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Deer Poaching on Audubon Land Leads to New Law, Bigger Fines

A couple of winters ago, Andy Rzeznikiewicz, who manages the 702-acre sanctuary at Connecticut Audubon Society's Center at Pomfret, found the remains of several deer that had been shot and killed.

A couple of winters ago, Andy Rzeznikiewicz, who manages the 702-acre sanctuary at Connecticut Audubon Society's Center at Pomfret, found the remains of several deer that had been shot and killed.

We don’t permit hunting on our sanctuaries, of course, and in any case deer season was over. That portion of the sanctuary was near a neighboring house, and Andy concluded that the neighbor himself had shot the deer. A conservation officer visited and the neighbor admitted it had been him: he had killed several deer out of season on a wildlife sanctuary that had been posted “no hunting.”

His fine? $100. And his gun was given back to him. Andy called it a slap on the wrist.

“Just beyond where he was shooting the deer, we have a public hiking trail,” he said. “Someone could have been hurt. The poacher asked the conservation officer if it was the woman walking her dog five minutes after he shot the deer who reported him. That’s how close we were to a potential injury.”

Last week, thanks to Andy and to a number of members of the state General Assembly, Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed into law an act that makes poaching Criminal Trespass in the third degree, a Class B misdemeanor. A person is guilty if he or she is hunting, trapping or fishing on posted property.

And it significantly increases the penalty, to a minimum of $500 or a maximum of $1,000 – a fine that is far more appropriate to the crime than $100.

Connecticut Audubon Society is not anti-hunting. But our wildlife sanctuaries are just that – sanctuaries where wildlife is protected. We send our thanks to the General Assembly and to Governor Malloy for enacting this important law. You can read the bill here.

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Ping Gwo June 20, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Quit getting in the way of biologists and environmental professionals doing their jobs. Don't let your childhood Disney cartoons of anthropomorphized deer color your thinking and judgment.
Ping Gwo June 20, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Tom, CT is a "Shall Issue" state of carry permits, the only type of pistol permit issued by CT. You are a loose canon. Your anger and rhetoric do not reflect well on yourself, and we whom others would paint with the same brush. If you can't say anything positive, don't say it at all. Thanks.
Ping Gwo June 20, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Sorry, Tom. I've gotten used to staying home. Too many ticks during early bow season. Too many anti-hunting nut jobs harassing me or vandalizing my car during gun season. Not enough deer during late bow and muzzle-loader season. Too much liability, if God forbid, a wounded deer should walk a ways and drop dead in front of a child or an anti-hunter or on their property. Darn Liberals are so delicate and easy to traumatize, and so quick to legal action that I can not afford. Good luck in your hunting and lobbying efforts. Remember this old martial arts saying, "The defeat of an enemy requires his agreement." So, don't antagonize the enemy, win them over.
Ping Gwo June 20, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Darn right. I've seen them tiny little buggers, but didn't know they were chiggers. ARGH! I'm glad I'm just a blood-thirsty ex-hunter who kills everything that tries to crawl on me and make me into a meal!
Keith June 26, 2012 at 11:32 AM
look Glen...It's apparent that you don't believe in harming animals...that's fine...I have kids who are like that and several friends who don't sleep for days because they run over a squirrel. I am a hunter...all types....bow, shotgun, rifle and muzzle...it makes me sick to hear stories of idiots out there poaching. It makes us law-abiding hunters look bad too. But the sad fact is Glen, that if we are not allowed to hunt the deer and keep their numbers in check, thousands of deer will be killed by road strikes due to over population and if we have more bad winters, they will slowly starve to death....a horrible way to see an animal die. I've seen a carcass of a deer that starved to death and it was not pretty. I respect your believe in not wanting to harm animals, but don't try to take away my belief in hunting.

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