Hunting Conservation photo

–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
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?