Poaching: A new plague of the West
Hello and good morning from Lander, WY - the headquarters of Wind River Outdoor Company. On most days the staff of WROC are busy showing people gear, photos and swapping stories of the "one that got away". However, today is a bit different. Today the tone is more serious and somber, due to an issue that is plaguing the west. Above and below are photos of two current poaching cases from the past week that are being investigated by Wyoming Game & Fish. In one case, a Moose was shot and left to rot near Louis Lake (near Lander, WY). The other happened near Pinedale, WY where a bull Elk was shot, partially cleaned and then left. It is believed the person shot the bull in a limited quota area in which he/she was not permitted to hunt.
Hunting in Wyoming has a long and glorious history. Wyoming's plentiful game and outstanding landscape have consistently provided great experiences for hunters for many years. However, the trends of poaching and hazing of wildlife are growing almost exponentially, across not only Wyoming but also the West in general. Outdoor people and hunters must come together and do our part in stemming this disturbing trend. Some people think that poaching is OK and there is little impact to others, but I am here to say that this is categorically false. The wildlife of Wyoming belong to the state and with outdoor recreation quickly becoming a huge industry in Wyoming, wildlife issues matter and poaching is nothing more than stealing from the citizens of Wyoming. Wildlife and the vistas of Wyoming are what countless people and businesses make their living off of via guiding, operating tours, etc. and I would venture a guess that many people live in Wyoming purely because of the outdoor opportunities this great state provides. When wildlife (and our scenic) resources are compromised, we are doing nothing more than killing the Golden Goose and sealing the downward spiral of not only our love of the outdoors but also our state.
If anyone knows anything about these crimes please step up and say something to the authorities so that we can help turn the tide on this type of behavior. We, as hunters and citizens of this great state, owe it to our fellow hunters, citizens of Wyoming and more importantly, to the animals that we love and cherish. These animals are worth a great deal to the residents and businesses in the state of Wyoming and simply letting them rot in the woods is simply wrong of us to allow. Please "SHARE" this post and make people aware that unless we step up then we accept this behavior and in some small way accept what is happening. People talk and eventually someone hears something so please, please relay this information on to the authorities. I beg each and every person to take five minutes and read the reports (in the links below). If there is any information that you can give to the authorities in helping to solve these crimes, call the Wyoming Game & Fish Poaching Hotline at 1-877-943-3847 (or 1-307-777-4330 for out-of-state calls).
Finally, to the people responsible for these two cases. I hope this post somehow finds you. When you pulled the trigger and harvested those animals you had a responsibility to own your behavior regardless whether it was a mistake or blatant disregard. Be a person of integrity, honor the heritage of hunting, and turn yourself in - today! This sport, this state and more importantly, these animals, deserve better.