November 15, 2013
Poachers Beware: RoboDeer Is Waiting
By Colin Kearns
Photo by Florida Fish and Wildlife
This poaching sting by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is almost diabolical in its brilliance.
A robotic “faux deer” was positioned on the side of a road in an area that was closed to hunting. Apparently, it was just too tempting of a target for a hunter from Myakka City, Fla., to pass down. From the Miami Herald:
FWC officers reportedly saw [Brett Russel] Thompson about 8:15 a.m. when he spotted the deer replica and got out of his vehicle.
"He crossed a ditch and walked up toward the fence carrying a rifle," the report stated. "He placed the rifle on the fence to steady himself and shot at the replica."
Thompson was then arrested by FWC officers who emerged from hiding nearby.
"He said that he knew hunting season was closed and also knew that it was illegal to shoot deer from a roadway," the arrest report stated.
After confirming Thompson's shot struck the robotic deer in the neck, FWC Officer Jeffrey Babauta took him into custody.
The story goes on to describe how a sting like this requires a lot of planning, but that it’s worth the work because once word spreads, poaching quickly drops in areas known for illegal hunting.
Have any of you heard about similar poaching traps in your home state, or have you driven past a robo-buck on the highway?