Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Rural landowners can take steps to limit poaching

Poaching is usually considered an act of trespassing with the intent to take an animal and can be more than just a nuisance for rural landowners. "Poaching is a nationwide epidemic," Jonathan Goode writes for LandThink. "Missouri reported 2,000 arrests for deer poaching in 2009 alone." Poachers can present a safety hazard to landowners in addition to simply hunting animals where they are not invited. Rural owners aren't helpless, though, as they can take a number of steps to prevent poaching on their land, Goode writes.

Poachers often look for unused land, often owned by out-of-towners. Goode advises giving the local game warden or other law enforcement officer permission to hunt your land if you are an out-of-town owner, so poachers know law enforcement personnel may be around. Landowners should not assume game wardens will catch poachers as their jurisdiction usually includes vast tracts of land. While landowners are more likely to encounter poachers than wardens, they should do everything possible to avoid confrontation, Goode writes, noting "generally poachers are armed, and they are already breaking the law, so they may resort to violence to avoid capture." (Read more)

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