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View Full Version : This is the kind of "teeth" we need here in CA for poaching


Hunter
12-14-2006, 9:32 AM
Here in CA (like most states) poaching and other game code violations really lack any "teeth" when it comes to fines. Most are in the sub $1000 and even limited at $500 in cases.

I just received this email from the AZ Game and Fish Dept, I wish CA Legislature would take notice and up our fine limits.


Arizona Game and Fish Department

NEWS RELEASE
For immediate release Dec. 14, 2006

Show Low couple assessed $16,000 for poaching trophy elk and deer
New law on the books allows Game and Fish Commission to employ stiffer penalties



PHOENIX – A Show Low couple convicted of multiple violations relating to the poaching of a trophy-class elk and a mule deer became the first violators to feel the effects of a new law on the books allowing the Arizona Game and Fish Commission to employ tougher penalties, especially for repeat or gross offenders.

John D. Polzin was civilly assessed a total of $16,000: $8,000 for the loss of a 6x6 bull elk and $8,000 for the loss of a 7x5 mule deer buck to the state. In order to quantify the loss of the trophy animals to the State of Arizona, the Game and Fish Department enlisted the help of an official appraiser.

In addition, the Game and Fish Commission revoked the hunting, fishing and trapping privileges of John Polzin for 10 years and Shelly L. Polzin for five years (the maximum possible for each case). The Polzins must also successfully complete an Arizona hunter education course prior to having their license privileges restored in this state.

But the commission’s action to revoke their licenses has more far-reaching implications for the Polzins. Arizona is a member of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact with 22 other states. For the Polzins, that means they will not be able to legally hunt in any of those states until their license privileges are restored in Arizona.

The action by the Game and Fish Commission in the Polzin case would not have been possible had it not been for the newly-bolstered wildlife law, sponsored by Rep. Jerry Weiers, R-Glendale, which was passed by the Arizona Legislature and signed by Gov. Janet Napolitano in May of 2006. This new law, which took effect in September, creates a system of civil assessments and license revocations based on the number of convictions an individual has for unlawfully taking or wounding wildlife.

The new law also allows the Game and Fish Commission to permanently revoke or suspend a person’s hunting privileges for various offenses, including unlawfully taking trophy or endangered species.
“In the past, the Game and Fish Commission could only revoke a violator’s hunting, fishing and trapping licenses for a maximum of five years, no matter how severe or egregious the case…not any more. Now when we have serious offenses, we can employ stiffer penalties,” says Commissioner Mike Golightly of Flagstaff.

Wildlife Manager Robert Birkland, the investigating officer in the case, says the Game and Fish Commission sent a strong message that Arizona’s wildlife is a valuable asset owned by the people of Arizona. “Hopefully the new law will serve as a deterrent to potential violators,” he says.

The commission’s actions were made possible because the couple had already been found guilty by the courts. John D. and Shelly L. Polzin of Show Low were indicted by a Navajo County grand jury for a total of 44 charges, but entered a plea agreement last spring where the charges were reduced.

John Polzin pleaded guilty to five charges, including taking a mule deer buck without valid license or tag, possessing an unlawfully taken mule deer buck, obtaining a 2005 resident hunting and fishing license by fraud, taking a bull elk without valid license and tag, and possessing an unlawfully taken bull elk. Shelly Polzin pleaded guilty to three charges, including possessing an unlawfully taken mule deer buck, obtaining a 2006 resident hunting and fishing license by fraud, and possessing an unlawfully taken bull elk.

eckerph
12-14-2006, 10:46 AM
When i lived in New Mexico the penalty for Deer and antelope was $250, Elk and mountain lion was $500 and they also had these funky looking sheep and an Ibex looking creature those were $1,000. pretty lame penalty's if you ask me. poaching was a pretty casual affair, I came across several people while shooting on BLM land and when i asked if they were shooting their response was "nah, were poachin"! pretty crazy.

Hunter
12-14-2006, 11:17 AM
When i lived in New Mexico the penalty for Deer and antelope was $250, Elk and mountain lion was $500 and they also had these funky looking sheep and an Ibex looking creature those were $1,000. pretty lame penalty's if you ask me. poaching was a pretty casual affair, I came across several people while shooting on BLM land and when i asked if they were shooting their response was "nah, were poachin"! pretty crazy.


Exactly right and it's just about that way here in CA. Take some guy looking at spending $3-4K for a trophy elk hunt vs shooting one out of season with the downside only getting fined $1000.........

This is why I support measures like those AZ has imposed. Two years ago I witness 3 guys unloading their shotguns off the road into a snow goose grind. When the smoke cleared there were 64 birds on the ground, mostly winged. They saw us and immediatly took off but the Highway Patrol and the area Warden were able to locate them within 30 minutes after a few well placed phone calls. A few weeks later they got fined $1000 when they went to court over it. The maximum. :mad:

Since they had taken off without picking up any birds, the warden could not take their hunting gear or vehicle, as there were no illegal birds in it when they got caught. If there had been, then they could have gotten hit a little more in the pocket book and been taking the bus!

eckerph
12-14-2006, 5:40 PM
Since they had taken off without picking up any birds, the warden could not take their hunting gear or vehicle, as there were no illegal birds in it when they got caught. If there had been, then they could have gotten hit a little more in the pocket book and been taking the bus!


That kinda stuff really gets my goat, poaching is bad but when you wound and wast game without even giving a crap is worse. One night on the news ( New Mexico) some a**hat shot three does and a fawn in some guys drive way in Fort Sumner ( where billy the kid is) and just left them there for the guy to find on his way out to work.

grammaton76
12-14-2006, 6:42 PM
One night on the news ( New Mexico) some a**hat shot three does and a fawn in some guys drive way in Fort Sumner ( where billy the kid is) and just left them there for the guy to find on his way out to work.

Are you sure he shot them because he just wanted to shoot 'em?

Prolific deer populations can be a major pest in some suburbs... he might have just "had it" with the deer eating his rose bushes.

eckerph
12-14-2006, 7:34 PM
Prolific deer populations can be a major pest in some suburbs... he might have just "had it" with the deer eating his rose bushes.


FT.Sumner is out in the middle of nowhere, I cant remember the actual population but its very small and very rural. Its where Billy the kid was shot by Sheriff Pat Garrett (supposedly) and buried (supposedly) so their aren't many rose bushes there to be eaten. lol:D

anotherone
12-14-2006, 7:35 PM
They should give higher fines a shot. I've seen some poachers this year that just burned me up. I saw some folks using a rotoduck back in October on BLM land! I also saw two guys on a refuge shoot 15 Sprig!!!! That's 13 over the limit :eek: !!! It's a-holes like them that have got the limit down to just 1 on Sprig in the first place!