December 14, 2010
Oklahoma Passes New Poaching Law With Specific Fine Amounts
By Chad Love
How much is an illegally taken trophy animal worth in the eyes of the law? The state of Oklahoma recently passed a law that places a dollar amount on poached game animals.
From this story on Newsok.com:
Killing a trophy deer in Oklahoma may cost a poacher $5,000 in the future. Earlier this year, state lawmakers passed a bill creating harsher penalties for illegally killing wildlife in Oklahoma and making financial restitution to the state mandatory. As part of the law, state wildlife officials had to create a restitution schedule, setting a guideline for judges to determine an animal’s financial worth. On Monday, the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission approved a wildlife restitution schedule which set the value of a trophy deer, bear, antelope, elk or mountain lion from $2,000 to $5,000. Killing a hawk, bald or golden eagle or owl could cost a poacher as much $2,500 in restitution.
Restitution for any threatened or endangered species could be as much as $5,000 while turkeys were valued from $250 to $500. Most trophy fish were valued at $100 but killing an endangered species of fish could cost the culprit as much as $5,000. Paddlefish were valued at $18.98 per pound.
So the obvious question is: is that enough of a deterrent? Fair? Unfair? Should we be throwing in a little jail time with that as well? What's your take on it?