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A bowhunter treaspassed on my tree farm, cut down some 14 year old walnut saplings, heavily pruned a mature apple tree and cut down plum trees. I caught him, he is a wannabe pro hunter who currently sells a big buck calendar to hunting equipment sup

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  • A bowhunter treaspassed on my tree farm, cut down some 14 year old walnut saplings, heavily pruned a mature apple tree and cut down plum trees. I caught him, he is a wannabe pro hunter who currently sells a big buck calendar to hunting equipment sup

    A bowhunter treaspassed on my tree farm, cut down some 14 year old walnut saplings, heavily pruned a mature apple tree and cut down plum trees. I caught him, he is a wannabe pro hunter who currently sells a big buck calendar to hunting equipment suppliers. I had a choice to make- 1. He gets a ticket and pays a $360 fine. 2. Press criminal charges, minimum fine $1000, possible jail and a criminal record. What should I have done?

  • #2
    Why would you cut him any breaks? Press charges. I might feel a little more Christian forgiveness if no damage had been done.

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    • #3
      He did the crime, now is time to do the time. I go along Tioughnioga, if there had been no property damage no harm no foul but how do you replace trees? Which did you choose BTW?

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      • #4
        Press charges, demand restitution, and plea for his hunting license be revoked so that anytime he now steps in the woods....it's illegal. Go for the stiffer sentencing, even if it gets dropped down after restitution is paid, the original charge will stay on his record. If he gets caught doing this again, it won't be his first offense of the sort, and they'll throw the book at 'em.

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        • #5
          I would have thrown the book at him Charlie. Didn't you deal with this sort of thing last year? If he is a "Pro" hunter, he needs to be held to a higher standard even than just your run of the mill slob who made a stupid decision. If he is publicly relying on hunting to be his source of income, then he is also a representative of the hunting community and should be squeaky clean. If he can't be, then he shouldn't be in that role.
          Now, that being said, you have to live within your own head and what you felt was right was the right thing to do for you.

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          • #6
            My answer is a little different. If he will pay restitution, then settle it like gentlemen off the books. If he refuses to act as a gentleman I would pursue criminal charges and try to deny him the chance to hunt again... ever. Go after his reputation. Simply put, go for the jugular.

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            • #7
              If he had "just" been trespassing, I'd let him off easier - maybe even with just a warning. But given that he actually damaged your property, I don't think I'd feel very forgiving. He should've considered the possible consequences before making the decision he did. Throw the book at him. Just my two cents though...

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              • #8
                To me, it sounds like he knowingly trespassed and knowingly damaged your property all in hopes of taking advantage of you and an animal in order to make a profit. This is something that does not sit well in my stomach.
                -If I was in your place he would at least be doing something to make up for the damage he has done(doing work for me or something). With that said, I believe that what goes around comes around.

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                • #9
                  If it was deliberate and he truly didn't think he was on his buddies land who said to cut what he wants for shooting lanes than I would probably press charges and makes sure if he ever becomes famous or whatever that the public knows what kind of tool he really is.

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                  • #10
                    I think you need to press charges. He needs to pay the damages and fines. It may also send a message to others that you need to be positively sure of property lines and that you can't just walk in and start cutting trees.

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                    • #11
                      Go for the maximum. Make an impression that will stay with him.

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                      • #12
                        I'd go with Option 2 as he knew he was on wrong property and needs to be taught a lesson.

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                        • #13
                          I like JM's response, put him to work replanting trees etc. and pay some type of restitution. If he gives you attitude over it then go with option 2 and press charges.

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for all the thoughtful comments.
                            The trespasser groveled big time, begging no charges filed, he didn't know he was on private property, didn't know the value of or what kind of trees he cut. If charges were filed he would lose his calendar business, plus he promised to pay for his damage.
                            Letting him off without legal penalty did not seem like a good idea so I had the ticket issued as this would not give him a criminal record for the rest of this life but would record his admission of guilt.
                            Fast forward to present day. He did not pay any damages, has trespassed on other properties and continues to cut trees in order to create shooting lanes.
                            Occasionally in the past I've had trespassers and being a nice guy while explaining things to them has worked out nicely with no problems. But this one is a dishonorable piece of work.
                            The current options I see-
                            1. Try and press the criminal charges 2 years later. Perhaps harder to get a conviction now.
                            2. Set up a website in his name with legal copies of the original complaint and the full back story.
                            3. Sue in civil court for damages.
                            4. All the above.
                            But life is too short to stay perpetually mad and courts are messy time consuming things to deal with. On the other hand someone has to deal with weasels like this. ??
                            later,
                            charlie

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              @charlie elk,
                              He will get what's coming to him eventually. How do you know that he has trespassed elsewhere? I do not know much about going through court, but surely if more than one person can testify against him it would help.

                              Comment

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