In the first three Poachey award ceremonies AmericanHunter.org celebrated stupidity of the finest order. You've been witness to everything from the adventures of robo deer to the misadventures of the sorely mistaken the-law-don't-check-my-Facebook-page poacher. Ah, such classics.
In a season in which I've heard that poachers in Oregon probably take as many mule deer as legal hunters, and Wisconsiners will be reporting game violations via text message, I couldn't resist putting together another compilation. Even if deer season's final day is a long way off. And trust me, this isn't the last you've seen of these awards in 2010-11.
The Too Many Murder Mystery Movies Award
From the Review:
On Nov. 12, the agency received an expletive-laced anonymous letter that read: “Here is a picture of the nice buck I poached up in northern Idaho this year. … I plan to do all my Idaho hunting like this from now on. … I’ll send a picture of my nice pronghorn next. Also my turkey.”
Hopefully this good-for-nothing gets caught and subsequently has his wallet lightened sometime soon. This is undoubtedly the most arrogant disregard of game laws that has flashed across the AH Wire this year.
"At this point, it’s unclear whether the letter is real or a hoax," Nils Nokkentved, a Fish and Game spokesman told the Review.
If you have any information regarding the letter or have any leads on the identity of this dumb poacher you are encouraged to call the Citizen's Against Poaching hotline at (800) 632-5999.
The Kids Will Never Learn Award
As did a 20-year-old Minnesota hunter who posted a pair of images of poached white-tailed bucks and an image that showed an over-limit on his Facebook page last month.
He now faces almost $2,000 in fines, restitution and other penalties.
From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
The hunter posted a photo on Facebook of a small buck he killed in September during the archery season, then posted a photo of an 8-point trophy buck he arrowed in October. In Minnesota, hunters can kill only one buck per season. He later posted a photo of him and two buddies posing with 12 Canada geese they shot.
"In the caption, he wrote it was a 'three-man limit of geese,'" Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Travis Muyres told the Star Tribune.
This would be OK but the daily limit is three geese per hunter. The hunters had shot three geese over the limit.
After admitting to everything—the photo evidence had to be pretty hard to shake—the man will lose his bow and both deer along with facing forthcoming monetary damage. Meanwhile, his two friends will be cited for shooting an over-limit of geese.
I really wish we could just bottle up this sort of genius and put it on E-Bay or something. But how can you put a price on the utterly priceless?
The Shooting for the Stars Award
This year, attendees of the festival were treated to bugling competitions, seminars, live music, visits from Wolfwood Refuge & Rescue and guided elk-viewing tours, among other festivities.
One of the stars of the elk-viewing show was a 7x7 giant bull that reminded residents of the small village of the now deceased bull touted as the unofficial village mascot—Samson.
Sadly, a poacher decided that this bull would prove a nice prize in late October.
From the Channel 7 News in Denver:
The bull elk was shot with an arrow in the spine near its hind quarters in downtown Estes Park. The badly injured bull made its way to the Stanley Hotel.
Estes Park police officers put the animal down after it was determined that the bull was unable to walk or eat.
Now officials are offering a $5,000 award for any tips leading to the capture of the poacher responsible for the death of the star elk.
"This was probably the biggest bull in the Estes Valley," Rick Spowart, district wildlife manager for Estes Park, told Channel 7 News.
To provide information in this case, call toll-free within Colorado at 1-877-265-6648.