AZ: Game and Fish: 70 percent increase in illegal hunting, poaching
March 10, 2010
AZ Game and Fish: 70 percent increase in illegal hunting, poaching
ARIZONA – There is new information on a big increase in poaching in
Arizona. Arizona's Department of Game and Fish says they've seen a 70
percent increase in violations, including poaching.
On the one hand that could be a sign of more people hunting illegally to
feed their families but on the other it could reflect an increase in
reporting poaching as more people go after cash rewards offered for
Keith Paul, a veteran hunter, tells 3TV, “I've hunted javelina and mule
digger.” Paul says he has been hunting for more than four decades. He is
hesitant to give up his favorite hunting spots, but the game and fish
volunteer is not shy about denouncing those who do it illegally.
He says, “We should all be incensed and angry about it because it's just
stealing from everyone that lives in the state. It’s disturbing. It’s kind
of something I've anticipated with the downturn of the economy.”
In fact, the economy may be the factor driving a 70 percent spike in
reports of poaching, according to Ken Dinquel, manager of Operation Game
Thief at the Arizona Game and Fish Department. He says, “We may have
poaching from people trying to feed themselves.” That is known as
subsistence hunting. Dinquel says some poaching is what is known as
Others are involved in illegal commercialization by selling off parts of
the animals and not just the meat. They sell things like bear gallbladders
and velvet antlers.
Bear gallbladders are supposed to be an aphrodisiac while the velvet-like
covering of antlers can be used as a dietary supplement.
Dinquels’ team investigates the reports of poaching. Some are anonymous
while others come from fellow hunters wanting to cash in on others illegal
Game and Fish says they do offer rewards for information that leads to an
arrest. Paul says whatever their reasons, poachers’ actions amount to one
thing. He explains, “It basically amounts to theft.”
Penalties for poaching and other illegal hunting can range from revoking
hunting licenses to hefty fines.
For further information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
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