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Posted: 8/23/2004 3:15:58 AM EST
Ok here goes, I have a whitetail heard of around 15 to 25 deer on my property. I have been glassing them regularly for about 4 weeks now. This piece of property even though it is in a populated area has been well known for being a favorite place for poachers.

On Mon of last week, I noticed a doe that seem to have a broken front leg. Really pitiful watching her hobbling around like that.
The thought that someone had taken a pot shot at her and just wounded her crossed my mind. Then I took into account autos, and general bad luck, crossing fences and the like as a probable as well.

This afternoon a another doe emerged into the field dragging her right rear. Just barely able to walk. Nearly crawling. This seems too high of a number to be just accidents causing this. They are on a 700 + acre peninsula and thus have everything they need without leaving. In other words, I don't think they cross the road very much. I contacted my local wildlife office last night and am waiting on a call from them today. Meanwhile I thought I'd quiz you guys on a couple of things. First off does anyone have any ideas on how to combat poaching? Secondly, I used to hunt but rarely anymore, I let a few friends hunt there but for the most part I consider these my pet deer. Seeing these 2 does struggling to motivate is hard to watch. It only a matter of time until dogs or coyotes get them. That is a waste of meat, and an undignified and terrifying way to die if it doesn't have to.

I am going to ask my local wildlife officer today if either he can put them down, or give me permission to. I really would rather him do it. So question 2 is does anyone know if they do things like this or do they say let nature run it course?
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:33:24 AM EST
If your game wardens are anything like PA's, They will write you a citation for shooting them out of season. They are "letter of the law" bastards here.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:39:49 AM EST
What you may want to ask the TWRA is for them to set up their poaching decoy. They will set it up and if there is a poacher(s) they will bust them.

I would also post signs around your property marking it so that there is no way someone could be confused about where your property line is, however that is no excuse for shooting out of season.

I would NOT confront a poacher if you find or see one on your property. Get a description, license plate number off of the vehicle (if possible) and call the cops and TWRA.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:41:07 AM EST
so even if you didnt shoot em you'd still get fined for shootin em?
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:43:25 AM EST
Is it illegal to shoot the poachers?
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:46:38 AM EST
Guys correct me if I am wrong, but could it be chronic wasting disease?
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:49:08 AM EST

Originally Posted By jblachly:
Is it illegal to shoot the poachers?



Who cares...that's where the three S's come in.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:58:15 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/23/2004 3:59:21 AM EST by hk940]
I don’t think your likely to stop poachers unless you walk your land every day and have people in there doing setup for pre season hunting, hog hunting etc. You can try the decoys but they only seem to stop road hunters. I would keep a rifle in the car to shoot wounded dear. Don’t eat them as wounded deer have a greater chance of having disease. Just shoot them and leave them where they fall. You can help them out by seeing where they are crossing the fences. Look for tracts and toughs of hair. Tie the top wire to the second wire to make it easy for them to cross.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:58:27 AM EST
"I swear officer! There was a hog/coyote/jackalope between me and his truck! I just missed with my .386Loudnboomer Magnum and nailed his engine block." <- Your alibi if you are caught.

Kharn
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 4:08:49 AM EST

Originally Posted By 321Bang:
Ok here goes, I have a whitetail heard of around 15 to 25 deer on my property. I have been glassing them regularly for about 4 weeks now. This piece of property even though it is in a populated area has been well known for being a favorite place for poachers.

On Mon of last week, I noticed a doe that seem to have a broken front leg. Really pitiful watching her hobbling around like that.
The thought that someone had taken a pot shot at her and just wounded her crossed my mind. Then I took into account autos, and general bad luck, crossing fences and the like as a probable as well.

This afternoon a another doe emerged into the field dragging her right rear. Just barely able to walk. Nearly crawling. This seems too high of a number to be just accidents causing this. They are on a 700 + acre peninsula and thus have everything they need without leaving. In other words, I don't think they cross the road very much. I contacted my local wildlife office last night and am waiting on a call from them today. Meanwhile I thought I'd quiz you guys on a couple of things. First off does anyone have any ideas on how to combat poaching? Secondly, I used to hunt but rarely anymore, I let a few friends hunt there but for the most part I consider these my pet deer. Seeing these 2 does struggling to motivate is hard to watch. It only a matter of time until dogs or coyotes get them. That is a waste of meat, and an undignified and terrifying way to die if it doesn't have to.

I am going to ask my local wildlife officer today if either he can put them down, or give me permission to. I really would rather him do it. So question 2 is does anyone know if they do things like this or do they say let nature run it course?



Don't feel so bad about it, coyotes and dogs have to eat too. Deer die naturally every day... it's part of the chain of life. I wouldn't consider it a waste of meat.

However; the simple fact that these deer may have been poached does cause some anger. Call the Game Warden's office immediately and let them know. If they don't do anything about it in the next few weeks, you need to take action.

Walk the area really well. If there is a spot where someone could possibly shoot into a field from the road, that is your first target. Most poachers are too lazy to get out of their vehicle and walk... deer in a field at night are an EASY target. What you'll want to do (if you have the ambition) is to sit on the field from about two hours after dark until about 11 PM or 12 AM. Take binoculars or something so you can see the license plate of the vehicle. DO NOT confront the poachers yourself... that is just asking for trouble.

IF there is no field that is convenient for them, locate an area where it is likely for them to enter the woods. Again, this will be close to a road. If you can find a trail they are using or an entry point, then put up a digital trail camera. Just make 100% sure that the flash is turned off and you have it WELL hidden. This will at least provide proof to the Wardens that someone is trespassing and poaching on your property... and they will have it as evidence against the guy if they do catch him. Not only this, but you can get a pattern of when he enters and exits the woods.... if you decide to go tactical on his ass.

If you do decide to confront him... take an evil black rifle. You will need some sort of advantage because you KNOW he will be armed. He will probably lay down his firearm immediately... or he may just run off. Most poachers are not hardcore types that will challenge you if you have the upper hand. The EBR will offer intimidation as just seeing it he may think you are a Warden. If you are going to do this, take at least 1 guy you can trust to have your back. I do NOT recommend confronting him.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 4:17:29 AM EST
If TN allows it, plant some corn and get a pest permit. That will at least give you a valid way to put them down when need be.

BTW, After you drop them, place an ear of corn by them, cya.

Link Posted: 8/23/2004 4:23:59 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/23/2004 4:24:49 AM EST by arowneragain]
What part of TN are you in?

I have experience w/ poaching on many levels.....formal experience w/ the laws associated w/ such and some very real-world, I-don't-like-to-speak-of-it-in-public experience dealing w/ poachers. IM me if you'd like.

As for the deer....next time you speak to the local CO, tell him you intend to dispatch the wounded deer...or not. Either way, if they appear to have injuries they can't reasonably recover from, do the right thing. And don't assume that deer don't cross the road. You mention having a local 'herd'......there's really no such thing. You may have X number that stay in/near your area, but believe me, even in summertime, deer have no imaginary fences restraining their movement. As for dealing with poachers, understand that anything you do yourself is probably 1) illegal, 2) time-consuming, and 3) not always effective, as you will NOT be dealing with sane, rational people.

I'll say this, too: don't be offended if your local CO's don't have time to take care of your problem.......those guys make peanuts, work long hours, and probably have a whole county (or more) they are responsible for. be nice to them. They ARE your friends. As a whole, they're nice guys, and if you treat them as friends with a common interest, not just the 'critter cops', they'll show their appreciation.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 11:43:52 AM EST
arowneragain, I am in Claiborne Co. Just north of Knoxville. Still no word from my local warden. I have thought of requesting the dummy deer to be placed at my place this fall. I really don't think the odds are very good at catching anyone until rifle season anyway. There is a "Nice" heavy racked 8 pointer that I would like too keep around a couple of more years to see just how many points he can muster. So if poachers have eyeballed him this summer then the odds of a drive by this fall are probably pretty good. Decoy deer might do the trick.

I had "no" intention on dispatching the wounded without permission. I was wondering if anyone has heard of them issuing a special kill tag or the like. Thanks for the replies. Keep em coming. 321

Link Posted: 8/23/2004 12:30:22 PM EST
I would definitely speak with my local Game Warden.

Are you hearing any shots ?? or just seeing the injured deer ?

If it was on my land I would put the deer out of their misery just to see if the had been previously wounded by gunfire or if they were diseased. If this is happening on someone elses land then all you can do is notify the authorities and hope they are responsive.

If you hear gunshots, start driving the roads and look for a vehicle parked in a unusual places near the edge of fields or roads.

We caught several people hunting our lands by doing just this.... get the make and model and license plate #.

Link Posted: 8/23/2004 12:35:01 PM EST
Not a Game Warden, but let me throw something else out here.

From talking to Wardens, it apparently is VERY common for deer to break legs, and then later recover. One of my (very) occasional duties at work is to put down deer that have been hit by cars and such, and several years ago the Wardens apparently gave some of our guys a well-deserved hard time for shooting too many "lame" deer.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 12:44:04 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/23/2004 12:47:08 PM EST by MT_Pockets]
I don't let things creatures suffer...

Whether you call someone to do it or take care of business yourself doesn't matter as long as it gets done.

I have had to do it and LE arrived while I was in the process. I wasn't asked what I was doing and when I was finished got in my vehicle and drove away.


MT
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 12:47:08 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 1:04:37 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 1:25:33 PM EST

Originally Posted By USMC_LB:
I would definitely speak with my local Game Warden.

Are you hearing any shots ?? or just seeing the injured deer ?

If it was on my land I would put the deer out of their misery just to see if the had been previously wounded by gunfire or if they were diseased. If this is happening on someone elses land then all you can do is notify the authorities and hope they are responsive.

If you hear gunshots, start driving the roads and look for a vehicle parked in a unusual places near the edge of fields or roads.

We caught several people hunting our lands by doing just this.... get the make and model and license plate #.


No I am not hearing any shots, as I live several miles away from the property. The problem is that the only road "besides a few 4 wheeler trails", runs direct parallel to the only pasture on the whole farm, 25 + acres of pasture. The neighbors have heard shots over the years and I have found a carcass or two myself.
They must shoot the come back much later and try to recover the deer. One just had the horns gone everything else just wasted. No one "seems" to ever see a thing. Neighbors are suspect in my book. To just examine the animals and try to determine what may have caused these injuries is a priority also. Thank you for the replies...321
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 1:28:54 PM EST
Also 2 injured deer in less than a month doesn't sound like natural accidents to me. I have watched literally a 1000 or more deer in my lifetime and this is the first time I have ever witnessed any injury other than a very slight limp..
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 1:29:05 PM EST
If it was my land, I'd dispatch the deer. I wouldn't eat the meat, but I'd put it out of its misery. If I thought someone was poaching on my land, I'd set up a hide at likely spots and watch. Yes, I would have an EBR with me but my main weapon would be a pair of binos and a pen. I'm sure the local game warden would like to have information such as this. Camera with a good lense would be good to have as well.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 1:29:58 PM EST
I have a friend from this board who was just talking about illegal hunters/possible poachers on his land. Has 2 nice tree stands in his garage. In one instance, he was walking back through the woods and heard some noise. When he got to the area, he found a stand someone had left and run off when they heard him. Also said he makes a point to take the AR out and unload several rounds on his property early in the day during hunting season, to let guys know he's there, and using his property. And they rip his no trespass signs down regularly.

People are hard to believe. They are most likely the gun owners who bvote for Kerry.

Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:08:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By RAVYN:
If your game wardens are anything like PA's, They will write you a citation for shooting them out of
season. They are "letter of the law" bastards here.


Which county is this? Our farm is in Bedford County, and the local gamewarden is a neighbor. If we'd
see something like this and tell him, he'd let us shoot it, as long as we give him the head and the
hide.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:14:56 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/23/2004 3:15:45 PM EST by Tanker06]

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:
Guys correct me if I am wrong, but could it be chronic wasting disease?


I really doubt it. I got one a few years back, and I don't know if it was CWD, but that had to be THE
nastiest deer I've ever seen once I got up to it. It was covered with little quarter-sized lumps, from
head to toe, nose to tail. Pretty fugly. Not sure if they were abcesses or what. I didn't want to contaminate
my knife trying to find out.

Just tossed it down into the gully behind the barn. The local raccoons & possums probably ate like
kings for a while....
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:15:40 PM EST
We have a 3 legged deer locally that has lived in a small wooded area, bordered on all sides by roads. It has lived in that area, with 3 legs, for 3-5 years.

I hear regular calls from people demanding that the injured deer be put down because it is suffering...............

They are pretty resilient creatures.

Can't walk, get up, sure put it down. (if it is legal, or you get the proper ok). But a deer that ain't walking right, may recover, or be able to get along fine on a bad leg.

Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:45:36 PM EST
I'll try to check with my brother who is a game warden in Illinois and see what he says. From what Although from what I've seen in the past you either need to have the game warden put the deer down or get verbal permission from the wildlife department for each and every deer you put down.

Link Posted: 8/23/2004 4:27:02 PM EST
I have had poacher problems, and I lived on the property.

What I learned, :

It is usually the neighbors, especially if there is a male adult in the household 25 yrs or younger.

Real poachers steal wildlife for 2 reasons, meat or trophy.

The meat thieves use 22lr, 22magnum, or 22 hornet for a quiet rifle.

Trophy thieves use larger rifles "to make sure" they get the prize.


I deer hunt myself when I have time (rare these days), so I know how to spot the poachers. They ned access from a road if they are not neighbors, neighbors just walk over. Plus neighbors know your car and your schedule.

If you own the property, put up a good 6 or 8 strand barbed wire fence, for 25 acres it is not that big a deal if you use steel "T" posts. This way you can really tell where the SOB's are accessing your field.



Don't be nice to any tresspassers/poachers you run into, as they may have "backup" you don't see. Don't confront them if you can help it.

When I was younger (and dumber) I chased several poachers off from horseback, and I got shot at once. If I had been carring an EBR, there would have been one less poacher breathing air today.

Finally, you HAVE TO PRESS CHARGES if the poachers are caught.


Be careful.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 4:29:58 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/23/2004 4:31:24 PM EST by 321Bang]

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
We have a 3 legged deer locally that has lived in a small wooded area, bordered on all sides by roads. It has lived in that area, with 3 legs, for 3-5 years.

I hear regular calls from people demanding that the injured deer be put down because it is suffering...............

They are pretty resilient creatures.



Just got back from observing them again. I saw the doe with the injured front leg tonight. She tends to want to hold it up across and under her chest. She doesn't put it to the ground at all. A GD for wheeler came down the road and spooked them and they hit the woods for awhile. I'll have to say, she traveled rather well when she needed to.

As for the doe I saw last night. Her injury was high in the hip. Pelvis area. didn't see her tonight. That farking four wheeler may have kept her in the woods longer tonight. She didn't show herself until right dark. Question to OLY-M4gery, the deer you are talking about crippled in the bow or stern? just curious. Like you said though, especially with the stories that I have heard of deer being taken with a Brodhead apparently imbedded in the for years. They are resilient creatures. Again thank you for the replies 321
Oh forgot to add no contact with TWRA yet.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 4:45:38 PM EST

Originally Posted By ar-wrench:

It is usually the neighbors, especially if there is a male adult in the household 25 yrs or younger.



They ned access from a road if they are not neighbors, neighbors just walk over. Plus neighbors know your car and your schedule.

Finally, you HAVE TO PRESS CHARGES if the poachers are caught.


Be careful.

You are so reading my mind. It freaking scary. I have one in mind. The real bitch about that crap is the dummy deer thing will never work on him. He will see it being taken in and being put up.
What are you thoughts on just getting the warden to be made visible a couple of times down there? Think that would hurt things or help? I mean busting their ass, losing the truck/gun/license and costing the bastards money is great and all, but if they will just cease and desist shooting at my deer then I'm happy.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 5:09:32 PM EST
Please don't take offense at this remark, but they are not "your deer". They belong to the state.

But your efforts in managing the land for wildlife should be commended.

I was finding piles of dead deer (more than a dozen bodies) on my property one spring. I was very concerned, but this only rated 1 visit from the Sheriff's dept and one visit by the game warden. So, I doubt the warden in your area has the time or manpower to do an extended stakeout on a single 25 acre field.

What our local wardens did when we were having firelighting problems was to patrol problem areas in an unlighted J3 Cub (small, very quiet airplane) at night. They were somewhat effective.

If there is a kid watching your property, you will not catch him without a buddy or two to help you. He will have to see your truck arrive with "only you" in the truck, then see you leave. Ofcourse, you have left someone behind in the treeline, with NV equipment and a cellphone/radio.

It is time consuming and expensive.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 5:55:49 PM EST

Originally Posted By ar-wrench:
Please don't take offense at this remark, but they are not "your deer". They belong to the state.


Yes I know, I thought of that about 3 seconds after I hit submit.
Link Posted: 8/24/2004 12:19:30 AM EST
I think it's the r-front leg that is MIA.

Rear legs being crippled is a much larger concern.

Link Posted: 8/24/2004 12:30:24 AM EST
Another vote for "let them be".

Here in WI, dispatching a lame or downed deer WILL get you a ticket for harvesting a deer without a license. They are hardcore MFers around here. I have lots of game warden stories..........none of them chock full of sypathy, understanding, or sense of circumstance.
Link Posted: 8/24/2004 9:32:54 AM EST

Originally Posted By TheKill:
Another vote for "let them be".

Here in WI, dispatching a lame or downed deer WILL get you a ticket for harvesting a deer without a license. They are hardcore MFers around here. I have lots of game warden stories..........none of them chock full of sypathy, understanding, or sense of circumstance.



Exactly what I was saying. As a rule of thumb, if the deer is hurt so badly that it can't move, and I can get with in a few feet and dispatch it with one shot to the head (usually through an eye) with my sidearm, and I have safe backstop, and ACO or the Human Society can't come out (as per policy), then it should probably be put down. If the deer is moving better than that, and I can't get a good, quick, safe shot, then the deer is not injured badly enough to need humane destruction, and may well recover.
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