Washington Fish and Wildlife police said a sheriff’s department officer found evidence of teens purposely hunting for and poaching eagles.
“Officer Bolton and the deputy searched the area for downed wildlife and soon discovered a relatively fresh doe deer on the hillside near where the suspects had parked. Four older deer carcasses in various stages of decomposition were found in the same location. The officers learned that one of the young men shot the doe the night before by using a high-powered spotlight,” police wrote in a Facebook post. “The animal was then placed near the other carcasses in an effort to bait in and shoot eagles.”
That report at wqad.com paints an ugly picture of a trend I have written on extensively here and at Texas Fish & Game magazine. Teens are increasingly involved in not only poaching but killing protected and endangered species.
And no one seems to be addressing it head on.
Teens shooting sick dolphins with fishing arrows.
Teens shooting highly endangered whooping cranes and bragging on social media.
Multiple eagles killed across the country by teens including this which was obviously a focused effort.
Poaching is vile.
And when our young people are involved in so much of it everyone from the hunting industry to wildlife organizations should be asking why.
There will be more on this topic coming with top officials in the wildlife and hunting world interviewed on the subject.
This has to change and we must take off our blinders for not only the sake of wildlife but the teens themselves.
Poaching is not hunting. It is the antithesis of legal, regulated hunting and it damages wildlife populations in terrible ways.
We need to confront it here in America before it becomes an epidemic.
Unfortunately this kind of contempt for wildlife can be contagious.
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Chester Moore, Jr.