender
14-Jan-24
Excellent interview. I especially appreciated the biblical references.

From: Nick Muche
14-Jan-24
Exceptional interview and perfectly placed biblical references that I found really brought it all together.

15-Jan-24
Looking forward to hearing how this wraps up.

15-Jan-24
Here's a Biblical reference:

5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

-Matthew 6:5-6

Jesus says that when you do it to look cool, that you're a hypocrite.

From: DanaC
15-Jan-24
More interested in the minds of all the guys who were trying to take that particular deer *legally*.

From: doubleeagle
15-Jan-24
Having been one of the witnesses in this buck tragedy, I have to say there are a couple of points that are inaccurate. First Fact: Was taken with a crossbow, not compound. Not sure the motivation Donnie has for this interview. He lost a lot with this deer. He lost a bunch of friends on the fort too. As one that hunted the deer's legal stomping ground (Areas Archery 2 and Archery 3), I have a strong opinion on this. This deer was a celebrity as it was seen daily in daylight in a heavily populated (car and pedestrian), near govt buildings, almost posed for photos. The day after he shot it, and sent us the staged "harvest" photo, I knew this was not taken in Maries County where he was telling us. A sad event for him overall. That was not his dream buck, but turned out to be his nightmare. The buck is mounted in the Game Wardens Bldg on Fort Leonard Wood if you want to see it in person.

From: Timex?
15-Jan-24
I new some guys growing up that we're addicted to horns like a Crack adick......

It was more than just the horns, more like a competition between their other road hunting buddies & the game warden was always just around the corner to add another level of excitement.

They honestly could care less how the bone got in the back of the truck, hands down a really accurate. 22 rimfire with a 2k 56mm ziese or Swarovski was usually the choice. The full moon closest to the rut was guaranteed they were riding all night. This was long before the xbow or suppressed sub sonic ar,s.

Again it was like a competition between the others, along with the added cat & mouse game excitement of the game wardens.

From: Nick Muche
15-Jan-24
Double eagle, you said there were a "couple of points that are inaccurate", but only listed one, what are the others? Interesting you were around when this took place, be curious to hear anything else you have on the story.

From: Bou'bound
15-Jan-24
Was he silent to the crossbow distinction in the podcast or did he say compound. Don’t recall.

From: elkster
15-Jan-24
I enjoyed this one. Clay explores motive for bending the rules - not just regarding hunting - which apply to all humans for all history. That's why the biblical references did not bother me just as if he had quoted Tora or Buddhist or Koran. As long as its useful in providing perspective, I don't see it as "preachy" like Shug does apparently.

From: Topper
15-Jan-24
Think he just referenced bow but not entirely sure and don't care enough to listen again. :)

From: Screwball
15-Jan-24
We have had several groups of poachers busted in the last few years around North Central Wisconsin, Adults and teenagers. Some are actual contests set up with in the groups themselves. There area has a couple on going currently. One larger adult group had over twenty members and killed hundreds of deer. They had "hidden" social media for themselves to track the contests. I had two students years ago, that had a .308 with an early thermal scope just for poaching big bucks. I don't believe they ever got caught.

From: Shiloh
15-Jan-24
It is getting really bad around here during turkey season. I know it is not limited to the younger folks, but there is a group around here that is similar to above. They put some things out there on social media to tease people and make them wonder. I am afraid someone is going to get hurt pretty bad over it before it is over. Some of the guys that own land that is getting taken advantage of are pretty stirred up.

From: doubleeagle
15-Jan-24
Since Nick asked...Fact 2: Donnie did not start the bow shop on FLW. He was employee of the Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC) and worked in the bow shop area as part of his duties. There were full and part time bow shop workers with his same duties. The bowshop area was started by the OAC director, Mike Elmer. The FLW OAC was a branch of the US Army Morale, Welfare, and Recreation on Ft Leonard Wood. Fact 3: Donnie did not run the annual "Big Buck Contest" for the OAC. He was an employee that assisted the process. The OAC director was responsible for the contest. As Donnie was an avid hunter, he took time off during the season for his own hunting. Non-hunters mainly ran the contest. I'll let the rest go until I hear part 2. I hope to hear from him that he was not fired from FLW MWR, but was barred from entry to the installation, thus leading him to no way to get to or stay at the on-post employment location. For those not close to this incident, I say just see what is learned by this and hopefully, that buck can be a learning point for all hunters. Like it was mentioned, 14 years later and Donnie is still answering for 15 seconds of glory.

15-Jan-24
Does anyone else think that giving poachers a platform at all - despite the context or goals of the interviewer - could be portrayed as glamorizing them? I haven’t listened to the podcast and don’t think I will, but just judging by the title, I’d rather not plaster poachers names everywhere and give them a few hours of time in the spotlight… just my 2 cents… if “interviewing poachers” gets clicks, it won’t be the last poacher to be interviewed in such a way…. If there’s a demand for poaching interviews, supply will follow…

From: Shiloh
15-Jan-24
I think that interviewing them in the context the Clay has done on this podcast will have the opposite effect as glamorizing them. Everyone makes mistakes and maybe this story will encourage others to not make the same mistake. He is clear that what should have been a happy time led to years of misery which set in as soon as he knew that the buck was dead. I just hate to know that maybe he has not been 100% transparent in the story if that is the case.

From: Tracker
15-Jan-24
What BoggsBohunter said. It’s all about clicks on the podcast. I won’t listen and give him any of my time. As far as Biblical quotes. Seems like a pattern. Get caught then find “faith” so I’m forgiven.

From: Grey Ghost
15-Jan-24
"Does anyone else think that giving poachers a platform at all - despite the context or goals of the interviewer - could be portrayed as glamorizing them?"

Yes, I do, and that's why I won't listen to this podcast. I have no desire to get "Inside the mind of a poacher". Especially if this guy is lying about details, as doubleeagle claims.

Matt

From: Shiloh
15-Jan-24
I didn’t hear the poacher say anything in reference to the Bible, but whatever.

15-Jan-24
He definitely “eluded” to using a compound bow. Recall a reference to him shooting a 1 pin slider.

From: Timex?
15-Jan-24
Just curious, exactly what is the relevance of the weapon used to some of yall ?????? Vertical bow, xbow, .22 rimfire, suppressed 300 blackout, etc. If the deer was illegally killed, does the type of weapon used actually matter.

If a drunk driver kills someone, does the type of vehicle used make a difference.

From: Nick Muche
15-Jan-24
I think people would take exception to it because this was his chance to "come clean" so to speak, teach people a hard lesson through his mistakes and yet he lied during it...

From: Shiloh
15-Jan-24
What Nick said…….

From: Glunt@work
15-Jan-24
He states he shoots a single pin HHA sight and describes nocking an arrow and drawing his bow. I can't imagine lying about stuff when plenty of people know the details. Especially during a mea culpa and about some aspect that isn't really a big factor. Are we positive he used a crossbow?

15-Jan-24
Sociopaths and psychopaths often times think that everyone will believe their lies so they lie to cover their lies and lie more when those lies are exposed. Intelligent sociopaths and psychopaths get good at manipulating people. The dumb ones get caught a lot more.

From: RK
15-Jan-24
Timex. BOWSITE. Nobody in the real world puts any significance to weapon.

Just the bow - archery web sites

From: Stekewood
15-Jan-24
Boggs, Tracker and GG’s responses are classic. Didn’t listen, and won’t, but still have an opinion on it.

From: Glunt@work
15-Jan-24
Obviously crossbows illicit some strong opinions here but in this case it's more about him lying about details 14 years later. If so, it's a very different interview than what it looks like on the surface. It's not a guy who screwed up big time, paid the price, and is sharing his story as someone who changed, is remorseful and accepting accountability. It's more like someone who screwed up big time, paid a price and still can't fully accept responsibility enough to be honest 14 years later.

From: Stekewood
15-Jan-24
During the interview, Clay stated several times that he couldn’t be sure that Baker was telling the truth, but that he believed him. Is there proof that he used a crossbow but claimed that he used a compound? He sure made it sound like he used a compound in the interview. I agree with Nick on this. The weapon doesn’t matter but his honesty while “confessing” certainly does.

16-Jan-24
Stekewood, people don’t have to invest time in/fund the things they disagree with to disagree with them, and giving a platform of any kind to a poacher is something I disagree with… That’s like saying someone can’t have an opinion on eating meat because they didn’t listen to an hour and a half long interview with a vegan… crazy… Disagree with our opinion, sure, but saying someone can’t think that giving a platform to poachers is bad without listening to hours worth of content is wild.

And my stance on this particular podcast is coming from someone who generally likes Clay’s historical podcasts. I don’t view/support his/meateater’s modern day market hunting content, but his podcast I usually listen to due to being from the same area of the country as him and generally having a very similar mindset on most things. Won’t be listening to this one and I’m disappointed he would think something like this is a good idea, regardless of the picture he was trying to paint with it.

16-Jan-24
interesting interview...looking forward to part 2.

i enjoyed the biblical references as they illustrate how we all struggle with right...wrong...temptation...forgiveness...redemption...and all the things that have defined the human condition since the beginning of time.

at the very end of the interview one statement by the host really struck me.

"we better hope we dont get what we deserve...i sure hope im not judged by my worst day."

From: Shiloh
16-Jan-24
Ughhh……me and you both RTCG!!!

From: Stekewood
16-Jan-24
Boggs, What do you think the “platform” provides the poacher in this instance? That question can’t be answered without listening to the podcast. The idea that he stands to gain something, or that the podcast is going to lead to more poaching is laughable. I respect yours and anyone else’s decision to not listen but you are already “funding” that podcast and are supporting his and Meateater’s “ modern market hunting content” by listening to all the other episodes. The good news is, you aren’t funding Baker, or any other poacher, and neither are the people who choose to listen to these episodes.

From: Grey Ghost
16-Jan-24
Stekewood, it's pretty easy. I have better things to do than waste an hour getting "In the mind of a poacher". Especially, if he's still lying about it 14 years later. That said, I don't do any podcasts, ever. But, you do you.

Matt

From: Stekewood
16-Jan-24
Oh, I thought you said you wouldn’t listen because you thought that it gives poachers a platform and potentially glamorizes them, not because you don’t do any podcasts ever. ;-) But you do you too!

From: Groundhunter
16-Jan-24
I could not bring it up, do I have to subscribe to something?

16-Jan-24
Stekewood, the same platform that the media plastering a school shooter’s face/name all over the internet gives them. Provides them notoriety, name recognition, follows on social media, etc. The vast majority of listeners to that podcast had likely never heard of Donnie Baker before they released the episode, yet now they not only know his name, but they “can’t wait for the next episode”. Is it unreasonable to think that if this podcast does extraordinarily well that not only bear grease will want to do more like it, but other smaller podcasts will want to do similar coverage as well?

Vice versa, if viewership on this episode is down compared to his historical/Ozark themed podcasts, he will likely do less of them. I want less of them, so I’m not gonna boost his viewership by listening/supporting content I’m against.

From: Stekewood
16-Jan-24
Boggs, everything about this podcast would dissuade someone from trying to kill a monster buck illegally and think that they would get away with it. There is no glorification of the poacher. It’s quite the opposite, and the next episode is going to detail how much his life was negatively affected by that terrible decision. It’s the type of content that every hunter should stand behind and support.

The “can’t wait for the next episode” has nothing to do with the poacher’s name, it’s due to the quality of the podcast and Clay’s and his wife’s commentary and analysis. I couldn’t even remember the guy’s name when I asked double eagle about the crossbow, and had to go back to my first post to check.

I can respect your viewpoint and decision, but I’m not sure that you would feel the same way if you had listened. No point in discussing it any further unless you change your mind and do.

16-Jan-24
"I can respect your viewpoint and decision..."

i can respect someones decision to not watch or listen to something...but have no respect for those who offer any kind of opinion about its contents if they havent done so. if you dont have the time or interest to listen...you shouldnt have the time or interest to comment.

kind of like voting. if you dont vote...dont bi*ch.

From: JohnMC
16-Jan-24
Chase - Someone that shoots up a school is in my opinion is an unforgivable crime, at least from the stand point that they should ever be giving a chance again in society. Getting caught poaching after 14 years does he not deserve a second chance? If you listen to it is more like the drunk driver that caused a serious wreck telling the consequences of their actions to a group of high school students about to get their license than anything that could put him in a positive light. Put it on in your truck as your driving. Let us know if you have a different opinion after listening. I know you despise TV hunters, I have same feelings for some of them. I think for most part the meateater crew do more positive than most for hunters like you and I.

From: HunterR
16-Jan-24
"Was he silent to the crossbow distinction in the podcast or did he say compound. Don’t recall."

I'm wondering this too but don't want to listen to it again to check. I might have missed some of what was said as I was skipping ahead most times the interviewer started talking but I do think Donnie mentioned "having an arrow knocked" or something to that effect so if that is indeed what he said and he didn't say bolt maybe he was intentionally leaving out the crossbow part. Listening to Donnie talk and hearing him chuckle a few times during the interview leads me to believe the only thing he learned is how to do it better next time to not get caught, and an interview like this imo teaches other poachers how to poach better. There also was a part where the interviewer asked Donnie if he had broken game laws before, and while he answered "no" or "not like this" there was an odd exchange between both of them that seemed to me as if Donnie did some double talking but I could be wrong and am not going to listen to it again.

From: APauls
16-Jan-24
I look forward to listening before I have an opinion on the matter...

From: Timex?
16-Jan-24
Didn't listen & not gonna listen.

I'm gonna ask this simple question,,,,,there's probably not a single person on this forum that sometime in their travels has seen an exceptional animal,,,,now the question ???

Did you admire the animal & continue about your business, or did you immediately start plotting a strategy to poach the animal.

Principles, morals, ethics, values,,,,,,plain & simple ,,,,,the thought of right & wrong doesn't exist to them, only will I get caught & how to avoid such.

Yes people change,........myself personally would need some type of life change history before anything this man has to say would be worth an hour of my time.

From: Glunt@work
16-Jan-24
I know a lot of good people who did something worse than kill a deer where it wasn't allowed. People are flawed. Some get past poor choices and breaking laws, some don't. If he is still not being honest with people and himself, he may have a long road ahead of him.

From: Owl
16-Jan-24
Stekewood, I've been listening to Clay's podcasts since before he joined Meateater. I thought the perspective was insightful and am grateful for the Biblical references.

16-Jan-24
John, wasn’t trying to compare school shootings to poaching in any way, just was making an observation that inflating a criminals notoriety by plastering their name/face/story on a media source for clicks and listens might lead to a demand for more “criminal stories” regardless of crime (in this case poaching).

If preventing poaching by allowing a poacher to have a platform to explain themselves is the goal of the interviewer, could he not have disguised the name/voice/details of the story and ran it that way. Seems like there’s a level of anonymity that could have been implemented to refrain from the glamorization aspect to make it less of a “hey guys look at Donnie Baker” story and more of a “here’s a poacher who regrets what he did” story.

16-Jan-24
"I'm gonna ask this simple question...Did you admire the animal & continue about your business, or did you immediately start plotting a strategy to poach the animal.

Principles, morals, ethics, values,,,,,,plain & simple ,,,,,the thought of right & wrong doesn't exist to them, only will I get caught & how to avoid such.

what makes you think the guy plotted a strategy to take this deer? what makes you think the thought of right and wrong didnt exist to him?

16-Jan-24

If he’s telling the truth He likely doesn’t care if anyone here believes him. People do things like this to get closure. Or, he could totally care what you think in order to further his lie.

From: Timex?
16-Jan-24
Ricky......

First off, absolutely not getting into another stupid pissing match with you so don't even bother.

are you saying this man is innocent & has been wrongfully charged of this crime ?????

If so why does this thread about a poacher even exist.

Would you trust this man to come into your home to see your belongings,,,,,then wonder if he's going to plot to return to rob you.

From: Stekewood
16-Jan-24
The interview that the guy who shot that giant Ohio whitetail did (don’t remember his name either), is the type of notoriety that a hunter might seek and what could lead to someone poaching a giant buck to gain, as he did.

It’s not very likely that someone would listen to a story of the price that was paid for illegally killing a monster buck and think, “wow, I’m going to poach a giant deer, get caught , arrested, and have my life ruined for a time so that I can be on podcast and tell everyone about it.”

From: Stekewood
16-Jan-24
Timex, this thread isn’t about a poacher, it’s about an interview, and pretty much every person who has listened to it has thought it was great.

16-Jan-24
"are you saying this man is innocent & has been wrongfully charged of this crime ?????"

no...nothing even remotely close.

"Would you trust this man to come into your home to see your belongings,,,,,then wonder if he's going to plot to return to rob you."

no more or no less than any other complete stranger.

do you know the past of every single person that enters your home...and whether or not they have ever committed...or been convicted of a misdemeanor?

From: JohnMC
16-Jan-24
After listening to it and if I meet Donnie Baker before and after listening to this I certainly would not think more of him after listening to this than I would have if meet before. For example I'd be less likely to invite him hunting or to share location of where I have seen a big buck I photographed even though he is in place off limits to hunting.

I don't think if a hard core poacher listened to this is will make a hill of beans one way or another. However if I guy that is not necessarily out to poach but an opportunity was put in front of him before he had a lot on time to consider the choice he is about to make had listened to this podcast, I'd guess he be much less likely to poach than if he had not heard this story. That is why I think this podcast is a good thing.

From: Timex?
16-Jan-24
Stekewood ??????...

What kind of logic is that.

So the thread is about the interview,,,,,,and the content of the interview is irrelevant,,,,

Again ?????????

From: Stekewood
16-Jan-24
Read my initial post, it’s about the interview, not the man. And listen to the interview. Then we can discuss. Look forward to it.

From: Timex?
17-Jan-24
Don't need to .....I've known several that were horn addicts...to the point of researching the record books for the highest numbers in a certain state - county then researching non hunting state parks in that area then booking a motel room for the week of the full moon closest to the rut & off they went for a week of road hunting at night for their next ....GIANT....

I already know how they are. Fair chase doesn't exist in their minds.

Sorry, I'm just not a podcast kinda guy. Especially an hour long one.

Doesn't mean I'm not entitled to an opinion on the subject.

17-Jan-24
lets face it...people are fascinated with crime and criminals. poaching and poachers are no different. its why true crime shows are so popular on television. its why poaching threads are so popular here.

the dirty little secret about rack poachers is that "we" (the hunting community) have created them. nobody wants to admit it but the absolute obsession with antlers...and the way "we" glorify and reward those who shoot big bucks is the reason the donnie bakers of the world exist...and will continue to exist.

From: Catscratch
17-Jan-24
I'm not a podcast guy but I've been on FLW many times, have probably driven the roads he talks about, probably ran the paths, and have a nephew who worked at the OAC for a while. So out of connection and curiosity I listened. I found it interesting enough to make it to the end.

I call what Timex describes "professional poachers". I believe there are also recreational poachers and survival poachers. I have older acquaintances who at one time of their life had so little money that buying .22 shells was a challenge. The occasional doe was shot and eaten outside of the law. I didn't harbor the same feelings for them as I do the guys who do it for antlers. Maybe I'm hypocritical for that?

Hornporn, social media, and record books (in my opinion) have created a situation where high dollar leasing, increased efficiency technology (weapons, blinds, scent control, etc) is encouraged, and poaching is tempted. As importance for scoring a buck has gone up so has the contempt for cheaters. I don't think poaching was that common 40yrs ago and when it did happen most just shrugged a shoulder and moved on. Curiously, now that hunters care about it more... it's happening more.

From: Timex?
17-Jan-24
^^^ mostly agree except the 40 years ago part. Back then in va the limit was 2 bucks per season & 1 doe the last week in certain counties,,,,,,I knew plenty of poor folk that broke the law for food,,,that said imo theres a huge difference between doing it for substance as apposed to ego.

Don't even know if there was a limit on deer during the great depression but it's been said the deer herd was nearly decimated.

17-Jan-24
”I call what Timex describes "professional poachers". I believe there are also recreational poachers and survival poachers.”

i agree. I think there is another class of poacher that I would call “opportunity” poachers. these are basically people that would never really consider poaching a deer…or set out to poach a deer…but the opportunity presents itself…and in a weak moment…for reasons only known to them….the person gives into the temptation. im not in any way excusing it…just suggesting that not all crimes are premeditated and planned out. it might not be poaching…but we have all done things that we regret later.

I might be wrong but after listening to the podcast…I suspect that might be what happened here.

From: Boreal
17-Jan-24
Many years ago I had a bow permit and a muzzleloader permit for a piece of county parkland. There was a huge 16 point buck in there. I first saw him in July while scouting. I jumped him out of a hedgerow and I can still picture exactly what he looked like running away across the field. I saw him a few times during bow season and almost got a shot at him one afternoon. Lots of hunters knew about him and were hunting him. For me, as well as others, this buck was an obsession. It was all I thought about. I had other properties to hunt but I concentrated only on the park.

During muzzy season one night I got out of my stand after legal shooting hours and was hiking out to my truck. It was about a mile hike. I had to walk across one big field to the corner then take a tractor path for a couple of hundred yards into the corner of another field which rose to slight hill. The moon was very bright that night and I didn't need a light to see my way. As I cleared the tractor path THE buck and a smaller buck were skylighted on the top of the hill about 100 yards away. I could see them clear as day. Neither buck was looking my way as I reached into my pocket and pulled out the primer that I had put in there after unpriming my gun before getting down. I carefully opened the Omegas breech, primed it and slowly closed it up. My sight was crystal clear in the moonlight as I put the crosshairs right behind his right front leg.

And I couldn't do it. I don't know exactly why and I don't recall my thought process at the time but I unprimed my gun, walked out along the edge of the field and watched the two tails go bouncing off towards the woods line. When I got out to my truck there was a Hunterdon County Ranger truck idling next to my pickup. I was 4 lbs of trigger pressure away from being Donnie Baker.

From: KHNC
17-Jan-24
Well, I certainly wouldnt let josh blowmar in my home. He is a poacher and a db , so he doesnt get any sort of pass with me. Dont know anything about this Donnie guy. He may be a nice guy that broke a law. Ive broke the speed limit many times, and ive also trespassed after deer season to look at neighbors properties to see where they hunt. Not to poach a deer or steal anything, just to look. Still not legal, but doesnt make me a db or a poacher.

17-Jan-24
good story boreal...

not everyone could resist such an opportunity...

the only thing i have to compare was a out 15 years ago i was on a guided hunt in pike county illinois. i was hunting the edge of a bean field when an absolute monster started coming down the trail i was set up on. not a world record...but by far the biggest buck i had ever laid eyes on...by far. he hung up on the edge of the field when he noticed a doe entering the the other side of the field. there he stood...broadside...no obstructions...no clue i was there...completely preoccupied with the doe...no more than 35 yards away...a good 10 yards outside my comfort zone with my recurve. it took everything i had...and then some... to not take that shot...and trust me...i was tempted...even to the point of bringing my bow up and starting to draw.

had i been in my twenties...i have no doubt i would have taken that shot. as a matter of fact i have taken shots like that that didnt end well...thats why the older version of me let my bow down and watched him walk away...never to be seen again.

granted...everything about it would have been legal...just not very wise. just an illustration of how a 20 year old mind works compared to a 40 something year old mind.

From: elkster
18-Jan-24
That takes a ton of restraint Ricky, partly because I would think I "deserved" the shot because all my effort and sacrifices. You're right about a more "seasoned" hunter thinking didfferntly.

From: BigEight
18-Jan-24
I'm disappointed in this thread. Not one Donnie Baker joke from Bob and Tom.

I did check this out and it definitely does not glorify Baker. If a buddy of mine did this the first thing I would ask him would be "what the hell were you thinking?" Well, this kind of answers that in an entertaining way. Listening or not listening doesn't need to be some philosophical stance.

From: Bou'bound
18-Jan-24
Nearly everything on the bowsite is a philosophical stance once a thread gets beyond 8 posts unless it is a hunt recap (of which there are far too few)

From: Stekewood
18-Jan-24
Perfectly stated Bou!

From: Bowfreak
18-Jan-24
That is the first thing I thought of BigEight when I saw the name of the podcast. I swear to god it was!

From: BigEight
18-Jan-24
Bowfreak...... HA!

From: Old Reb
25-Jan-24
Part 2 came out yesterday for those who are interested in listening to it.

25-Jan-24

Ricky The Cabel Guy's Link
worth the listen...much to think about.

From: Nick Muche
25-Jan-24
Looking forward to hearing more from DoubleEagle now that Part 2 has been released.

From: APauls
25-Jan-24
I listened to both parts so feel like I can now have an opinion. The guys above saying they can have an opinion about a thread that is about a certain individual podcast without listening to it is laughable in my opinion. But that's an entirely different thread problem on it's own lol It's like as if there is a thread asking for opinions on how a Bowtech Allegiance shoots and you feel the need to give an opinion even though you've never shot one, never known anyone that shot one, and also never even googled it. You just saw "Bowtech" and had to give your opinion on everything you've heard in your life about "Bowtech." Greeeeeeeeeeat. Thank you for your wonderful insight.....

I thought the podcast was really interesting. A number of things come to mind. If you are looking for a "crime" parallel I would say that the crime in question was due to temptation. So think of other things where temptation comes to mind and I would have to say unfaithfulness to a partner. Not that they are equal, but that some people falter in similar ways. There are those that go on trips planning to be unfaithful, and then I've heard of people that maybe got drunk or did something stupid in a moment of weakness. There are those poachers that plan to poach, and there are those instances where something happened in a moment of weakness.

My point being this: When you hear of people whose lives were ruined by a moment of unfaithfulness and the long term consequences associated with it, it can help a man stay on the straight and narrow. The second your sinful self starts to deviate you remind yourself about the consequences that you KNOW can happen by such a mistake and you make sure you steer straight ahead. This podcast to me was that equivalent in regards to hunting and poaching. I think people with competitive mindsets that hunt are likely more prone to this kind of crime. There are people that have completely different approaches to hunting and the kind that just enjoy getting outside are less likely to have the desire to make this mistake IMO.

As a competitive guy and somewhat younger bowhunter listening to this type of podcast is a good reminder. I don't think I'm immune from making mistakes and I've made my fair share over my lifetime in many areas of life. Listening to this sure reminds a guy to stay on the straight and narrow and that no animal is worth what can potentially come after.

25-Jan-24
good post apauls...

like i said before...i hope and pray that i wont be judged for the rest of my life...and beyond... based on my worst day.

From: Jimmyjumpup
25-Jan-24
here in the county I hunt in they caught sheriff's duputies and other law enforcement officers in a big poaching ring last year. So I see the competition. LOL

From: Jimmyjumpup
25-Jan-24
And I don't need to be a poacher to have an opinion on poaching.

From: craig
25-Jan-24
I listened to the second half and I was in tears at the end.

From: APauls
25-Jan-24
Jimmyjumpup no one is saying you can't have an opinion on poaching. This thread is about a certain podcast and I would say you can't have an opinion on the contents of the podcast without knowing what the contents of the podcast are. Maybe I'm crazy.

From: Hancock West
25-Jan-24
Seems like a good guy who made a big mistake and feels bad about it. Shit happens..

From: ILBow288
25-Jan-24
I thought both parts were great. Clay is an outstanding writer and speaker. Like Donnie, my family got a healthy dose of perspective this year with a similar situation and it really hit home for me. A moment of weakness and a single deer don't mean a damn thing in the grand scheme. He seems like a genuine guy who screwed up and regretted it seconds after doing so.

From: Bou'bound
25-Jan-24
let the haters chew on that one. perspective is everything.

From: Slate
25-Jan-24
I enjoyed the podcast. Thanks for posting.

From: 160andup
25-Jan-24
Yup, that part 2 will remind you how insignificant some things are in the grand scheme of our lives. As said above, perspective is everything.

From: Stekewood
26-Jan-24
I just finished part two and feel even stronger that it’s something that every hunter, and most non hunters, would benefit from listening to it. I share Apaul’s viewpoint. The stubborn, “I won’t listen” guys are missing out on some great insight and perspective.

From: Stekewood
26-Jan-24
Double post.

From: Trial153
26-Jan-24
Well said Adam.

From: elkster
27-Jan-24
Listened to part 2. Very worth my time. To those who posted opinions of what is in the interview (that's what this is) without listening to the interview first... I have Crime and Punishment on my reading list. I have not read it yet but I would never post my opinion about the contents of the book until I had read it.

From: Bou'bound
27-Jan-24
Why ?????

do you have something against crime or punishment?

Explain.

From: elkster
27-Jan-24
Explain? Early in this thread some who had not listened to the interview commented and mis attributed quotes about who said what in the interview. It is sorta like giving a book review without bothering to read it. Understand?

From: Glunt@work
28-Jan-24
Listened to part 2. Anyone who has been around a while can unfortunately relate in some way to the last part with friends, family or there own battle. Yes, he poached a deer. About the last thing I will give any thought to tonight as I'm scrolling through some old pictures of loved ones and being thankful for my wife and kids.

From: PGA Pro
28-Jan-24
I know Donnie. When he killed that deer he tried to pump every product you could think in pics. Just like the Ohio buck this year and the Hollywood cemetery buck, everybody wants to be somebody

From: Grey Ghost
28-Jan-24
When he killed that deer he tried to pump every product you could think in pics.

Do you have any examples? Does anyone have any links to articles about the original poaching incident? My searches are only turning up this podcast.

Matt

From: PGA Pro
28-Jan-24
The pics that got sent to me in a text back then came from a mutual friend. He had 3 or 4 products (can’t remember which) acting like they were used.

From: Bou'bound
28-Jan-24
Who cares did you buy them or something

From: PGA Pro
28-Jan-24
Bou, I guess you don’t understand what I’m saying. A person can say whatever they want to make a story or themselves sound good on a podcast.

From: doubleeagle
29-Jan-24
For PGA Pro, one photo from that night he sent us had a "mineral rock" in front of the deer and him. I've checked my thumb drives for the photo, and have to dig into some CDs whether I still have it. I haven't heard Part 2, but will soon I guess. Wouldn't surprise me to have Donnie monitoring this thread.

From: doubleeagle
29-Jan-24
I'm sure Clay or Donnie could have come up with the original photos from the night he sent them to us, and not the one mounted and on display at the game wardens' office. I guess it is to keep his face from the public, but his name is today's hot topic. By seeking product endorsements, yes a fact, to me he falls into the same category to those guys last year on Lake Eric placing weights and filets in walleyes to win tournaments. I'd rather hear details how a 16yr old took a fork horn all by himself legally...now that is a trophy.

From: Catscratch
29-Jan-24
Trying to sell stuff and market his kill goes against the "I had a moment of weakness" narrative. So if he did try to market the kill then some might be quick to loose sympathy for the idea that he just messed up. It possibly changes the creditability of his story.

From: Bou'bound
29-Jan-24
Does anyone really think he cares if any stranger on the internet is sympathetic to him.

From: APauls
29-Jan-24
What I found while listening is that there were hundreds of small moments where a guy telling the story could have shifted it a little this way or that, and at every turn he took responsibility for what he did and never ever denied how stupid it was or that it was wrong, or whatever. At each turn, he took the option to humiliate his choice, clarify how wrong it was, and talked about the deer being partially tame etc. It's been 15 years and he's had a lot of crap in his life since then. No sponsorship photos were ever discussed in the podcast. I bet there's a lot more about a few months of time that wasn't discussed. Be pretty tough to find someone that sounds more responsible and remorseful than Donnie. Even if not a word of the podcast was true (which I highly doubt) it's not a flattering story. If he was trying to cover up a 15 year old misdeed of trying to get a sponsor from an illegal kill there's better ways to do it I imagine.

From: Grey Ghost
29-Jan-24
"Does anyone really think he cares if any stranger on the internet is sympathetic to him."

Obviously he does care. Otherwise, why would he do a podcast?

I also agree with Catscratch. If this guy was trying to cash in on sponsorships and notoriety from this kill, then his actions were more than just a brief moment of weakness.

Matt

From: Bou'bound
29-Jan-24
If anyone listens to the podcast and thinks he is looking for sympathy you missed the whole thing. He may have been trying to educate, influence, impact, share a perspective, warn off others from a similar mistake, etc. None of those mean he was looking for any sympathy or empathy from people. He said or did nothing that indicted he cared about what any listener thought of him. He said he thought of what his family, his friends, his associates on the base thought. That tore him up. People he knew that mattered in his life. People he actually had a relationship with.

He certainly did not care what some never to be known or recognized listener thought about it or if some listener blessed him with worthless and irrelevant sympathy.

It seemed like the whole point of the story was that as life events, events that really matter in the end, happened this action became a mere speck of dust in terms of what really matters to a man, husband, and father. If that is all it became to him, the central figure with the most to lose, why would any other person spend more energy or emotion on it. Perspective is everything.

From: Grey Ghost
29-Jan-24
Maybe you should do a podcast on your mountain lion hunt, Bou.

From: Trial153
29-Jan-24
Sometimes a man needs closure, for himself. Real closure comes with or without validation from others. It takes courage to put yourself out there and admit to mistakes, wrong doing and miss deeds. If you didn’t get that from the interview than it might speak more about yourself than him, and I add myself to that. Being a better person doesn’t have a time limit or on and off switch, it’s not always a positive progression and are time in our lives where self introspection is order to get back on track.

From: 2Wild Bill
29-Jan-24
"reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle" - Geo. Washington

From: Hancock West
29-Jan-24
I don't care if he pushed products or not. You can tell from his story & his voice that he genuinely regrets shooting that deer. I'd like to think I've come along ways since 26yrs old. Is his soul and character irredeemable because of this? I don't believe so.

29-Jan-24
I haven't posted on here in 3 or 4 years and there is a reason why. I take away this and y'all need to answer this for yourself. "If you were to be forever judged by the worst day in your life, where would you stand? On the mountain of right or the valley of wrong? Exactly.

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