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Author Topic: A constant battle...  (Read 18752 times)

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Offline VT_Forestry

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A constant battle...
« on: December 19, 2014, 09:12:43 AM »
Found something in the woods this week that is all too familiar.  As I'm walking through, something catches my eye sticking out of the leaves.  It's an arrow and fletching...looks to be stuck in the ground - at an angle that would suggest it came from a tree stand.  When I walk up and pick it up, it's just the back half - the front half with the broadhead has been broken off.  So now I'm pretty convinced that someone came on the property and poached a deer.  The arrow is practically brand new - it hasn't spent a lot of time out in the elements.  So I start looking around for marks on trees where a stand would have been, a stand at the bottom of a tree that someone had left...anything.  Then something else catches my eye barely 15 yards away...



It still has a little hide on it and the antlers aren't chewed on at all, which tells me this guy was probably shot during early archery season.  It bothers me on a variety of levels, not the least of which is people having no respect for property boundaries and doing whatever they want to do.  But the part that gets me - how can you call yourself a hunter when you shoot something like this and don't even bother to search around and try to find it?  If I took a shot on something like that, I'd be out there until I found it, no question about it.  Is it the biggest deer out there, no way - but it's a pretty decent buck that someone illegally killed and then didn't have enough respect to spend the time to find it.  I'll put him on a nice piece of wood and proudly display him as he deserves.  But as the title suggests, this is a constant battle when you manage 8,100 acres of prime forestland around a predominantly urban environment- this guy isn't the first to show up and he definitely won't be the last...     
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Offline Skidder Kev

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2014, 09:57:23 AM »
I think Its a big problem everywhere VT.   We are working a big job up north, around 200 acres of pure bush no buildings or anything.  Well last fall we came across a deer blind built in the trees,  which looks like its been there for yrs.  A week later we find a game cam set up and grain on the ground.  The guy is clearly tresspassing and has been for yrs.   The forester wanted us to ruin the stand but with our equipment in the woods and not a soul around on weekends we didn't want to chance anything happen to the equipment.   Up where we are working some of the locals feel they have the run of all the land up there because they were born and rasied there its sad that they don't care about other peoples properties. 

Offline chain

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2014, 11:58:16 AM »
The poacher will return, that's for sure. With 8000 plus acres to manage it will probably be near impossible to prevent illegal deer kills. Neighbors must cooperate, especially for those of us that may be absent from the premises. We try to create an appearance of recent activity along property lines and entrance trails. The trail cam can be a deterrent, but a good neighbor who may be allowed to hunt the area can do a whole lot of investigative work and create a ruse of sorts..that someone may be watching.

Offline pine

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2014, 12:18:07 PM »
Not saying that it has not been a problem for many years/decades going way back; however, the loss of respect for others and their property rights has been growing for the last couple of decades.  Too many think that because they want it, they should have it, and just because you own it and have worked for it they have the right to take it and/or use it just because they want it.
It is made much worse due to the legal system not making folks accountable for their actions.  Many reasons are given for that but the bottom line is people can do what they want with little consequences in many/most cases.  Sometime back we were victim of a burglary.  The local law enforcement types said that unless a crime involved drugs, guns, or death they don't bother to investigate.  Folks/people know that and act accordingly.

Offline goose63

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2014, 12:32:37 PM »
Last year where I hunt there was 16 game wardens in that unit. this year I found out thy were finding big bodies without heads all were bucks so far thy haven't caught the poachers yet  >:(
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Offline doctorb

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2014, 12:55:52 PM »
The best answer I can give for prevention of this behavior is to have a group of friends / hunters who have permission to hunt your property and instruct them on their watchdog duties.  Game wardens are not the answer, at least not in Maryland.  There are so few of them that they are just not available to police such actions.  My land may be tiny compared to yours, but it would be pretty hard for a hunter to return multiple times illegaly and not have me know about it.  Certainly, this "guardian hunter" model spread over 8100 acres makes it impossible.
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Offline VT_Forestry

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2014, 02:16:35 PM »
There's a lot of truth in what you all have said.  The challenge we are faced with is that this is municipal property - no hunting allowed.  I have often said that opening some of these areas up for at least managed archery hunting would be a great deterrent to poaching.  We'd have a population of people in the woods who have paid money to be there, and therefore have a great motivation to report people who jeopardize their opportunity and investment.  I also believe that having it known that people are legally hunting the property would reduce the "exclusiveness" that attracts the poachers to begin with - the mentality is that if someone sees a nice deer on our property now, it will likely be there until they get a chance to sneak in and hunt the area.  If there is the possibility that someone has already legally taken that deer, I would think most folks wouldn't want to risk illegally hunting a deer that may or may not exist anymore.  Then again, some people are just jerks no matter what you do  :D 
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Offline beenthere

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2014, 03:23:46 PM »
Maybe this evidence will help you promote some wiser decisions from the "higher ups" who are missing the bigger picture.
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Offline Autocar

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2014, 07:29:23 PM »
It is nuts here in Ohio also then to make it even more crazy they just passed a law that you can have silencer's on shotguns and rifles  :-\ as far as I am concerned this will only make carzy's even crazyer.
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Offline Swatson

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2014, 07:39:52 PM »
Here in Arkansas about 15 years ago they gave game wardens the same power as policemen and policemen the power to issue tickets for hunting violations.  I dont know if it has helped the problem (before wardens had to have a cop present to make an arrest) but now you watch for green trucks and white cars when your in a hurry to get somewhere......
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Offline ESFted

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2014, 12:56:29 AM »
....The challenge we are faced with is that this is municipal property - no hunting allowed..... /quote]

Newport News Waterworks is a regional entity with significant land holdings in Newport News and a number of adjacent municipalities. My impression, without a lot of research, is that the entity functions almost like a separate corporation without a lot of interference or control from local government.  I may be wrong in that impression, but as a former Newport News resident I always wondered why there were not more recreational hunting opportunities on waterworks lands.  After all, these are public lands, right?  Who manages the deer herd on these lands? I have since moved next door to York County where a huge portion of the land area is restricted use "public" land, which, AFAIK has no hunting pressure.  Your 8k acres combine with the National Historical Park, Coast Guard Training Center, Naval Weapons Station, Cheatham Annex and other federal lands to form a huge refuge for wildlife.
    From our Comp Plan: "The combination of Federal and watershed property accounts for 30,900 acres, representing almost half (47.5%) of the land area in York County. 
    That's the big picture.  Now for the small picture. Last year the deer decimated my garden and I ended up putting up deer fence to keep the varmints at bay.  Although no longer a hunter, I sure wouldn't mind some herd management.

Let me qualify herd management...Today the local news announced the death of a York County resident accidentally shot by a deer hunter.  I would hope bow hunters get close enough to their target to distinguish between a person and a deer.
   
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Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2014, 09:37:28 AM »
As the title of the thread indicates it is a constant battle
My puny 129 acres adjoins Bear Swamp State Forest about 5000 acres.
My posted signs are about 75 feet apart but I still have an occasional poacher come on.
This year poachers took a nice double ladder stand that was probably 300 yards from the property line.
This was after some snow we had melted. 
I have found a few dead deer and would have gladly granted permission for the hunter to follow, but  never had any state land hunters approach me.
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Offline chain

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2014, 09:55:01 AM »
Where you may have unbroken forest and property boundaries within, it's just impossible to keep poaching out. Some hunters will locate their stands just to the inside of their property so as to take advantage of adjacent posted land. About the only type of blatant trespassing that has been curtailed is the deer hunting with dogs; use to be a really big tradition in the Ozarks. Those old hunters were so good and experienced, their dogs would run the deer out of a property over to their stands. Those guys knew all the crossings.

Offline WDH

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2014, 11:17:48 AM »
Hunting brings out the worst in people.
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Offline coxy

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2014, 04:36:24 PM »
Hunting brings out the worst in people.
your not kidding on those words  I hate hunting season any more

Offline drobertson

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2014, 06:52:25 PM »
No words can say with any definitive answer on this except it's obvious that it was illegal.  this said, it has happened and will continue, and this is sad, to the point of making one mad.  It's too bad that folks have to resort to this, and it boils down to some form of warped greed. 
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Offline Southside

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2014, 07:31:34 PM »
We have had 6 deer that I am aware of killed at night within a mile of our farm this fall. One was killed about 50 yds from the front door while I was standing there. It is absolutely disgusting,  all of them were left to rot. Then there are the hound hunters who think nothing about driving like NASCAR drivers while looking at their tracking screens so they can sit along the side of the road in the front seat of their truck and "hunt".  Actually had two hounds run up to me today while moving cows around.

I am not at all opposed to hunting,  i hunt myself and have since I was old enough to, but some of these guys give the sport a really bad name.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2014, 08:59:44 PM »
Thankfully hound hunting is pretty well a thing of the past in my area.  I have not heard a "chase" in many years.
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Offline terry f

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2014, 12:57:42 AM »
   Funny how a lot of hunting methods on the East side of the Country would be illegal or considered unethical in the Western States.

Offline clww

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2014, 09:06:07 AM »
I take a very strong opposition stance on poaching, and always have. Any chance that deer could have come from another piece of property that adjoins the location where you located the bones?
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Offline submarinesailor

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2014, 09:40:06 AM »
Thankfully hound hunting is pretty well a thing of the past in my area.  I have not heard a "chase" in many years.

Lynn - I have the same thing in Madison County, Virginia.  BUT, the hunting of bear with hounds is/has gotten very big.  I have been known to tell hound hunters that they had to WALK up the mountain to get their dogs, not letting them drive.   Virginia laws state that I must give them access so they can get their dogs.  It doesn't say how that I must give them access.  So far, no one has taken me up on my offer to walk. ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D :D :D

Offline thechknhwk

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2014, 09:58:11 AM »
Don't mean to be a downer, but I think the more pertinent question is why is the public banned from hunting "public" land, and why does a "municipality" own 8100 acres?  Is this property under "wildlands" designation or some other sustainable development situation?

Offline VT_Forestry

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2014, 07:24:40 AM »
Maybe this evidence will help you promote some wiser decisions from the "higher ups" who are missing the bigger picture.

Absolutely - I'm always documenting things like this and compiling quite the compelling portfolio :)

I take a very strong opposition stance on poaching, and always have. Any chance that deer could have come from another piece of property that adjoins the location where you located the bones?

It's possible, but unlikely that this could have come from anywhere else.  The only adjacent property nearby is townhouses and apartments - all someone has to do is step across a stream and they are in a fairly remote (no trails) area of several hundred acres.

ESFted - I didn't realize you were in the area, let me know if you are ever interested in coming out on the property and I'll give you a tour of the watershed.  A large portion of the county is locked into government ownership - at least there is some hunting permitted on the weapons station and other military bases.  The national park is a waste of a good resource as far as I'm concerned, they have a hands off approach to everything over there.

Don't mean to be a downer, but I think the more pertinent question is why is the public banned from hunting "public" land, and why does a "municipality" own 8100 acres?  Is this property under "wildlands" designation or some other sustainable development situation?

I don't think you're being a downer, and I think it's a great question - here's the answer :)

First off, I work for the Waterworks department of the City of Newport News.  We supply water for 400,000 people in the surrounding region - averaging around 35 million gallons of finished water every day.  We are unique in the water utility world in that we own a large percentage of our watershed - the land that drains into our reservoirs.  By owning this land, we are able to control what happens on that land - ultimately resulting in higher water quality in our reservoirs.  We actively manage this forestland - timber harvests, pre-commercial thinning, invasive species removal, etc.  However, because this is essentially a forest oasis in an otherwise developed area, we have competing multiple uses of the land.  Politics plays a big role in why hunting is not allowed, in my opinion.  We own the land, but the Parks and Rec folks also have some input in how the land is used - the director of that department does not view hunting in a favorable light, and having been here for 30+ years, he has some pull within the city.  I personally believe that there is plenty of room for a limited archery hunting program, and I will continue working towards that goal.  I get stopped on a daily basis by people asking when they'll be allowed to hunt our property, so I know the support is there - it all just boils down to the politics that are above my pay grade.  Did I mention I hate politics?  :D 

 
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Offline SPIKER

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2014, 05:35:00 PM »
It is nuts here in Ohio also then to make it even more crazy they just passed a law that you can have silencer's on shotguns and rifles  :-\ as far as I am concerned this will only make carzy's even crazyer.

Autocar: there are a lot of "requirement" and they are not really silencers (they use a different term if I'm not mistaken.)   The person using one has to be licensed (more $ for state to apply and maintain the license as fees.)   So more of a get some extra $ from a very small number of people...   The real issue will come into play when the parks department of cities hire sharp shooters to drop some of the over abundance of deer in those areas...


...
First off, I work for the Waterworks department of the City of Newport News.  We supply water for 400,000 people in the surrounding region - averaging around 35 million gallons of finished water every day.  We are unique in the water utility world in that we own a large percentage of our watershed - the land that drains into our reservoirs.  By owning this land, we are able to control what happens on that land - ultimately resulting in higher water quality in our reservoirs.  We actively manage this forestland - timber harvests, pre-commercial thinning, invasive species removal, etc.  However, because this is essentially a forest oasis in an otherwise developed area, we have competing multiple uses of the land.  Politics plays a big role in why hunting is not allowed, in my opinion.  We own the land, but the Parks and Rec folks also have some input in how the land is used - the director of that department does not view hunting in a favorable light, and having been here for 30+ years, he has some pull within the city.  I personally believe that there is plenty of room for a limited archery hunting program, and I will continue working towards that goal.  I get stopped on a daily basis by people asking when they'll be allowed to hunt our property, so I know the support is there - it all just boils down to the politics that are above my pay grade.  Did I mention I hate politics?  :D 

 

I would put in a suggestion that the city water department issue permits to hunt, charging extra for a "Special Licenses" to take a Buck or Doe with specific requirements such as time and areas that can be hunted.    Might make some extra coin as a city $ making scheme 8) 8)..
 This can allow the city to manage WHO is on there and make them take classes (more $ if run by city) and also put these Hunters on hook for policing up the place some...   Issue special parks permit for them and areas they hunt to make sure the hunters themselves watch over the parcels. 

Mark
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Offline coxy

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2014, 05:54:13 PM »
that a great idea but we think different then the ones that make the big $ ;D

Offline Southside

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2014, 08:40:28 PM »
The suggestion Spiker makes is actually pretty much what is presently done on Ft Pickett.  It seems to work quite well on 40,000 acres so maybe it would work there. 
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Offline VT_Forestry

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2014, 06:36:24 AM »
I would put in a suggestion that the city water department issue permits to hunt, charging extra for a "Special Licenses" to take a Buck or Doe with specific requirements such as time and areas that can be hunted.    Might make some extra coin as a city $ making scheme 8) 8)..
 This can allow the city to manage WHO is on there and make them take classes (more $ if run by city) and also put these Hunters on hook for policing up the place some...   Issue special parks permit for them and areas they hunt to make sure the hunters themselves watch over the parcels. 

Mark

Ahh, see there you go making too much sense again :)  I think it's a great idea, and I've spent a fair amount of time compiling data on all the different programs out there that would be applicable for our situation.  I've had biologists come in from the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries as well as USDA - Wildlife Services to give presentations on deer management methods and programs that would work for us.  DGIF has even offered to help administer and staff a lottery archery hunt on our property.  But no matter how much factual data and planning efforts I put out there, it still boils down to politics and certain folks unwilling to recognize the overwhelming benefits (forest health, deer health, people health, financial health) that a hunting program could provide.  As the title says, it's a constant battle - in several directions it seems  :-\  I'll keep plugging along at it, sooner or later some people have to retire - I might only have 5 years here so my pull ain't as much as those other guys, but I've got youth on my side and you can't outrun father time :D
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Offline cntryby

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2014, 08:07:05 AM »
Let me start by saying; Without a doubt, poaching and illegal hunts are a serious problem. I have NO tolerance for them.

That being said, there is no way you can safely assume the deer was shot on that land. I personally have tracked deer 6 miles to find them. There was enough blood you would have swore there was no way they could keep moving. But he did, and that was with a rifle. An arrow keeps the wound closed and slows the bleeding.

Another semi-personal experience, my brother was asked to thin the deer out on private land. (farmer that goes to church with us.) When he went out to scout the farm and set up some stands he saw a deer with an arrow sticking out of it back, almost straight up. The next weekend he shot that same deer, on the other end of the mans 6000 acre farm, across the river.

My point is that although you may be right, don't be so sure. There is two pages on this thread and multiple comments that obviously are ignorant. Started by an assumption.

I've had my problems with poachers, I had a neighbor ask to hunt my place and I told him no... he did anyway. I ask him again not to do it, he lied and said oh no it wasn't him and he wouldn't dare... blah bla blah. So I have video of him crossing the fence about 12' from the no trespassing sign, with his climbing stand and rifle. A week later the game warden arrested him on my property. Cost him 10K.

I hate it, I don't want problems with anyone, much less a neighbor. But my kids are out there every morning checking on the horses, and the other critters. I politely and then firmly on multiple occasions told him not to do it. Him getting in trouble bothered me for a while, but I sleep fine now.

Set up some trail cams and find out for sure.



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Offline chain

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2014, 09:23:06 AM »
We were discussing enhancing our timber property for wildlife and even constructing a fishing lake. Our consultant advised, "if you want to draw  every poacher and uninvited neighbor to your property and allow them to enjoy the fruits of your labor".....well, we didn't and actually we gave up cultivating the manicured food plots in favor of natural brushy cover which is mowed high every other year. The brushy plots have worked very well actually, they bring in more critters than say, just a winter wheat plot.

Offline ESFted

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2014, 09:10:51 PM »


VT_Forestry,  Thanks for the invite, but we better wait until hunting season is over :)
Having done development design work for many years in Newport News and surrounding communities, it is safe to say that a few of the entrenched senior staff have been responsible for some of my most unpleasant experiences.  I use to add a 15% premium to my fees for having to deal with them....the stories I could tell :)  That being said, they have not achieved tenure by ignoring public sentiment.  Some way to organize the hunting public and make their collective voice heard would work wonders if the voices were loud enough.  It works for the Homeowners Associations.

S.U.N.Y. College of Environmental Science and Forestry '65
Stihl MS460,  Stihl MSE 220, Solo 64S
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Offline coxy

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Re: A constant battle...
« Reply #30 on: December 30, 2014, 09:34:16 PM »
Let me start by saying; Without a doubt, poaching and illegal hunts are a serious problem. I have NO tolerance for them.

That being said, there is no way you can safely assume the deer was shot on that land. I personally have tracked deer 6 miles to find them. There was enough blood you would have swore there was no way they could keep moving. But he did, and that was with a rifle. An arrow keeps the wound closed and slows the bleeding.

Another semi-personal experience, my brother was asked to thin the deer out on private land. (farmer that goes to church with us.) When he went out to scout the farm and set up some stands he saw a deer with an arrow sticking out of it back, almost straight up. The next weekend he shot that same deer, on the other end of the mans 6000 acre farm, across the river.

My point is that although you may be right, don't be so sure. There is two pages on this thread and multiple comments that obviously are ignorant. Started by an assumption.

I've had my problems with poachers, I had a neighbor ask to hunt my place and I told him no... he did anyway. I ask him again not to do it, he lied and said oh no it wasn't him and he wouldn't dare... blah bla blah. So I have video of him crossing the fence about 12' from the no trespassing sign, with his climbing stand and rifle. A week later the game warden arrested him on my property. Cost him 10K.

I hate it, I don't want problems with anyone, much less a neighbor. But my kids are out there every morning checking on the horses, and the other critters. I politely and then firmly on multiple occasions told him not to do it. Him getting in trouble bothered me for a while, but I sleep fine now.

Set up some trail cams and find out for sure.
just wondering what he did to cost him 10k  ;D


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