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In Maryland, people convicted of poaching deer—especially big bucks scoring more than 150 points on the Boone & Crockett scoring system—now face some of the stiffest penalties in the United States, according to the Cumberland Times-News. Thanks to a new law, which went into effect on June 1, restitution for a B&C-sized buck is $5,000 to $10,000, plus 80 hours of community service.

In addition to restitution, poachers also face fines of up to $1,500 per deer, Paul Peditto, director of wildlife and heritage for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, told the Associated Press. Restitution for bucks that score 150 or fewer would range from $2,000 to $5,000, and restitution for deer without antlers would range from $300 to $500, according to the Cumberland Times-News.

The increased penalties did raise concerns before being passed, however. Joe Schroyer, a member of Maryland’s Wildlife Advisory Commission, is concerned that the increased fines could result in more not-guilty verdicts. “Here in Garrett and Allegany counties where unemployment is high, you might have a guy standing in front of a judge with his wife and two kids looking on,” Schroyer told the Cumberland Times-News. “He’s out of work and someone has told the judge he has to fine this guy at least $2,000. It might be hard to get convictions.”

Iowa has similar maximum penalties to Maryland’s, according to the state’s hunter-education course. Michigan has taken a little different tact. According to mlive.com, it has instituted a progressive penalty system. The penalty is $1,000 for poaching any deer, and another $1,000 for antlered deer. For 8- to 10-point bucks, there’s an additional penalty of $500 for each point, and for bucks with 11 or more points, the penalty is $750 for each point. In Minnesota, according to the Duluth News Tribune, lawmakers have been pushing to levy felonies on the worst poachers.

Despite the stiff penalties for big deer, some of the nation’s deer groups say that minimum poaching penalties are far too low. The average minimum fine among Southeastern, Midwestern, and Northeastern states in 2015 was $354 per deer, according to the Quality Deer Management Association. “Minimum fines are all over the board and, in our opinion, on average well below the value of loss of that animal to the ethical sportsmen and women who follow the rules, as well as to all citizens who enjoy them,” states QDMA’s 2015 annual report.

Photograph courtesy of Carolyn Savell/Flickr

​*This article has been slightly modified since it was originally published earlier today.