Would You Turn In A Poacher?

M

MoBuckChaser

Guest
I did, and don't feel bad about it at all! And it has now turned into a huge investigation. Now I really do not feel bad about it at all and here is why.

It all came from one of our leases here in Missouri. A land owner noticed 2 guys running off of his land, our lease, onto land to the north. He called me since we have the hunting lease and asked if it was me and my buddy, it was not! So I drove over and we went up to the fence they crossed and looked to see a huge corn feeder with corn coming out of the tubes at the bottom. It was on there property with 2 ground blinds set up on a hill overlooking the feeder. Its Missouri, not legal. The guys that were in the ground blinds had to be some of the guys that just made a walking drive through my lease towards there property with all the foot prints in the snow that went over the fence. The land owner I lease from and I called the Missouri CO, who in turn called the Iowa CO, they went in there together since the land in question is on the IA Border. When they went in there, the guys started running to there trucks like rats. One white suburban got away for the time being, but my neighbors security cameras got his license number when he turned around in my driveway the friday night before season.(Haha) They made one arrest of a guy from Mississippi, outstanding warrants. Caught a guy from Iowa they have been trying to catch for years. Caught a guy with a resident license that is not from Missouri. Thousands of dollars worth of tickets! Wonder what else will happen to those guys? Lose guns? Because I am a fair chase hunter, I hope they throw the book at these guys! Would you do the same if you were in my shoes?

So I guess they do catch a few guys. I will now tell my buddy to get a tag for the deer head he found if he has not already!:eek:
 

OkieKubota

5 year old buck +
Would I? In a heartbeat! Good job!
 

Tree Spud

5 year old buck +
Yes, wouldn't think twice about it.
 

Jim Timber

5 year old buck +
Been trying to get everyone who isn't above board busted for the past 3 years. Looks like I have a new one to the West now as well. :(
 

phil@thesidehill

5 year old buck +
In a hearbeat....I am fortunate enough to have a very good relationship with the local WCO...and I message him frequently about suspicious activity whenever i see it. This September i was out driving around looking for deer when I saw some vultures take off from the golden rod along the road. As i pullled up to where the birds scrattered from there was a deer hoof laying along side road and the fairly fresh carcass of a very large deer....no head, no back straps, and no hind quarters. I took a few pics and sent it to the WCO along with the location. As it it turns out last year he had a large volume of reports of potential poaching in that area. He was able to narrow down the suspects to a father and son "team" with a camp in the area. He was able to get them on several lesser tickets and gave them a strong indication that he was aware of some of their other infractions and that they should consider themselves warned that the next time they see him it isn't going to be as easy. He thought that might straighten them out, but after the deer that I found he was thinking that it might not of done so. Hopefully he gets more evidence to be able to throw the heaviest book on the shelf at them soon!
 

sandbur

5 year old buck +
You did well, John. Anything like that needs to be turned in .
 

Daydreamer

5 year old buck +
Sounds a bit like my day yesterday. Called the cops on a tresspasser that I watched cross the fence line as I was standing in my drive way. Mind you the property that he entered is not mine but I have sole rights to hunt the property. Cops came and milled around their car for about an hour. Talked to the owner of the property for a bit and then left the scene. It's like they were waiting for him to come back to his truck. It's 3:00 in the afternoon, clearly he's not coming out until dark. I figured they told the neighboring property owner to go and get him and bring him back but I guess not. He hunted until dark. Same guy last year shot a doe in the same spot, same situation, and drove his truck all the way back to pick it up. All I found last year was a gut pile. I had a nice little conversation with the neighboring property owner last year but I guess it didn't work. I really hope he doesn't come back today...
 

Turkey Creek

5 year old buck +
Failure to turn in poachers only breeds more poachers.
 

chummer

5 year old buck +
In your situation absolutely. My FIL lets a lot of stuff slide. I try to pressure him a little on it but he always says "not worth getting our camps burnt down over". We have some shady locals around. Last year a guy got caught poaching two nights in a row and was in the bar bragging about it.
 

Jason

5 year old buck +
Normally i would and wouldn't think twice about it.

however, i have a difficult situation. the poacher is my neighbor and a friend. he is an older guy that will shoot pretty much any deer if he needs meat. He says he doesn't buy tags either. He hunts any season too. i don't know how many deer he shoots a year but i would imagine it's multiple. He's only one guy so I don't think it's dozens or anything like that.

The problem is he kind of guards my property. the only road into my property goes right by his house (a dead end logging road). He can see anyone that goes onto the property. He's also helped me get an expensive trail camera that was stolen off my property back. He went over and threatened the guy that stole it (i followed fresh tracks in snow to his house, long story) and low and behold the guy returned it to the tree he took it from (minus the cable, lock, sd card, and case).

He also is trying to shoot the wolves that have recently moved into the property.

So, turning him in is not that easy. i'd love to turn in my other poacher neighbors though. ugh.
 

chummer

5 year old buck +
Normally i would and wouldn't think twice about it.

however, i have a difficult situation. the poacher is my neighbor and a friend. he is an older guy that will shoot pretty much any deer if he needs meat. He says he doesn't buy tags either. He hunts any season too. i don't know how many deer he shoots a year but i would imagine it's multiple. He's only one guy so I don't think it's dozens or anything like that.

The problem is he kind of guards my property. the only road into my property goes right by his house (a dead end logging road). He can see anyone that goes onto the property. He's also helped me get an expensive trail camera that was stolen off my property back. He went over and threatened the guy that stole it (i followed fresh tracks in snow to his house, long story) and low and behold the guy returned it to the tree he took it from (minus the cable, lock, sd card, and case).

He also is trying to shoot the wolves that have recently moved into the property.

So, turning him in is not that easy. i'd love to turn in my other poacher neighbors though. ugh.
That is a tough one. We used to have the same deal. Old timer lived a mile up the road would shoot a deer whenever he needed food. On the plus side he drove the road all day long keeping an eye on everyone's place. It was kind of like the god father. When I bought my place my FIL told me to bring up a 30 pack to give to this guy. He brought me to his house told him the place I bought and gave him the beer. We each brought him a 30 pack every spring when we opened up. Best security system we could of had. He would also tell us all the illegal walleyes, and turkeys he would take. By this point he could hardly walk so he only shot stuff close to the road. He died a couple years ago, I am still waiting for the deer population to go up.
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
Kinda sounds like the shady but necessary deals the CIA is perceived to make. It's a hard situation. I get concerned about retaliation from trespassers as well. It seems to me if someone is dumb enough to trespass in the age of high quality and affordable trail cameras they are probably dumb enough to go back and do something even more stupid.
 

biglakeba$$

5 year old buck +
Yes I would and I have. Turned in my neighbor where I live. One of his deer heads is in the DNR wall of shame that travels around to the fairs and shows all over MN.
I also turned in 2 guys that were bowhunting behind our office building in Plymouth, as well as a guy that was illegally trapping/snaring in that same spot a few years later.
I happened to have an office window looking into the swamp and woods and noticed odd things going on and both of those cases ended with arrests.

However, I do struggle with the idea of turning in someone you know well, friends, family, etc.

Over the years I have known of situations that were illegal, but is it worth the long term implications of turning in a friend or family member? After dealing with turning in my neighbor, he knew it was me after things shook out. I was not a friend of his by any means. He was just one of those creeps that thinks his shit doesnt stink. But it still led to him running his mouth off to other neighbors and trying to paint me as the bad guy. In the end, people know he has his own problems, but it still sucked having to deal with his BS for quite some time after. I will say, the guy now doesnt do much bragging and surely doesnt flaunt like he did years ago.

The degree of the offense is definitely a factor in turning in a friend or family member. Have I said something to people in the past knowing what they did was against the law? Sure. Most things were not overly flagrant. I think we all know people that kept over limits of fish, or kept fish out of season, or things like that. Not the end of the world, but under the letter of the law its not legal.

One example that I really really struggled with was some neighbors at our cabin. They were summer residents and lived in Nebraska. The guy fished a LOT!!! And kept a LOT!!!
I have absolutley no idea how many fish they kept, but he non-chalantly told me how great fishing had been and how he had fish he was bringng back to Nebraska. I dont know the quantity, but it was a LOTTTTT of fish they had frozen over the summer and hauled back to Nebraska with them to give to family, friends and whatever..... They were just the most awesome people on the planet. What the hell do I do?? There was no way I could turn him in. No way.
Now if I had heard through the grapevine about someone doing it, maybe even witnessed it, they I would have no problem making the call..... Sorry,,, kinda hypocritical in a way... I know...
Tipping people close to you is a lot easier said than done.
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
This is a big concern for me when thinking about local co-ops. Each neighbor I get to know has been great the first few times I've met them. I haven't seen any indicators of bad behavior to lead to concern, but I worry about showing all my cards and the habitat projects I've got going on. I'm afraid of making my little 40 a target for opportunistic mid week bow hunters to come around back and poach off my place.

I honestly feel like we put in way more time and effort on our place than anyone nearby. Because of that, I get nervous sharing ALL of the things I've got in the works on my property. "Those guys over there have a dozen apple trees and about 120 other fruit trees and shrubs growing near their food plot."
 
B

bat man

Guest
This is a big concern for me when thinking about local co-ops. Each neighbor I get to know has been great the first few times I've met them. I haven't seen any indicators of bad behavior to lead to concern, but I worry about showing all my cards and the habitat projects I've got going on. I'm afraid of making my little 40 a target for opportunistic mid week bow hunters to come around back and poach off my place.

Because of that, I get nervous sharing ALL of the things I've got in the works on my property. "

In my eyes those are the guys that will tell you when you have problems. My trespassing neighbors to the north were busted because my neighbor NE told me they were in there. I get calls and texts quite a bit about tire tracks etc that 99% of the time are mine. Its another coop benefit. Same scenario MOBuck started the thread with.

If you do not share your successes with the neighbors a cooperative will never achieve its potential.
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
In my eyes those are the guys that will tell you when you have problems. My trespassing neighbors to the north were busted because my neighbor NE told me they were in there. I get calls and texts quite a bit about tire tracks etc that 99% of the time are mine. Its another coop benefit. Same scenario MOBuck started the thread with.

If you do not share your successes with the neighbors a cooperative will never achieve its potential.
That's a great point Brooks. It probably won't work if a person is half in. Maybe a guy just has to wait a few interactions and slowly share as the individual partnerships grow.
 
B

bat man

Guest
That's a great point Brooks. It probably won't work if a person is half in. Maybe a guy just has to wait a few interactions and slowly share as the individual partnerships grow.

I have walked 6 neighboring properties in the past year. Spent hours at each place. Drew up ideas on the laptop and drank beer afterwards. One guy killed his biggest buck ever opening night of rifle by abandoning his best bow spots because they were too high impact to hunt. Another used to see deer first 2 weeks and everything went nocturnal. He abandoned one stand completely, checks cameras via 4 wheeler now instead of walking, and he now sees deer in the remaining spots almost every night and his 40 does not burn out all year. Another has pics of 2 of the biggest deer I have seen in the coop this year because he checked cameras and stayed out until they finally showed up. Another took advice from seminar we held, and no longer lets his crew hunt every inch of his property. His micro sanctuaries are holding deer they see all season long. He is so excited he is buying 12 tons of beet tailings to benefit all the deer in his area.

Most of us take for granted the knowledge we have gained through activities on sites like this. We are miles ahead of all of our neighbors and they appreciate the help, and return the favor by not only policing the borders, but managing for the same objectives. Scratch scratch.

These are some of the same locals who police my pieces and the neighbors know they are watching. The odds of somebody hunting my place midweek go down big time when I am a 'part time' local.
 

MNAaron

5 year old buck +
We have been faced with some tough trespassing and poaching issues in the past. We have had some issues with poaching in the past so the CO set up a poaching sting in our area. We never caught anyone but the word got out we were serious about people poaching on our land. We have called the CO on a couple of situations. If it is simply crossing the fence or something like that and they are neighbors were usually give them a warning and make sure the CO knows about the issue.

I would agree with others that having a COOP is a great way to build better security around your place. We have neighbors in our COOP that watch our property for us. Knowing that people are watching has made a huge difference. I also agree with Brooks you need to be all in if you are doing a COOP. We share photos and walk each other lands to help each other out. It is working since we are killing mature deer every year. Working with your neighbors is the only way to get it done...period in MN.

Now if I could get them to stop cross tagging all those small bucks. I hate when people shoot bucks in MN when they are really in Chicago.
 

tooln

5 year old buck +
MO you did the right thing. I would have done the same. It may come off as harsh but poaching is poaching no matter what the reason. If your a distant property owner and it's a neighbor it can be tough, but it doesn't change the facts. I strongly suspect my Amish neighbor poach's. I have may it clear that I work hard on my property & am trying to better the herd. He also knows I will not tolerate trespassers or poachers.
 
M

MoBuckChaser

Guest
The land owner that these guys had there feeder set up on and owns the land north of my lease and my land, is from Nebraska. He had a outfitter in there for years. Finally with all my bitching to him about the outfitters guys shooting into our land, putting stands up on our land and my lease land, the last 4 years...... he tossed them out. He would not lease to me because a friend of his family wanted to hunt there. So that is the mastermind behind what went down. The land owner from nebraska has not found out yet what happened, but the IA CO said he will find out from him. Because this land is half in Missouri and half in Iowa, they are working very well with the Missouri CO, who is really young. I found out from the Iowa CO, the feeder had lights on it. That may explain some of the shots we heard at 9-10pm, 3 nights in a row. The guy that is in the most trouble, may be in a lot more now. The CO said there are some deer he has in his possession that he does not have tags for. If we/he can prove the poacher shot them in Missouri and he brought them to Iowa.....jail time! No question! This thing may get real big....soon!
 
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