Two major organizations in the outdoor industry are funding research to find new ways to deter poachers.
As announced on the Boone & Crockett Club website, the oldest conservation organization in North America is teaming up with partners at the American sporting optics maker Leupold & Stevens to determine the best ways to deter poaching.
The research project, dubbed “Poach and Pay,” will use in-depth interviews and surveys amongst hunters and community members, as well as wildlife law enforcement officials, to weigh opinions on fines and punishments for poaching. They’ll then publish their findings and recommendations in a report to be distributed to state agency directors in the summer of 2017.
“Our hunting heritage is at risk every time an animal is poached and it is time to get serious about dealing with this on-going problem,” said Leupold’s president and CEO, Bruce Pettet. “The Boone and Crockett Club’s important research is the first step towards developing new tools to deter poaching.”
Since many states already use B&C measurements and scores to determine what is considered an illegally harvested animal or not, it’s only fitting that B&C spearheads this research.
Some would also agree that the fines for poaching haven’t increased in congruence with the costs of law enforcement and conservation efforts.
“Hunters and poachers are not brothers. Hunters support conservation and work to protect wildlife. Poaching is a crime and was established as such at the earliest stages of the conservation movement,” Boone and Crockett Club president Morrie Stevens said in the news release. “For far too long, being convicted of poaching a deer or another big game animal has been akin to getting a speeding ticket in terms of the severity of punishment. Hunters tell us they want to see punishments equal to the crimes.”