Wow, it's been awhile, hasn't it? I really do apologize. Seasons have come and gone, a whole slew of misadventures have been had... and I haven't documented any of it. For that, I apologize. It's finally that time again, though—another edition of Dumb Poacher Stories has arrived. So sit back, relax and have a sad chuckle at some of this past fall's most hapless "hunters."
Out of the Frying Pan...
Getting busted poaching is bad enough on its on—depending on what you did and how you did it, you could be looking at hefty fines, a permanent loss of your hunting license or even jail time. But for one man from Adams County, Pa., poaching merely opened the door into a world of hurt.
According to reports, a wildlife officer was performing a routine check on Oct. 19 when he found a loaded shotgun in the vehicle of one Sean M. Waltermyer. The officer suspected that Waltermyer had illegally killed an 8-point buck, and proceeded to take him into custody.
Things got far worse for Waltermyer from there. Police discovered that, due to a felony conviction in 2010, it was illegal for him to possess a firearm. That revelation was more than enough to get the authorities a search warrant, and they found seven more firearms in Waltermyer's home. He'll face multiple felony charges.
They found 100 pounds of venison, too, for the record.
In an interesting bit of karmic retribution, a pair of alleged Montana poachers found themselves foiled by Mother Nature last month.
According to reports, an unnamed man and teenager were canoeing on Jefferson River—with a dead deer aboard ship—when there suddenly caught in an ice jam. With their only form of transportation pretty firmly lodged in ice, the duo was forced to call for assistance. The Twin Bridges Quick Response Unit, Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Madison County Sheriff’s Office all responded to the S.O.S. and the canoe was safely toed to shore.
Game wardens were somewhat suspicious of the dead whitetail, though, and later alleged that it had been taken from private land without the owner's permission. The unnamed man was cited, having effectively called the authorities on himself.
Again With the Canoes?
If there's one thing poachers might be able to take from this blog—other than the message of "stop poaching"—it's that they should really avoid waterways. Yep, earlier this month, this time in Louisiana, we had another canoe-related poaching caper.
According to The Times-Picayune, Mark and Michelle Tarver had paddled their canoe into Bayou Nezpique when they lost control in the fast-moving water. The couple was thrown from the canoe and began to swim to shore, but weren't able to ascend the steep bluff that awaited them.
Police received a call about the stranded couple, and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents responded to assist. The Tarvers were rescued and transported to the hospital, where they received treatment for severe hypothermia.
While they were recovering, they admitted to their rescuers that they'd been duck hunting before going for their unwanted dip. Being that Bayou Nezpique resides in a zone that's currently closed to duck hunting, that made them guilty of poaching.
Either karma's on fire this season, or it's a lot harder to manage a canoe than I previously though.
And Our Dec. 2013 Champions...
It takes a fair bit of stupidity to be the closing note in one of my poacher posts, and this time around a trio of hunters out of Alberta, Canada, ran away with the show. Sometimes I think folks just go out of their way to make things too easy for the cops.
According to CTV News, police in central Alberta were contacted by a concerned citizen on Sunday, Nov. 18 at about 9:30 p.m. to report a suspicious truck driving without headlights. Fish and Wildlife Officers and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police responded to the call, knowing that the area the truck was reported to be in was a popular spot for spotlight poachers.
It didn't take long for the Mounties to pull the truck over, and they were treated to a doozy. Three people were in the vehicle: the driver (who was 17), and a pair of adults. The individual in the passenger seat held a loaded rifle and a spotlight. The driver and the individual in the rear seat each had loaded rifles, too.
Oh, and all three of these geniuses had been drinking. I guess that might partially explain the poor decisions, anyway.
Officials were able to determine that one of these three stooges had taken a crack at a bull elk earlier in the evening—whether or not they hit it remains unknown. Regardless, they all now face a plethora of criminal charges.
*To report suspected poaching in your area, check the NRA's list of poaching hotlines.