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Hurteau: You Vs. PA on Poaching Fines

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July 22, 2010

Hurteau: You Vs. PA on Poaching Fines

By Dave Hurteau

Last week I asked you what the penalty should be for certain poaching offenses. On average—more or less—you answered as follows:

[1] Jacklighting deer: $1,000 to $5,000 fine; 1- to 5-year license suspension; some of you also mentioned jail time

[2] Killing a deer out of season: $2,000 to $10,000-plus fine; 5- to 10-year license suspension; some jail time

[3] Exceeding the bag limit for deer: same or slightly less than for jacklighting

I told you I would compare your answers to Pennsylvania’s recently updated penalties and here they are. (Sorry buckhunter and walmsley—no “chain gangs” or “death by jacklight.”)

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
On Friday, Gov. Ed Rendell signed into law a sweeping change in the Pennsylvania Game Code that significantly increases penalties for wildlife poaching…. First-time offenders caught jacklighting a deer, killing a deer…out of season, or exceeding the deer…bag limit face 90 days in jail, a fine of at least $1,000 and a three-year loss of hunting privileges….

The former penalty for shooting a deer at night using a light was $200 to $300.

Your reaction?

Comments (27)

Top Rated
All Comments
from dukkillr wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

We're good.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodsmanj35 wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

I still prefer the chain gang idea, although someone did mention a noose.....

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from grant77 wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

Good change, but it could be even more harsh.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steward wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

The new penalties sound like they might actually encourage people to follow the rules...especially since the previous fines were less than some people would spend during deer season.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from straightshooter wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

A step in the right direction.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from LJRguide wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

Although "death by jacklight" sounds pretty good, the new penalty seems as if it may help cut down on the poaching.

There's a lot of poaching here in PA. A lot of people are caught, but there's a lot more who never get caught. Maybe the idea of paying out the arse, and spending some time in jail will make a few people think twice. If not, at least the PGC will make some money on the deal.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

if to many people make the gamble then the penalty before was not harsh enough good call Penn.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

+1 for PA. They should do their jail time on chain gang roadkill patrol.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

good change to the law. especially if it reads, "MANDATORY 90 days in jail" and not just "up to".

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from country road wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

I think they should add loss of firearm, vehicle and/or other equipment used in breaking the law.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from countitandone wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

Hurt~

My reaction? Good, I like it and I voted for sweeping changes in wallet hits AND time in the slammer. I was, along with most of my bros' hanging suspension of hunting privileges on these criminals.

Just wait til they spend the first nite at the pen. What will these poachers say to Bubba when he tells them to touch their toes and fess up to just what landed them in the pokey.

Sorry, couldn't resist...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

So the former penalty for shooting a deer at night using a light was $200 to $300? That's cheaper than most states nonresident license LOL!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

I hunt in Pa. and poaching in our area is a problem. I understand it's hard to deter at 2 a.m. so severe penalties are a good idea

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Don Mitchell wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

If the poaching is tor the antlers ,then I say hang em from there N**S, BUT,if it was for food for the kids, than a little less punishment.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntenthusiest wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

The change is surely headed in the right direction. Should they be disregarded, there's always room for amendments.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Deepwoods wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I say great for PA, if the courts will actually sentence anyone to what was written. In MI our laws are pretty good, but our courts never sentence anyone to what is allowed. By the time the defence attorney gets done wheeling and dealing with the prosecutor, and the judge makes his STERN lecture and reduced sentence (insert: only trying to feed his family, recently out of work, was only a quick and poor decision when the deer suddenly appeared out of no where, had "had a few" and was't thinking clearly, etc., etc., etc.), little or no jail time is ever given, and fines are reduced. Only the cost of the animal remains constant. Maybe our courts should take into consideration the size of the poached animal and reduce the cost to the state accordingly?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Don, reminds me of the poaching problem in Alaska for bear bladders and here in the lower 48, deer horns are smuggled overseas to be ground up into a powder for medical purposes

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Don Mitchell wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Thanks Clay C. You hit the nail on its head.
I don't condone the taking of game illegally even though some of my friends think that I have a sordid past.
IF SOME ONE KILLS ANY TYPE of game or fish to sell,then fine them big the JAIL.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steelers8623 wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

as a pa residence, I think the new law is great, with already low deer numbers in my area, poachers are the last thing we need... it would be nice to see 70 plus deer in an evening of spotting again.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Deepwoods wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Good Luck PA, I really hope it works for your state. Keep what I have been saying in mind and see what the actual fines and jail time is given out. You will be able to see who's playing politics with you wildlife funds.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Reminds me of those shooting road signs and right in the line of fire is a house!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pa deer hunter wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

country road I'm pretty sure they do take firearms and other equipment.(not sure about vehicle's though) Ncflyangler Hunting is much more than finding,killing and eating. what about ethics,sportsmanship and respect for the animal you hunt! Not to mention how dangerous the first day of deer season would be if it started at midnight! GET REAL!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nycflyangler wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

On one hand, we have people here talking about how deer are wreaking havoc because they're over populated and causing highway accidents, damage to agriculture and landscaping. There's 130 hits when you search 'deer overpopulation'.

On the other hand, we have people applauding penalizing the people actually doing something about the over population problem, allbeit illegally.

SO WHICH IS IT? You're talking out both sides of your mouth.

Beekeeper, try taking your head out of your ass. I know it probably hurts from falling out of the top of the stupid tree and hitting it on every branch on the way down so often. But what you're doing isn't an effective tratment plan.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pa deer hunter wrote 3 years 37 weeks ago

Nycflyangler Poachers are not performing some sort of community service they are thieves and in most cases tresspassers when they get caught they deserve what they get. Also no one is talking out both sides of their mouths. The problem isn't deer overpopulation it's urban sprawl people building homes and developments in the country where deer live. This land can no longer be hunted but the deer still live their. These people wish to escape the lights and noise of the city but in many cases they bring it with them they talk on their cell phones or worse yet tex while driving. Then when these distracted drivers hit a deer it's the deer's fault? I know Beekeeper dosen't need me to speak for them but I think you are the one with your head up your a**!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nycflyangler wrote 3 years 33 weeks ago

Pa deer hunter wrote:

"Poachers are not performing some sort of community service they are thieves and in most cases tresspassers(SIC) when they get caught they deserve what they get."

How are they doing anything different then the professional exterminators the municipalities hire to come in and kill off the nuisance deer?

Oh yeah, they're doing it for free so you and I don't have to pay for it. Free is good.

"The problem isn't deer overpopulation it's urban sprawl people building homes and developments in the country where deer live. This land can no longer be hunted but the deer still live their(SIC)."

If people live there, then there's really not room for the deer to be there as well. If the deer population won't move, then they're over populated and need to be dealt with.

"Then when these distracted drivers hit a deer it's the deer's fault?"

No, but deer don't vote, so they're screwed. Deer are very good at appearing out of nowhere, so it's more than being distracted. People getting killed in deer related accidents are just as dead as people who are stalked and killed by coyotes. So the deer are overpopulated for the living space they have and need to be thinned.

Now obviously the poachers are technically committing a crime. However, since the government instead of opening legitimate hunting for these nuisance deer, are pandering to the anti-hunting crowd.

The poachers are doing what the government doesn't have the guts to do, defy PETA & Co's wishes.

They're no different than someone who goes out and picks up garbage off the side of the road. It's the government's job to do so, but they're not doing it.

All you people complaining about the poachers are is being PETA & Co's bitches. Congratulations! You're now a PETA spokesperson.

"I know Beekeeper dosen't(SIC) need me to speak for them but I think you are the one with your head up your a**!"

You both need remedial work in basic logic and critical thinking, as well as a doctor to extract your head from your respective anal canals.

"Also no one is talking out both sides of their mouths."

Your post proved that most people here are talking out of both sides of their mouths.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from grant77 wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

Good change, but it could be even more harsh.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from dukkillr wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

We're good.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodsmanj35 wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

I still prefer the chain gang idea, although someone did mention a noose.....

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from LJRguide wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

Although "death by jacklight" sounds pretty good, the new penalty seems as if it may help cut down on the poaching.

There's a lot of poaching here in PA. A lot of people are caught, but there's a lot more who never get caught. Maybe the idea of paying out the arse, and spending some time in jail will make a few people think twice. If not, at least the PGC will make some money on the deal.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

good change to the law. especially if it reads, "MANDATORY 90 days in jail" and not just "up to".

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Reminds me of those shooting road signs and right in the line of fire is a house!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steward wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

The new penalties sound like they might actually encourage people to follow the rules...especially since the previous fines were less than some people would spend during deer season.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from straightshooter wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

A step in the right direction.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

if to many people make the gamble then the penalty before was not harsh enough good call Penn.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

+1 for PA. They should do their jail time on chain gang roadkill patrol.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from country road wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

I think they should add loss of firearm, vehicle and/or other equipment used in breaking the law.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from countitandone wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

Hurt~

My reaction? Good, I like it and I voted for sweeping changes in wallet hits AND time in the slammer. I was, along with most of my bros' hanging suspension of hunting privileges on these criminals.

Just wait til they spend the first nite at the pen. What will these poachers say to Bubba when he tells them to touch their toes and fess up to just what landed them in the pokey.

Sorry, couldn't resist...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

I hunt in Pa. and poaching in our area is a problem. I understand it's hard to deter at 2 a.m. so severe penalties are a good idea

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Deepwoods wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I say great for PA, if the courts will actually sentence anyone to what was written. In MI our laws are pretty good, but our courts never sentence anyone to what is allowed. By the time the defence attorney gets done wheeling and dealing with the prosecutor, and the judge makes his STERN lecture and reduced sentence (insert: only trying to feed his family, recently out of work, was only a quick and poor decision when the deer suddenly appeared out of no where, had "had a few" and was't thinking clearly, etc., etc., etc.), little or no jail time is ever given, and fines are reduced. Only the cost of the animal remains constant. Maybe our courts should take into consideration the size of the poached animal and reduce the cost to the state accordingly?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nycflyangler wrote 3 years 33 weeks ago

Pa deer hunter wrote:

"Poachers are not performing some sort of community service they are thieves and in most cases tresspassers(SIC) when they get caught they deserve what they get."

How are they doing anything different then the professional exterminators the municipalities hire to come in and kill off the nuisance deer?

Oh yeah, they're doing it for free so you and I don't have to pay for it. Free is good.

"The problem isn't deer overpopulation it's urban sprawl people building homes and developments in the country where deer live. This land can no longer be hunted but the deer still live their(SIC)."

If people live there, then there's really not room for the deer to be there as well. If the deer population won't move, then they're over populated and need to be dealt with.

"Then when these distracted drivers hit a deer it's the deer's fault?"

No, but deer don't vote, so they're screwed. Deer are very good at appearing out of nowhere, so it's more than being distracted. People getting killed in deer related accidents are just as dead as people who are stalked and killed by coyotes. So the deer are overpopulated for the living space they have and need to be thinned.

Now obviously the poachers are technically committing a crime. However, since the government instead of opening legitimate hunting for these nuisance deer, are pandering to the anti-hunting crowd.

The poachers are doing what the government doesn't have the guts to do, defy PETA & Co's wishes.

They're no different than someone who goes out and picks up garbage off the side of the road. It's the government's job to do so, but they're not doing it.

All you people complaining about the poachers are is being PETA & Co's bitches. Congratulations! You're now a PETA spokesperson.

"I know Beekeeper dosen't(SIC) need me to speak for them but I think you are the one with your head up your a**!"

You both need remedial work in basic logic and critical thinking, as well as a doctor to extract your head from your respective anal canals.

"Also no one is talking out both sides of their mouths."

Your post proved that most people here are talking out of both sides of their mouths.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

So the former penalty for shooting a deer at night using a light was $200 to $300? That's cheaper than most states nonresident license LOL!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Don Mitchell wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

If the poaching is tor the antlers ,then I say hang em from there N**S, BUT,if it was for food for the kids, than a little less punishment.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntenthusiest wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

The change is surely headed in the right direction. Should they be disregarded, there's always room for amendments.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Don, reminds me of the poaching problem in Alaska for bear bladders and here in the lower 48, deer horns are smuggled overseas to be ground up into a powder for medical purposes

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Don Mitchell wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Thanks Clay C. You hit the nail on its head.
I don't condone the taking of game illegally even though some of my friends think that I have a sordid past.
IF SOME ONE KILLS ANY TYPE of game or fish to sell,then fine them big the JAIL.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steelers8623 wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

as a pa residence, I think the new law is great, with already low deer numbers in my area, poachers are the last thing we need... it would be nice to see 70 plus deer in an evening of spotting again.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Deepwoods wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Good Luck PA, I really hope it works for your state. Keep what I have been saying in mind and see what the actual fines and jail time is given out. You will be able to see who's playing politics with you wildlife funds.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pa deer hunter wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

country road I'm pretty sure they do take firearms and other equipment.(not sure about vehicle's though) Ncflyangler Hunting is much more than finding,killing and eating. what about ethics,sportsmanship and respect for the animal you hunt! Not to mention how dangerous the first day of deer season would be if it started at midnight! GET REAL!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nycflyangler wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

On one hand, we have people here talking about how deer are wreaking havoc because they're over populated and causing highway accidents, damage to agriculture and landscaping. There's 130 hits when you search 'deer overpopulation'.

On the other hand, we have people applauding penalizing the people actually doing something about the over population problem, allbeit illegally.

SO WHICH IS IT? You're talking out both sides of your mouth.

Beekeeper, try taking your head out of your ass. I know it probably hurts from falling out of the top of the stupid tree and hitting it on every branch on the way down so often. But what you're doing isn't an effective tratment plan.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pa deer hunter wrote 3 years 37 weeks ago

Nycflyangler Poachers are not performing some sort of community service they are thieves and in most cases tresspassers when they get caught they deserve what they get. Also no one is talking out both sides of their mouths. The problem isn't deer overpopulation it's urban sprawl people building homes and developments in the country where deer live. This land can no longer be hunted but the deer still live their. These people wish to escape the lights and noise of the city but in many cases they bring it with them they talk on their cell phones or worse yet tex while driving. Then when these distracted drivers hit a deer it's the deer's fault? I know Beekeeper dosen't need me to speak for them but I think you are the one with your head up your a**!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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