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Poachers take down trophy buck in Somerset County

December 3, 2011

By George Barner, Examiner.com

Deer season is in full swing and hunters are hitting the woods. These hunters are dressed in their orange and camouflage and hunt during the prescribed times. They may get their deer or they may not. If they do, they report it to the Game Commission.

However there are unscrupulous people out there during deer season. These people will fail to follow the hunting rules and regulations. They take part in hazardous activities such as shooting from the road, hunting at night, and trespassing. They often do not think about the safety of others.
They will hunt without licenses and fail to report their harvest (obviously).

This is the situation that occurred around 7:00 am on Friday near Jenner Township in Somerset County. The deer, a four year old 10 point buck weighing in at 200 pounds was shot by someone driving down the road. While the crime of poaching is a problem at this time of year, this incident has increased consequences. Because the deer is considered a trophy buck, the poachers could be facing higher penalties. If caught they a substantial fines up to $6,000 and jail time.

Currently the Game Commission is searching for the poachers. They believe that the vehicle is a dark colored Ford pickup. It appeared to have an 8-foot bed. If you have any information please contact the PA Game Commission Office by calling 724-238-9523 or 1-888-PGC-8001.

Poaching is a serious crime because of the wide reaching affects. The poacher has no concern for others by ignoring safety rules. Hunting during the night-time hours or shooting from a vehicle on the road puts others in the surrounding area at risk. These poachers can also present a risk to Wildlife Conservation Officers as was evident with last year’s killing of WCO Groves in Adams County.

In addition, it puts the deer population at risk. Additional hunting permits are set based on projected deer populations in an area. Poachers can decrease this population and cost legitimate hunters the chance to hunt the deer.

There is also cost to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and its residents.
These poachers are circumventing fees that other law abiding hunters pay.
These fees are part of the funds that help fund the Game Commission and allows for hunting throughout the commonwealth. In addition, the hunting of deer and other big game in Pennsylvania is a big tourist attraction. The poacher who shoots and kills trophy animals like the buck killed on Friday takes opportunities from all hunters and reduces the draw of hunters to Pennsylvania.

The Game Commission is interested in all poaching activities. For more information on reporting a poachercheck out the Pennsylvania Game Commission website.

Good luck to all of the legal hunters out there! Have a wonderful season this year.

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