What can be done with poachers on game cams??

CGWVU

Formerly 'Colson Glover'
Joined
Jul 21, 2019
Messages
54
Location
West Virginia
Hi all,

So if you followed any of my recent posts, you know that we’re trying to start buck management on our property of 600 acres in central WV. Well one of the main issues is that we have poachers moving onto our property and killing bucks while we aren’t there (property is around 1.5 hrs from where I reside). Well over the past few nights we have pictures of some guy at 3:55 am on our property with a rifle and a night vision scope. We know exactly who it is, confronted him, and he claims he was “hunting coyotes”. My question is: is there anything that can be done? Is a picture from a game cam enough to give to a game warden?
Thanks!
 

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FEENIX

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Messages
15,220
Location
Great Falls, MT
Hi all,

So if you followed any of my recent posts, you know that we’re trying to start buck management on our property of 600 acres in central WV. Well one of the main issues is that we have poachers moving onto our property and killing bucks while we aren’t there (property is around 1.5 hrs from where I reside). Well over the past few nights we have pictures of some guy at 3:55 am on our property with a rifle and a night vision scope. We know exactly who it is, confronted him, and he claims he was “hunting coyotes”. My question is: is there anything that can be done? Is a picture from a game cam enough to give to a game warden?
Thanks!

That sucks! If I understand the situation correctly, the person is caught trespassing but not the act of poaching. In either case, I think it is worth going to the game warden to at least initiate and file your concern. Who knows, they might set up their own trap. I hate poachers. Good luck and I hope you'll find a resolve.
 

26Reload

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2016
Messages
2,538
Location
SE Idaho
Trespassing gun in hand is a criminal offense of its own...
Poaching means any illegal taking of a game animal or fur bearing critter..last time I saw a coyote it was marketable....
Probable cause....guys on camera carrying a firearm..carcus's on ground...dna check for results of meat or heads at his place....
Seems purdy cut and dry...
No hunting signs apply to anyone 'not' allowed on property....Not his property..trespassing is a clear step for an officer to visit.....
 

Tex_Hunter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Messages
234
Well over the past few nights we have pictures of some guy at 3:55 am on our property with a rifle and a night vision scope. We know exactly who it is, confronted him, and he claims he was “hunting coyotes”.
If it's private property it shouldn't matter what he was hunting right? Or does this guy have right of way on the property and you just dont want him shooting bucks?

If the latter, then this isnt really poaching.

If the former, then as a landowner I wouldnt want anyone who didnt have my express permission walking around on my property, period, armed or otherwise. So yes, I would 100% give this info to the game warden. They'll almost certainly want to have a word with the guy even if they cant legally charge him with anything. The encounter alone should hopefully leave an impression on him and make him reconsider his adventures. Post the property, build a fence if you need to in order to dissuade future incursions.
 

rammac

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2010
Messages
216
Location
SW Montana
Seriously man, it's just not that hard

According to the law
WEST VIRGINIA CODE
CHAPTER 20. NATURAL RESOURCES.
ARTICLE 2. WILDLIFE RESOURCES.
§20-2-7. Hunting, trapping or fishing on lands of another; damages and restitution.
(a) It is unlawful for any person to shoot, hunt, fish or trap upon the fenced, enclosed or posted lands of another person; or to peel trees or timber, build fires or do any other act in connection with shooting, hunting, fishing or trapping on the lands without written permission in his or her possession from the owner, tenant or agent of the owner.
(b) Any person who hunts, traps or fishes on land without the permission of the owner, tenant or agent of the owner is guilty of a misdemeanor and, liable to the owner or person suffering damage for all costs and damages for: (1) Killing or injuring any domestic animal, fowl, or private game farm animal; (2) cutting, destroying or damaging any bars, gates or fence or any part of the property; or (3) leaving open any bars or gates resulting in damage to the property.
(c) Restitution of the value of the property or animals injured, damaged or destroyed shall be required upon conviction pursuant to sections four and five, article eleven-a, chapter sixty-one of this code. The restitution ordered for private game farm animals shall be equivalent to or greater than the replacement values for deer listed in section five-a in this article.
(d) The owner, tenant or agent of the owner may arrest a person violating this section and immediately take him or her before a magistrate. The owner, tenant or agent of the owner is vested with the powers and rights of a natural resources police officer for these purposes. The officers charged with the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter shall enforce the provisions of this section if requested to do so by the owner, tenant or agent of the owner, but not otherwise.
(e) The provisions of subsections (b) and (d) of this section related to criminal penalties and being subject to arrest are inapplicable to a person whose dog, without the person's direction or encouragement, travels onto the fenced, enclosed or posted land of another in pursuit of an animal or wild bird: Provided, That the pursuit does not result in the taking of game from the fenced, enclosed or posted land and does not result in the killing of domestic animals or fowl or other damage to or on the fenced, enclosed or posted land.

If you're so active in trying to manage the game on your land then how could you not understand how to look up the law and call the DNR?

Notice that the law states that the owner can arrest a person violating this section of the law and take him before the magistrate. The owner is vested with the powers and rights of a natural resources police officer for these purposes.

Call your DNR enforcement branch and ask for clarification on how to enforce your legal rights against this guy.
 

Rebellare

Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Messages
16
Location
Marietta, GA
Exactly. Just take action.

"§20-2-7. Hunting, trapping or fishing on lands of another; damages and restitution.
(a) It is unlawful for any person to shoot, hunt, fish or trap upon the fenced, enclosed or posted lands of another person; or to peel trees or timber, build fires or do any other act in connection with shooting, hunting, fishing or trapping on the lands without written permission in his or her possession from the owner, tenant or agent of the owner."
 

Tex_Hunter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Messages
234
Land is posted. We do not have any legal proof of poaching on camera, however we know it’s going on as gut piles have been found, carcasses with the head removed, word of mouth stories etc
This reply posted while I was typing up my original response. If this is true, I'm not sure why you are asking us what to do.... it shouldn't matter what he was hunting, the fact that he was there at all is a crime in and of itself. The game camera establishes that he was where he shouldn't have been, and with a gun no less... period

Call the game warden and the police and give both of them your pictures, not sure why you are waiting around on this unless there's something else you aren't telling us on here.
 

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