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August 17, 2011 Hunting Type

Would You Turn In a Poacher?

Given the chance, would you turn in a poacher? We post stories from time to time about poachers getting busted. Sometimes they get caught red handed. Other times they tell on themselves accidentally. But now and then someone gets busted because they got told on. So if you knew that someone was poaching, would you turn them in?

Any good outdoorsman or woman would say yes. But what if it was a friend? Or a relative? What if it was someone with little money and hungry kids at home?

For as long as people have been hunting, poaching has been a concern. Because it matters who kills what animals. But from time to time, you root for poachers. In the story of Robin Hood, you don’t mind that the young boy killed one of the sheriff’s deer. Because the sheriff was a prick and the kid was hungry.

While it wasn’t officially called poaching, American settlers and fur trappers almost caused the extinction of the buffalo, the beaver and other furry critters. There were no laws protecting them at the time, but the Native Americans depended on those animals for their life and livelihood.

But most of the poaching we hear about today seems to be done for other reasons. I don’t know what those reasons are, but these aren’t poor starving people who just need a little food to make it through the season. Modern poachers are often after hides and horns, but some just seem like they like killing things.

So. Which kinds of poaching are ok? Would you look the other way if it was staving off hunger? Or do you turn them in? We’d all agree that the senseless killing of hoards of animals is wrong. But what about those other cases?

I’ve never been in a position like that, so I can’t speak with authority. As a hunter and a conservationist, I’d like to imagine I’d turn in any poacher.If it’s someone hard on his luck and just after a meal, I’d still turn him in, but I’d sure go out of my way to make sure he and his family could eat. Even if it meant putting my next deer in his freezer, I’d like to think I’d be willing to make the sacrifice.

Our laws and hunting regulations are great for protecting animals. But people are great at taking care of people. Take a look around and see who you could help. We’re all trying to survive. Who can you assist?

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