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How do you define the term poacher? Is it anyone who violates any game regulation?

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  • How do you define the term poacher? Is it anyone who violates any game regulation?

    How do you define the term poacher? Is it anyone who violates any game regulation?

  • #2
    "I didn't know" or any other similar response doesn't really work for me(it's our responsibility to know the laws/rules/regulations), so I would say anyone breaking a law/regulation in the hopes of killing an animal(successfully or not) is a poacher...but there are many holes in this definition.
    .
    .
    -Example: A person doesn't use a plug in their shotgun during turkey season(don't want to buy one, lost it, etc.), but still only loads it with three shells. Is this person a poacher? I would say no.

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    • #3
      I think of a poacher as someone attempting to take game out of season or after shooting hours during season. A violator would be someone with a more minor offense say hunting without a plug in the gun when required. I remember that from a post on F&S from a retired game warden. He said something similar to what I wrote not really sure exactly how he put it but made sense to me.

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      • #4
        I guess I would define a poacher as someone breaking a law with the intent of taking fish or game. (Out of season, illegal method of take, overbagging, ignoring shooting hours, unplugged shotgun, too many hooks, etc.) The other stuff, while also illegal would be more aptly called game law violations, in my opinion. (Not enough hunter orange, failure to carry your license, etc.)

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        • #5
          A poacher is a law breaker, a cheater and a thief who is unable to harvest game by the rules of fair chase. Gary

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          • #6
            I see it pretty much as MWK MN answers it. Then there are violators as he describes. Sorry, JM, but the person in your example is still a violator in my book but I wouldn't call him a poacher. Just a knucklehead.

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            • #7
              @DSM,
              I agree that the person is violating the rules. I just wouldn't call it poaching.

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              • #8
                I think MWK_MN hit the nail on the head. I can't really improve upon that definition, so I won't try. Overbagging, unplugged shotgun, too many hooks/rods, etc., etc. would not fall under the umbrella of poaching to me personally. Out of season, after/before legal hours and illegal method of take would be the biggies for me.

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                • #9
                  To stir the pot a little. What about hunting on private/posted property without permission or using a rifle to take deer in an archery only area? Would that not be poaching as well?

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                  • #10
                    Ozarkghost: Yes, those would absolutely be poaching, in my opinion. I also wonder if the man reported on in this site some time ago who was caught with 1600 trout over the limit in his possession is a poacher, or "just" over bagging.
                    To me, a poacher is one who steals natural resources from us, by using illegal means to put the odds in their favor, whether it be extra rods, hooks, or extra shells in a shotgun.
                    Another one to stir the pot...Is a person harvesting ginseng or other wild plants out of season a poacher? I say yes.

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                    • #11
                      lol I hear all of you,sounds like no one here ever broke a law knowingly or otherwise.While at the same time some of our game managers are bigger crooks than more people realize. check out Kentucky's former top post in fish and game .Y ou don't have to ever pull a trigger to be a poacher, I'd say it's what is in your heart or intent ./

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                      • #12
                        Whoa, 6pthunter... that's a big claim... I'd answer the question with a question: weren't many of us originally poachers? How many of us bagged our first game (blackbird, out-of-season squirrel...) beyond the bounds of the law? I'd argue that for most hunters, there was a time in our youths when we bent or outright broke some game laws, and that our transgression somehow turned us into lifelong sportsmen. I'm not excusing it, but I'm saying that original sin is responsible for who we are today: law-abiding, license-buying, anti-poaching sportsmen who pour back way more into wildlife funding and conservation than we take. I hope that we - and game wardens - recognize that there's a stark difference between exploiting our wildlife resources and taking an animal simply because it was there, and because we didn't fully understand the implications of our very impassioned actions. Thoughts?
                        - mckean

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                        • #13
                          I'VE never made a claim I couldn't back up,kentucky's FORMER wild life manager is proof . read the news .Original sin ? lol just blood lust as a youngster, but I'm talking about taking advantage of the fact thatsome game wardens often use their position to help themselves.who writes the game ticket violation then ?
                          justice ? or just us ?

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                          • #14
                            We all have our view. I think intentionally violating the rules is always poaching, ignorance of a minor rule (like 1 too many treble hooks) I think is a violation. Intentional trespass or out of season equipment (rifle during archery) or hunting gets added to my list. Taking over your limit in my mind is a doozie as well.

                            My gray areas were always the legal vs. ethical distinctions. Putting a trout on the stringer that is undersized but was gill hooked and bleeding. I have not the least bit of use for a 6" trout, but tossing it to die and not counting it toward my limit is a waste and rubs me the wrong way. Can't say it happens often, or even that it's happened in years, but tossing that small, mortally damaged fish just never felt right.

                            I got beat up on the site for saying that unintentional trespass(I'm in PA, you need to post your line and there's a property line every 100 yards in a lot of the state even on the State Game Lands, but still I make an effort to know where I'm standing) or a minor trespass to retrieve game that ran over the line, such as the minutes it takes to grab a deer that literally fell within yards of a property line, but was shot legally is ethical, if not legal. You should make the effort to get permission and honor the owner's rights if permission is denied, but if the landowner is absent leaving the deer to rot might be the legal thing to do, but it isn't right. In a great many of the game lands around here and on most of the private properties, you're hard pressed to be 200 yards from the next property over. Even a well hit deer can cover that and the alternative is nobody hunts at all. The state made the sensible move to shorten the safety zone from 150 yards to 50 yards for archers in reaction to the tight quarters.

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                            • #15
                              HuntingEditor.
                              Funny you mentioned squirrels. They are highly prolific here in PA and the state lists it as an underutilized resource every year. That being said, I can't figure out why they're pretty much limited from October to February here.
                              I'd rather not deal with fleas and it's a lot easier to hunt a squirrel when the leaves are down, but I don't know that there's a scientific reason behind the seasons.
                              I suspect the season doesn't expand so we don't conflict with other users of the woods, which is a shame. The school year is a bear for getting kids out hunting. Some summer opportunities in PA besides starlings, crows, and coyotes would be nice.

                              Comment

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