Wrist-slap fines for poaching have long been a problem. Serious poachers–or even casual “thrill killers”–are often willing to risk getting caught if they know retribution won’t be too bitter a pill to swallow. In response, many states have amped up the penalties for poaching or other wildlife violations, and one of the more recent ways they’ve done this with whitetail poachers is to use a fine-calculator based on the buck’s antler size. Here’s a story detailing the new system.
What are your thoughts on this system? Should poachers get whacked harder if they target large whitetails, or should the size of the buck’s antlers have nothing do with poaching penalties? Personally, I feel that the fines are a great idea, as most of the poaching activity in my area is focused on older, larger bucks. But I’ve talked to some hunters who feel that stiff penalties should exist no matter the animal’s B&C score.
Anxious to hear your thoughts on this topic, and feel free to chime in with your state’s policy on fining poachers.