Once again, poachers’ own social media posts get them busted.
An Oregon elk poaching case has led to two Oregon men losing hunting privileges for the next three years and $7,600 in fines.
David Maxfield Jr. and Allen Boal both agreed to plea deals according to Oregon Live.
In taking the deal, Maxfield was hit with misdemeanor poaching charges and faces $7,600 in fines for taking a bull elk with a bow without a permit. Also charged was Allen Boal, who pleaded no contest and avoided fines, but like Maxfield, will face a year of probation.
Maxfield also got 40 hours of community service in the plea deal.
The two men were only busted because of their mistake in posting photos of the crime to social media. Maxfield posted photos of the elk on the Oregon Big Game Hunting Facebook page last August.
But an Oregon State Trooper also saw the photos and upon running Maxfield’s name through a database found the man hadn’t purchased an elk tag. Maxfield later confessed to the crime during an investigation.
Although law enforcement said the men left the elk to rot, a subsequent post by Maxfield to the same Facebook group claimed otherwise. The group still banned Maxfield as a member once the news broke.
This isn’t the first time social media has helped bust poachers. A Washington man was caught after bragging about a mountain lion he shot last December. In Louisiana, another man was busted for poaching a deer and bragging about it online.
And it’s not just limited to hunters. Some over-the-limit fishermen were caught in Texas last February thanks to a post on the site.
One can debate the pros and cons of social media all day. But there’s no doubt it’s helped law enforcement solve some cases that might have gone by unnoticed otherwise.