It's one thing to shoot a buck your neighbor has had his eyes on for a while. It's another thing to poach and shoot it on his land.
One man's trophy is another man's trash. Only in this case, one man's trophy turned out to be another man's ticket to jail.
Ronald Roe of Kent County, Maryland, was found guilty on trespassing and poaching of a 17-point whitetail buck. The buck, scoring 212 7/8 total inches, was a potential state record.
According to the Maryland DNR Roe killed the buck on his neighbors property. At the beginning of the story, Roe told his neighbor he had shot the buck on his own property and that it had ran onto his neighbor's land. Joseph Bogdan, the neighbor, had been watching this buck for years targeting him with his trail cameras.
According to the report, the case began back in September when officers were notified of a suspected case of illegal hunting involving a large buck. As the officers arrived the investigation lead to finding two bait piles, which are legal in Maryland, on Bogdan's property. Adjacent to land owned by Bogdan was land owned by Roe, who had placed a tree stand on the property lines. The officer also found a blood trail leading from the bait to the spot where a buck had been field dressed.
The anti-poaching law took effect June, and Roe is now the third person convicted under the new law.
The new law, according to the report, "requires judges to order restitution and community service in cases of deer poaching. The monetary penalty is based on the measurement of the antlers scored on the Boone and Crockett Club system. A buck with antlers scoring 150 or fewer points requires restitution of $2,000 to $5,000 and 80 hours of community service. A buck with antlers scoring more than 150 points requires restitution of $5,000 to $10,000 and 80 hours of community service. A deer without antlers requires restitution of $300 to $500 and 40 hours of community service."
The district judge sentenced Roe to pay $5,000 in restitution and perform 80 hours of community service. Roe also received a $500 fine and three years of unsupervised probation. His hunting privileges were suspended for two years.
More and more cases of poaching are occurring each year but with the help of the community and harsher penalties, poaching could begin to decrease.
What do you think? Was the penalty harsh enough? How would you feel if you were the land owner who had been targeting this buck for years only to find it illegally taken by your neighbor? Think he will get invited over for the block party at thanksgiving this fall?
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