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Poached Deer


Bobby Bass

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Yesterday afternoon I went to a small out of the way lake in northern Minnesota. I had to answer the call of nature and stepped off the landing area to the woods where I found what appeared to be a young buck that had been killed and tossed off into the brush. The horns had been removed and the backstraps taken and the rest left to rot. From the signs it looked to have been just recently done, perhaps the previous night. A pretty disgusting sight. My fishing partner was going to contact the local CO as he lives in the area, but the damage has been done. What a waste.

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Are you sure it wasn't simply a bow and arrow killed deer? The season is open.

Obviously, wasting everything but the back straps is foolish, but that's really up to the hunter.

Before I got too excited I'd make sure it wasn't a legal kill. Now, the question of how the carcass was disposed of becomes an issue.

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penalties have to be increased for these thugs. people who do this have no ethics at all and makes you wonder what else they are up to. good luck.

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I saw a poached deer last year too. A nice BIG doe with a headshot. 20 yards from the road. It was last day of season and i didn't want to waste any time talking to DNR about something they wouldn't be able to solve, so i went on with my business. Makes me sick though. I'd of loved to have taken such a nice big doe. Possibly night time shootings otherwise i don't know why someone wouldn't have harvested the doe.

This buck though, disgusts me to think someone would take the backstraps only. Wanton waste IMO. The rest of the deer tastes amazing as well!

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We deal with stuff like this every year, unfortunately, and most likely it's the same dudes littering our ditches, filling my ditches with old tv sets,mattresses, etc. Then you have the game hog poachers who enough is never enough, you shoot until the season is over tags or not. Either way, it's wrong period. Here's to their gun jamming on em next time.

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Not to start an argument here, but do you leave your tag on the deer carcass when you dispose of it? I don't. I keep the tag, next to the freezer, where I store the meat.

Again, poaching is despicable. I don't disagree, but it would be prudent to be first sure if it was a legally harvested animal, or not, before calling the authorities.

If there is an arrow entry wound in a vital area I think it would be safe to assume it was a legally harvested animal, and the guy or gal who shot it were just a little lazy about how they 1) butchered the animal appropriately and 2) how they disposed of the carcass.

You'd be astonished at how many whole (fully intact) carcasses of deer are simply thrown in the garbage every year following firearms season. It's a huge problem for our landfills.

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No this was no legal kill, the animal was not gutted and where is was found it was meant not to be found. The landing is perhaps a hundred yards off a black topped highway and the parking area is at right angles to the highway. Someone could and did make quick work of the animal and would not have to been worried about being seen. Just taking the backstraps is pure wanton waste of the rest of the animal. Also just taking the backstraps makes me think it was a someone who knew about butchering a deer which to me means they have done it before and no doubt will do it again.

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Was there a bullet hole in the deer? Could it have just been hit by a car/truck and the person took some meat? Not that poachers aren't out there but it might not have been as bad as it looked.

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I watch a show called wild justice that follows CO's in California. They follow up on cases just like this. Sometimes they actually solve them. I know it's "reality" television and all, but I still would have called.

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Better to call a C.O. and have them investigate than to NOT call and never have ANYTHING SOLVED.. kind of like the old adage the only stupid question is one that goes unasked.

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For arguments sake let's say it was a legal shot deer. The way it was disposed is still illegal because they did not use the whole animail. It is Wanton Waste and illegal.

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We have picks and that's why so many don't call when the CO's are like in baseball 0 fer or you call and it's like you're bothering the CO, so you don't. I think like on my end I simply need to help the CO out more by monitoring my gravel road where I'm the only lonely house, keep vigilant and have the CO's number on speed dial and not be tardy calling after the fact, call during the fact, now that the velvet's gone it's game time, trust me nothing worse than seeing a trophy buck you hoped to pursue laying with a v cut out where that rack used to be, likely a buck a guy has passed on for a year or 2. I'm not saying earlier in my post that's the right thing to do but tons of folk don't want conflict in their life right or wrong.

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so during your grunt session and examining the deer, you notice the antlers missing and no backstraps, but you never inspected how it was killed and are jumping to the conclusion it was poached? or did you see a bullet hole or something else that you think it was poached?

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The deer was down a incline from a trail leading off the landing.

The deer was perhaps ten feet down resting on it side and belly, back facing up the incline.

The backstraps were clearly removed and visible from my angle as was a small bloody spot where the base of the antler was removed. No I did not climb down the hill to do a CSI on the animal.

My partner did place a call to the CO for the area and is still waiting for a return call, He did give an exact location of the animal.

This animal died by unknown means but there is only one way the backstraps were removed and that is by a person. My point is, What a waste.

At the very least it is wanton waste, it is suspicious because even if it was road kill it had to be brought to the dumping area. If it was arrowed it should have been tagged and harvested.

He went back today and took some pictures but the deer has now been torn apart, the pictures are graphic and do not lend themselves to the posting guidelines on this site.

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call the local CO......period

+1.

A phone call takes 30 seconds. If you don't have their number you can easily find it here: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/officerpatrolareas/index.html

I think MN has something like 70 COs across the entire state. There is no way they can properly do their job without our help.

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Bobby, great post IMO. I have come across a couple poached (or what I thought were poached for the guys saying the opposite)and didn't know what to do. I didn't have time to sit and wait for a warden..and figured what are the chances they will catch the a/ hole who did it. I wasn't going to dig in and see what killed them, (think about the smell guys) but antlers gone and backstraps gone. I will, from now on call TIP, every time. Add it to your cell phone contacts.

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I think that's simply all we can do is be vigilant, get your areas CO on speed dial, be visible when possible meaning I think I don't know for sure but a truck parked on my gravel last fall right at dark but light enough to see yet so I kept walking shotgun in hand wondering why he cut his lights, what is he or they up to, about Nov.1st or 2nd after Halloween but before opening day, anyway and once they saw me they floored it out of there and I've never seen that truck since ? Poachers ? Drugs ? Dumping garbage ? Who knows until they fire what is really the deal if they're poaching or not, be alert, be safe, and hopefully one day they get what they deserve.

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Are you sure it wasn't simply a bow and arrow killed deer? The season is open.

Obviously, wasting everything but the back straps is foolish, but that's really up to the hunter.

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At the very least it is wanton waste, it is suspicious because even if it was road kill it had to be brought to the dumping area. If it was arrowed it should have been tagged and harvested.

He went back today and took some pictures but the deer has now been torn apart, the pictures are graphic and do not lend themselves to the posting guidelines on this site.

First, I hate poaching. Period.

But there are far too many variables for you to jump to a conclusion that this deer was poached without more evidence, or that it was "at the very least wanton waste." You admit that you didn't even check to see if it had a bullet wound. It is possible that this deer was a road kill, and the person who hit it did more than 98% of others who hit deer and actually took some of the meat and the antlers. Lets be honest, a great majority of people who hit a deer with a car don't do anything with the deer. I'd guess that it is more likely this deer wasn't poached, than it was poached based on the information you provided. Poachers do what they do for a few reasons, 1. the thrill; 2. the antlers; 3. the meat. Based on what you've described, it doesn't seem like it was just for thrills (they took antlers and meat), it doesn't seem like it was poached for the antlers (they took the time to take meat, and it was a small buck); and it doens't seem like it was poached for food (they only took the back straps). It seems just as likely to me that someone who hunts hit a deer, knew there would be lots of bleeding and damage to the quarter(s), knew it would take time to butcher, and figured "what the heck, its dead, I might as well take some of the best meat and the antlers".

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Poached seems likely, if you read the initial post, I wouldn't dump a road killed deer at a public access area for you all to enjoy the smell in the days to come, but certainly could be anything.

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  • 4 weeks later...

First, I hate poaching. Period.

But there are far too many variables for you to jump to a conclusion that this deer was poached without more evidence, or that it was "at the very least wanton waste." You admit that you didn't even check to see if it had a bullet wound. It is possible that this deer was a road kill, and the person who hit it did more than 98% of others who hit deer and actually took some of the meat and the antlers. Lets be honest, a great majority of people who hit a deer with a car don't do anything with the deer. I'd guess that it is more likely this deer wasn't poached, than it was poached based on the information you provided. Poachers do what they do for a few reasons, 1. the thrill; 2. the antlers; 3. the meat. Based on what you've described, it doesn't seem like it was just for thrills (they took antlers and meat), it doesn't seem like it was poached for the antlers (they took the time to take meat, and it was a small buck); and it doens't seem like it was poached for food (they only took the back straps). It seems just as likely to me that someone who hunts hit a deer, knew there would be lots of bleeding and damage to the quarter(s), knew it would take time to butcher, and figured "what the heck, its dead, I might as well take some of the best meat and the antlers".

+1000

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I can only hope a CO has been listening at dark lately in my area, way too many lone rifle shots this last weekend late, some after legal shooting light since I've been goose hunting and these last 2 evenings have been calm, sounds like a few guys are getting a jump on the season, definite high powered rifle reports. Hoping they got skunk issues like me but I wouldn't use my rifle on them, 12 gauge with whatever lead is left over from the 80's.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

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