Thursday, June 27, 2013

Poaching as a way of life

Earlier today I came across this article in the Idaho State Journal. It tells the utterly sad and yet completely believable story of a serial poacher and his latest bout with the law.  From the story:
"The charges against Pierce stated that he had illegally killed a number of ducks and geese with a .22 caliber rifle both during the legal take season and after the waterfowl season closure.... Some of the geese recovered at Pierce’s residence were extremely rare, naturally occurring only once in tens of thousands of birds."
His penalty?  Loss of hunting privileges for 15 years.  While this sounds severe to people like you and me, my guess is that it amounts to doing him a favor. This is a guy who takes game out of season, with an unapproved weapon, with a history of game violations dating back to 1998 when he was 15 years old.  Is he really going to let something like the lack of a license deter him?  All they've done is save him the $60 each year that he paid for it. It would've served the state better to make him buy the license but arrest him if he was caught using it.

Wait, they did fine him $1175. Yeah. He could find enough crap in his garage to pawn and pay that by Monday.

My prediction? They'll end up catching him again, maybe he'll go to jail for a month and then get out with a stern "Next time you're caught you'll do the full term, I promise," and then he'll pick up and move to another state and do it all over again. The most pathetic aspect of this tale is that after 15 years he still sucks at it. Yes, he will get caught again.

Here's the line that really got me:
"The system worked in this case exactly as it should have..."
The word they left out was finally. A well-functioning system wouldn't have let it get this far.

Ok, it's easy for me to sit here and armchair quarterback a judge I've never met without offering any suggestions, so I'll throw out what I feel is an appropriate penalty for a serial poacher:  make him live in Manhattan (New York, not Kansas) for 15 years. And tell him that rat season is only open on July 4.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Roaring Silence

Been a little quiet here for the last few weeks but hey, it's that time of year. When the grass is growing faster than I can cut it, bird hunting is about the furthest thing from my mind. I know, this is the time of year to do your trip planning and your gear repair and your dog training and read your books and where was I going with this? Motivation is a bit hard to come by this time of year.

This might be called the season of "ought" as in I ought to be shopping for another dog, I ought to be getting out at first light to run the dog I have, I ought to be at the range working on my crossing shots, I ought to just shut up and do something productive.

Instead I'm just sitting here with a colossal case of apathy.

Seventy seven days to the opener.  Nineteen more til Fall.