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does it seem strange that if you poach an elk the fine is $8000 but if you want to buy a landowner tag on a CWMU property it can cost anywhere from $8500? (the hunts I have asked about) to $25,000? and so what if you can't have a licence for 14 years if your poaching you don't have one anyway! I think the state needs to redefine the value of trophy elk.
 

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does it seem strange that if you poach an elk the fine is $8000 but if you want to buy a landowner tag on a CWMU property it can cost anywhere from $8500? (the hunts I have asked about) to $25,000? and so what if you can't have a licence for 14 years if your poaching you don't have one anyway! I think the state needs to redefine the value of trophy elk.
Wasn't sure what to expect, but interesting point. The value of a trophy animal: 20+ years of point applying $200, 20+ years of disappointment $5000, Putting in for expo tags for 20 years since you can't draw a state tag $1000
+ travel verifying and admission to expo $1000, 20 years wasted hours on forum complaining about not drawing $5000, cost of tag $500..... I mean it is north of $10,000 at least. And some will do all that and STILL not draw.

As sarcastic as that all sounds, it really should be a higher fine.
 

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does it seem strange that if you poach an elk the fine is $8000 but if you want to buy a landowner tag on a CWMU property it can cost anywhere from $8500? (the hunts I have asked about) to $25,000? and so what if you can't have a licence for 14 years if your poaching you don't have one anyway! I think the state needs to redefine the value of trophy elk.
And the thing you forgot - the fine is only $8,000 IF you get caught. Otherwise, it is free. ;-)
(That's a joke by the way.)
 
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I'm one that has been very outspoken about poaching penalties being too weak. I do believe we need to toughen up on this. But the amount of fines and restitution usually aren't what I take issue with on these cases.
 

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I know there are other penalties that go with poaching, such as losing the truck and firearm used in the crime.
So pay $1,500 for a POS chevy to drive
Walmart Plastic rifle - $350
Case of cheap beer - $15
Walmart camo clothes - $75
Extra shampoo for the mullet - $15/year -
Ammo - $40 for two boxes to shoot at the elk

Total costs - $1,955 - That is if ALL of that is taken away IF you get caught. Together with the $8,000 fine, you are still under $10K for poaching the elk. And that is ONLY IF you get caught. Otherwise, you can keep the Chevy POS, shoot up the empty cans as targets, and use the rifle as a canoe paddle in the summer. Winner winner elk steak dinner.

Worth the risk?
 
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I know there are other penalties that go with poaching, such as losing the truck and firearm used in the crime.
So pay $1,500 for a POS chevy to drive
Walmart Plastic rifle - $350
Case of cheap beer - $15
Walmart camo clothes - $75
Extra shampoo for the mullet - $15/year -
Ammo - $40 for two boxes to shoot at the elk

Total costs - $1,955 - That is if ALL of that is taken away IF you get caught. Together with the $8,000 fine, you are still under $10K for poaching the elk. And that is ONLY IF you get caught. Otherwise, you can keep the Chevy POS, shoot up the empty cans as targets, and use the rifle as a canoe paddle in the summer. Winner winner elk steak dinner.

Worth the risk?
You're overpaying for the POS Chevy in my opinion and if you get the cheap shampoo for the mullet you could get by on 10$ per year.
 

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Sorry man. I didn't know the going rate on cheap shampoo, or a POS chevy. Haven't had a mullet, or a POS chevy since high school. :)
 
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Yes the conviction as a felony for poaching a trophy has no bearing on the other punishments.
Seem once you are convicted you cannot posess a weapon the rest of your life. Just don't let them plead down to a misdemeanor and all will stop.
Good luck,they don't appear to care.
 

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And the thing you forgot - the fine is only $8,000 IF you get caught. Otherwise, it is free. ;-)
(That's a joke by the way.)
The way to think about this is the "expected outcome" .... i.e.:
Say you expect to be caught with a poached trophy bull and have to pay $8000 with probability 10%. Then, 90% of the time, your poached bull is free.

Expected cost of the poached bull: $800. Practically free.

And that's a joke, based on the previous joke.
 

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Yes the conviction as a felony for poaching a trophy has no bearing on the other punishments.
Seem once you are convicted you cannot posess a weapon the rest of your life. Just don't let them plead down to a misdemeanor and all will stop.
Good luck,they don't appear to care.
Exactly.. very few result in a felony. Disturbing to see the cases where it is a person or group who have poached multiple animals (repeat offenders) who don't receive a lifetime ban on hunting?? Seriously?
 

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Lifetime bans on LEGAL hunting are a total joke to poachers. They don't hunt legally anyway. And if they do get caught, they can plea it down to misdemeanor charges anyway for money and community service to avoid the felony on the record, if only they'll admit the guilt and avoid the court costs for the court to pursue higher charges.

As for not being able to keep the trophy elk, again - that is only if you get caught. And if you do get caught, and you don't get to keep the elk mount or whatever, who cares? That is still one more elk than you would have gotten doing things legally while you waited 15-20 years to draw, and another waiting period after that to draw again. If you are playing the probability card, say there is a 10% chance you get caught (I'm guessing that is actually pretty high), then you'd still have 9 out of 10 elk hunts you didn't get caught.

So really, if you have no ethics and don't believe at all in the rule of law, then the reward for poaching far outweighs the risk. And that's pretty sad.

Now all that said, I don't think we should crowd the jails with those that violate game laws, when they are overcrowded with people that have committed violent crimes against people. But that is a whole different discussion.
 

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So I know the first comment citing 10% was in jest, but others continued down that road, so I have to ask: You really think that less than 10% of trophy elk poached and kept are caught? Based upon numbers I saw somewhere else, that means 430 trophy bulls were killed and kept illegally in 2015. I'd be very skeptical that this is true.

Also, if I am not mistaken, the $8,000 is actually the restitution, not the fine. Fines can be and usually are imposed in addition to the restitution prescribed in the state Code.

Fines are the least effective way of deterring behavior. If you want to deter poaching, you need to do more than increase fines. That is if you believe penalties deter criminal behavior at all. But that is a different topic for another day.

I am in favor of increasing penalties for willful poaching cases. I would like to see a mandatory jail term attached to a conviction if willful and wanton disregard for the law is shown. I like attaching a large amount of restitution. And I favor more strict hunting bans.
 

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These people killed 18 deer, the FINE portion you describe was only 2k.. on 18 deer and 2 had previous convictions:
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/...ah-County-deer-poachers-sentenced.html?pg=all

The Mountain Lion case where the guy was fined 5000, paid no restitution, and had 3 years probation and only 3 years with no hunting, he made way more money than that doing this:
http://fox13now.com/2015/03/12/man-...ons-bobcats-to-make-hunts-easier-for-clients/

Most articles I read have fines under 1K and about 3 years suspended hunting privileges. And yeah, when you figure there are around 5 "illegal taking of fish and wildlife" cases a day, 10% doesn't sound unrealistic. You have to read the article in full to see the number of trophy elk poached was actually 43 so far this year, so at a 10% rate 4.3 cases solved, 38-39 elk kept. You were looking at total poaching incidents...

https://www.ksl.com/?sid=37681661&n...ed-in-utah-increases-for-2nd-consecutive-year

Edit: Sad thing about this article is the year isn't over. With the Migration going, late season hunts, extended still live, etc... I am sure a number of incidents occur in Nov-Dec. Want to clarify as well, the article stresses this is illegally taken animals, poaching and other violations.
 

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The big problem isn't with the DOW but with the county attorneys and the judges. Wildlife crimes are small potato's to them and most of them will be plea bargained down to a misdemeanor with a small fine and no jail time. So until the judges start to throw the book at them most of the poachers will continue to do it. Even when the statute mandates jail time it is very seldom enforced.
 

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Even when the statute mandates jail time it is very seldom enforced.
Not true. If the statute says "shall" then it will happen. There aren't many offenses that are "shall" with incarceration. On those that are, it is enforced. A portion of the poaching penalties provides for mandatory incarceration, but it needs to be applied more broadly.

I agree that prosecutors and judges can enforce this more as well, but it's not their role to do so until instructed by the law. It's the legislative branch that needs to lead out on this. And we need to make them. There is a reason judges and prosecutors (at least in theory) have a measure of independence from the people. We enforce our will on our elected officials, especially in crafting laws.
 

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There are mandatory penalties plea bargained on just about every trial.

One that is quite common is a person that has a felony conviction in the position of a firearm. Most states and federal courts have mandatory jail time for this but it is seldom used and is usually the first thing that gets thrown out when they start to plea bargain.
 
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