My DS had a very interesting adventurous weekend. We were on a backpacking volunteer trip at a local wildlife preserve. Our goal was to remove invasive plant species in some rugged canyon areas of the preserve. Our trip happened to coincide with opening day for deer season on nearby National Forest land. Well, the manager drove us up to the "trail head" and notice a truck that looked suspiciously like a hunters truck so he decided to come down with us a little ways to check for hunters and let them know they were on preserve land. Well, the manager and one of the founders of our volunteer group got hot on their trail and found part of their group - 3 men and 2 teens.
It was pretty early in the morning when we started and their trail seemed to meander aimlessly - not like real skilled hunters, plus when we found them they were being so loud we thought there is no way they were serious hunters - and we heard no gunshots in the hours it took to find them. The manager figured (or maybe he just hoped) that they probably weren't that skilled and might have given up by the time we found them. They were asked to leave and seemed pretty cooperative so we went along our way while the manager tried to track them back up canyon.
A while later we found 2 hidden deer heads, 2 separate gut piles and 4 hidden backpacks full of venison and ice packs, so we radioed up to the manager who apprehended the group we found and quickly learned there were 2 other men who heard us coming and hightailed it out. Being as the poachers knew we were unarmed volunteers we were told to photograph the evidence and get out of the area as quickly as possible. Most likely nothing would have happened but no one knew who we were dealing with and we were in rugged terrain. Problem was, they hid the stuff in our planned campsite. So we had to bushwack down canyon as fast as we could and had no idea when a better site for 11 people would appear . We were tired, with achy feet and just wanted to eat dinner!!!!!!
Well - we found a good site and monitored the radio. They got all the poachers and cited them for trespassing, no tags, no hunters license, falsification of identification and a few other things. We helped the manager and the rangers bring the evidence, including the meat out and the good news is that if the game warden approves we get to have a barbeque next week! Well, I'm vegetarian so I won't be partaking, but the rest of the party will. The going opinion is that they don't want the deer to have lost their life and just have their body wasted. The game warden so far says they do not need the meat for evidence - just the heads and the ammo, spent shells we found, the packs and the pictures.
For a short while though we were kind of worried about those 2 guys with rifles that were obviously planning to come back for their prizes. I seriously doubt they would have attacked us, but you never know - people do strange things some times.
That is terrible. It seems there are so many hunters out there that just encroach upon whatever land they want.
I have several friends here in TX that have lots of land, that they live on, and I can't tell you how many times they have found deer feeders and evidence of hunters on THEIR property. It just amazes me and that this is sooooo dangerous. These poor ppl feel like they have to go out in bright oranges on their own property so as not to be shot at.
Infuriating those damn hunters- is deer so important and a kill that they will hunt wherever?
I'm just glad that you and your group weren't approached by those people. Three adults teaching two teens how to bypass the law - great.
I agree! We were discussing that at least these kids saw that their parents/relatives/adult friends didn't get away with it. They were young teens so its an important lesson to learn before they become the hardened "I know better than everyone" older teens. From what we were told later the teens were wide eyed and looked scared when they and their group were caught. Plus they spent hours with the manager, rangers and sheriff waiting for the 1 game warden we have for a huge are (and with the opening of the season he was busy). I'm sure they were cold, hungry and exhausted and just wanted to go home. That'll help them remember
Sorry to hear that. There are restrictions and laws on hunting for a reason and it is bad when people break those laws for everybody concerned, especially when it potentially puts people like you in danger. I am glad you were all safe in the end and that they were caught.
Why was the deer meat sent to the zoo? I can't stand the idea of deer not having a place to go without getting gunned down. My husband used to hunt and he really likes it, but I just don't see how a deer is prettier on the wall, dead, than one that is alive and running free. Of course, they don't take over where I live.