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Several things that I have observed, beyond the simple greed and ignorance of individuals.

Whats driving some of it:

1. With deer we have seen an increase in the population after having pretty stagnant numbers for two decades. And with those increases in deer, we saw a decline in permits.

2. Trophy mentality. After 20 years of the "quality era" the focus on big animals at any cost has increased, as has poaching as those animals have become available, yet legally unavailable in many cases.

3. The same agency tasked with enforcing rules against poaching, are implementing regulations, like decreased deer tags in the wake of deer increases. This feeds an overall social feeling of illegitimacy about the rule of law. This does not excuse poaching by any means, but it certainly plays a role.

How to reduce some of it:

1. increase animals and tags. Simpler said than done.

2. Bring some legitimacy back to the DWR. Many times poaching occurs because it is socially acceptable. That does not make it right, or a sound practice for hunters and wildlife. In kind, many hunting regulations are implemented on what is essentially the same basis......social acceptability. Without quantifiable, meaningful metrics in place to "gauge" the reasoning of actions and their regulations....eventually anything goes, as long as it is socially acceptable, including poaching.

And, This should be moved to the big game section, very good topic. Edit: It should be it's own topic.
 

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I don't believe poaching is more prevalent than it used to be. I think you hear about it more in our day and age of 24-hour news and social media.

In my opinion, there is ZERO chance there were more deer killed illegally in 2014 than there was in 1980, as an example.
 

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Looking for some good material on a new project I'm doing for college. Why is poaching getting worse and whats going on to stop it? What ideas do you have about ways to stop it. and why is it getting worse?
Is poaching getting worse? Compaired to what was happening in the 60's, 70's and 80's? I would guess it is not. Although I think many of the motivations for poaching have changed.
 

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I don't believe poaching is more prevalent than it used to be. I think you hear about it more in our day and age of 24-hour news and social media.

In my opinion, there is ZERO chance there were more deer killed illegally in 2014 than there was in 1980, as an example.
I think you are spot on Vanilla, where I was born and raised poaching happened all the time, but it was out of need, not greed. Even the wardens would look the other way because they knew that was meat for a needy family. The people would not shot the big bucks, but take the yearlings and old dry does. We survived many a winter on venison.
 

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IMO all the attention brought to the hunting community when every single poaching case is publicized. Ultimately is a negative and is basically bad publicity.

Not that I'm condoning poaching. But I just don't see where poaching is a limiting factor to overall game population numbers.

And way way way more "poaching" went on in the past. But nobody called it poaching.
 

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The thing about poaching like many other crimes is if it wasn't sited or reported did it happen. People DUI every night but we only know of the ones that were arrested or in accidents.

The DWR has gotten much better at helping us report.

I'm guessing actual hunting infractions are up from the past. Take option 2 for example. I'm certain 1000s hunt out of unit here and there. Putting the wife in is pretty prevalent. They used to post the names of successful draws on LE units which helped keep guys honest. And mixing OTC spike hunting had only blurred those lines further.
 

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Why is poaching getting worse and whats going on to stop it? What ideas do you have about ways to stop it. and why is it getting worse?
Other guys nailed it. What proof do you have its getting worse? You are building an argument based on a false pretense. Its certainly more VISIBLE now than it ever has been with the advent of the internet, email, texting etc etc. Word gets around quicker and to a broader audience.

-DallanC
 

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Others are right. My guess is that overall poaching is actually declining. I do think that poaching is morphing due in part to some of the factors listed by Lonetree. People who poached historically did not leave big bull elk to waste and they certainly didn't drop off bags of meat at the boat harbor.

Sustinence poaching--------->Wanton poaching.-------SS
 

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Lets say there were 200 deer poached in 1980, and 100 this year, we all know that is not an apples to apples comparison. Like SS mentioned you could say poaching is declining, but so have wildlife numbers. I'm not going to make the case that it has increased, but I will make the case that its impacts both biologically, and socially may have far greater implications than they once did.
 

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I have no science to backup my opinion but here it is....

i think poaching is easily broken down into two catagories:

1. Those that go out with the intent to do so (Premeditated)

2. Those that are legally hunting and take game not permitted (Opportunistic)


The type 1 guys are on the rise and are pretty good at what they do. They're comfortable getting away with what they do and will continue to do so until they are caught....and some well beyond then.

The type 2 folks just can't keep it in their pants. They've never been very good at impulse control and good decision making skills go out the window at the first sign of a nice rack. A large portion of these folks react the same as waking up with a fat chick. They now realize what they've done and have to make a choice, let it lie take it home. Taking it home is a good way to get busted and without a plan in place, most will let it lie. In contrast, the type 1's had this part worked out long before the trigger pull. They'll have a rack and likely pics to go with it.

As mentioned before, the type 1's used to be out there for the meat. They felt entitled to god's creatures and nobody was going to tell them otherwise. I'm sure a few of those couldn't afford the tag and subsisted on game meat. I certainly wouldn't pass judgement in that situation.


the overlap of type one and two are party hunters. this has happened forever and will continue to happen. one guy gets lucky in the group and put a hurting on the herd. Then it's time to call the boys and start punching tags. These people can rationalize their actions easily by saving it's one animal per tag, so it should be legal. It's pretty amazing how many grandmas, wives and children fill their tags without leaving the house.
 
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