Discussing Animal Sightings

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Discussing Animal Sightings

Postby Perry » Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:56 pm

I'm curious to hear people's thoughts.... Poachers can easily browse and search these message boards. My opinion is that animal sightings near major trails are not a big deal to discuss because a gunshot would be heard by hikers, and the rangers would show up before anybody could drag the carcass back to their car. So I doubt anybody would try, or if they did they would get locked up and no longer be poaching. But it seems that remote areas are different, as well as areas near gravel roads. It would be easy pickings. Thoughts?
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Postby HikeUp » Wed Sep 26, 2007 10:33 pm

I would think that a critter sighting reported on a hiking forum would be useless to a hunter/poacher. If a sighting is reported at a specific spot, what are the odds that the animal will be there at any given time in the future - bears and big cats have large territories to patrol I understand. Just speculating though - I'm neither a hunter nor someone who has seen any of these critters in the wild.

If there's a sighting near a human made food source (garbage cans, campgrounds, cars, etc.) then that's not really anything new to a hunter. Duh? Also, like Perry said, it would be risky for some one to kill in such an area.
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Postby magikwalt » Thu Sep 27, 2007 6:47 am

Without going into the whole experience of growing up in the South...Poaching tends to fall into 3 groups. Roadside Jacklighters, hunters in illegal areas/non-permitted hunters and poachers who make a living at it.

Jacklighters will drive remote roads and fire trails shining a light looking for eyes.

Hunters "accidently" will wander into a posted area or will take game they aren't licensed for with the majority staying well clear of Federal land.

Poachers making a living at it tend to move into a rather remote area and live there for weeks at a time. They will be after almost anything that lives in the area. They also will be attempting to enter the area and exit the area just once.
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Postby Hikin_Jim » Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:16 am

It's that last category that I worry about. There have been postings about "hunters" in the San Gabriels that have been illegally taking Big Horn Sheep. Apparently the horns have a high value in the "non-traditional" medicinal market.

[warning, opinion to follow] Sorry assed mercenary bastards hunting a threatened species just to saw off their horns so they can make a few bucks. There oughta be a special "intensive care" wing of Hell reserved just for them. :twisted: [/warning]

There. I feel better now.
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Postby magikwalt » Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:04 pm

I am much more worried about hiking into someone's pot farm and never being heard from again.
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Postby zippetydude » Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:02 pm

I don't know, Walt. With your background, a few pot-heads with a .22 would probably find a whole lot more than they were bargaining for. I can hear one of them now, "Don't shoot him! You'll only make him mad!"

z
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Postby spectr17 » Thu Sep 27, 2007 11:32 pm

Poachers do their work anywhere, they don't necessarily crawl way back in the remote to do their dirty work. Some shoot from the road and some hike in to find game, it all depends on what they are after. Most like a fast getaway out of sight.

Some poach so they can brag to their friends and some poach for money. You also have the really sick ones who just like to kill animals and leave them lay. :x

As far as the cops or warden coming after shots being fired, that's usually not the case. I've had to call the warden and sheriffs a few times and it took hours for them to arrive usually, if at all. With the shortage in DFG wardens now all over the state you're lucky to even see a warden in the field.

There is a CALTIP hotline you can call if you do see suspicious activity.

1-888-DFG-CALTIP
(1-888-334-2258)

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/enforcement/caltip.aspx

Like any group, us hunters have unscrupulous folks who tarnish our image and give us a bad name.

As far as the Bighorn Sheep poaching, I'm not so sure it's for medicinal reasons. The horns are extremely valuable since it's really tough to draw a legal tag to shoot a bighorn ram. You can buy a limited bighorn hunt but it will cost you over 100K for those hunts, the most expensive hunts in the world. Hence the horn poaching, some just don't want to wait or have the beans to hang a big ram over their fireplace.

When you can pay an illegal 5K to go get you a bighorn ram locally it's just too tempting to some. The fines the judges levee are a joke and are no deterrent to stop the poaching. When the judges throw the poachers in jail for a couple years and fine the dog poo out of them you will see a dent in the illegal killing of game.
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Postby AlanK » Fri Sep 28, 2007 7:40 am

zippetydude wrote:I don't know, Walt. With your background, a few pot-heads with a .22 would probably find a whole lot more than they were bargaining for. I can hear one of them now, "Don't shoot him! You'll only make him mad!"z


Police recently raided a sizeable marijuana farm in the Verdugo Mountains. They found guns, etc at the site. These are not kids with .22s -- and that was just the Verdugos. I'm sure that even Walt could be harmed by a crew armed with assault weapons. :cry:

That said, I won't go shootin' Walt with a .22. :)
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Postby magikwalt » Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:11 am

If you find a crop of pot growing out there you are best advised to stop, turn around and move at a high rate of speed out of the area. No one out there is hanging out with a .22 for sure. Its a real issue for those of us that like to head off trail.

The only weapon I carry on the trail is my brain. Nothing in my background tells me I want anything to do with someone's cash crop. I'm out there for the exercise and fun.
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Postby Hikin_Jim » Fri Sep 28, 2007 10:13 pm

May I mention, Walt, that your photo is a very good likeness.

Yeah, I'd get the heck outta dodge ASAP (or sooner) if I blundered into a "farm" in the woods. Those guys make $$$$$$$'s off this stuff and aren't afraid to use the AK 47's that they often carry. Does kind of piss me off that I have to watch my back on XC routes. I don't think they're up at higher elevations though like up on top of the tram or in the SG wilderness. At least I hope not.
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