Poacher Busted! Anyone here ever caught a poacher?

Founder

Founder Since 1999
Just caught this on the DWR site. Have any of you ever caught a poacher? How about received a good tag for catching the poacher?

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Published: Friday, February 14 2020 09:00
Preliminary hearing scheduled for man in connection with trophy deer poaching case
SALT LAKE CITY — A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for a Washington County man in connection with the 2019 poaching of a trophy buck deer in Iron County.
Ethan Lebaron, 29, was charged in Fifth District Court with wanton destruction of protected wildlife, a 3rd-degree felony, and with a tagging requirement violation, a class B misdemeanor, on Nov. 15, 2019. Charges are still being screened for two men who were with Lebaron at the time of the incident.
Deer antlers being measured
Because the antlers measured at 24.5 inches, killing the buck deer was a felony-level offense.

Lebaron had his initial court appearance on Feb. 4, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 24 in Iron County's Cedar City District Court.
During the investigation of the incident, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officers discovered Lebaron used archery equipment and a spotlight to shoot and kill a buck deer near Quichapa Canyon in Iron County about 10:30 p.m. on Aug. 20. A witness saw the spotlights in the dark and because the archery deer hunt was taking place, the witness worried that illegal hunting was occurring and called the UTIP hotline.
Two conservation officers arrived at the scene and located the three men and the dead deer. The deer was seized, but because it had not been field dressed, the meat had spoiled and was unable to be donated.
Because the buck's antlers measured at 24.5 inches, killing it was a felony-level offense. The minimum restitution for illegally killing a trophy mule deer in Utah is $8,000, per state law. Due to the nature of the incident, conservation officers are also recommending a hunting license suspension.
"We would like to thank the public for continuing to use the UTIP hotline to report illegal and suspicious wildlife activity," DWR Law Enforcement Chief Justin Shirley said.
For more information on how to help conservation officers fight poaching in Utah, visit the DWR website.
 

Deerlove

Long Time Member
I've caught three when out of state hunting, two in Idaho, and one in Co. The two in Id shot animals and left them. One deer and one elk. In Co I caught a guy putting a rifle together and shooting a buck during the Muzzy hunt. The state sent me $400 bucks both times and so did Co.
 

money

Active Member
My senior year of high school a friend and I went out into some awesome elk country at about 10:00 p.m the night before the rifle elk opener in Arizona unit 3a/3c to listen to elk bugle since the rut was in full swing. At our third stop we could hear a bull bugling about a 1/4 mile off. Midway through his third bugle a loud gun shot rings out and the hills fell silent. We were about 45 minutes off the highway on two track roads back into this spot so we instantly knew it was someone poaching elk.

Being stupid teenagers we didn't think to call law enforcement and we immediately began driving around trying to locate the vehicle of the person. The area we were in has tons of little roads going all through the cedar country and we were driving as fast as we could trying to find which little road they were on. I drove a super quiet toyota tacoma and I know they had no idea we were in there. after about 25 minutes of looking we gave up and started heading back out to the main road. we finally saw some headlights up in front of us about a half mile. our plan was to stay close enough to keep track of them and then catch them on the highway and just act like a normal vehicle passing them on the highway and get their plate number. there was enough moon that i was able to drive out without my headlights and keep track of the truck.

Once they hit the highway i gave them enough time to turn a corner and pulled onto the highway like a normal vehicle. we then drove that little tacoma as fast as we could to catch him and pass him. The next day I went to school and told the school resource officer what happened and asked him to run the license plate. He did so and the name came back as a well known outfitter from Phoenix that at the time was doing his best to be a famous hunter. I left school that day and went to my job at a local taxidermy shop and told my boss what happened and that I was going to turn the guy in. He then told me that i would probably get the school officer (a good friend of mine) fired because he did what he did for me... I got scared and never called it in for fear that a great man would lose his job because he was helping me. Turns out the outfitter's hunter "magically" killed a giant bull early opening morning in the same unit in the same cedar country....

I was pressured/scared into not saying anything and I have regretted it ever since because I know what really happened. I made a vow a year or two after that that I would never let anyone get away with it again. I felt guilty for the longest time for not following through with turning him in and won't live with that guilt again. The outfitter soon faded away because he was a crook and shady and it finally caught up to him, but I wish i had turned the dude in and hadn't let my 18 year old self get scared into walking away from it all.
 

DidIDraw

Active Member
We were on a limited entry bull elk hunt in northern utah. It had rained heavily for about two days and everything was muddy with lots of big puddles on the road. We saw a car coming towards us going fast to try and maintain momentum in the mud. We pulled over to let them pass. When the car hit a big puddle the water got the distributor wet and killed the car.

We approached to see if we could help and it was a very, very nervous woman. We asked if we could help and while helping we asked her why she was braving the roads in her car. She said that she had killed a bull elk earlier that morning and realized she didn't have her tag with her so she sped back to town to get it - we thought that strange since she didn't have any mud on her shoes or clothes but we got her on her way and went on our way.

About a mile back down the road (the direction she had come from) we ran into a guy and his son walking along the road the same direction as us. They had blood on them and told us they had killed a good bull that morning. They asked us if we'd seen a women in a car that morning which we said we had. They clammed up when we asked them who the lucky hunter was.

It seemed very fishy that she had gone by them by a mile if she knew where the bull was and that she was so nervous and not muddy. We concluded that she had probably not been hunting with her husband and son when they filled her elk tag for her. We made a call but didn't hear anything back on it so maybe we falsely accused them.
 

hossblur

Long Time Member
Older guy we camp with turned in moose poach.

He got a moose tag the next year.

Might have better odds catching poacher than waiting in draws
 

one_dryboot

Long Time Member
2018 on a LE unit I watched a guy shoot a buck and drag it into the ditch and keep hunting. He drove past the deer and went back to camp. I went and talked to him asking how the hunt was going, Hoping he was going to retrieve it and he said terrible, no big bucks. Later that night he shot another buck in the same spot. Only problem was Fish and Game was set up watching him. Hauled his ass to jail that night.
I had a nice poaching reward tag last year. This is the result
BABAE8D1-089B-41AA-BA9A-D4663D39B8F6.png
 

Tristate

Long Time Member
I helped catch two people who had shot two whitetail out of season. They cut their heads off and drug the bodies up under some bushes. State of Texas paid me a reward. I honestly can't recall the amount. I think it was around $600. I think this was the first year that Texas made that a felony. Both guys got felony records now. It's amazing how much better the deer hunting got there after that.
 
About 20 years ago, I was hunting with my family and a guy that was on the ridge next to me shot a deer. I looked in the direction of the shot and spotted a deer in my binos that was dragging it's back legs. It then dropped and I saw right where it was. The guy started walking toward it, but veered off track, so I went over and showed him where I saw it drop. When we got to the deer, we saw that it was a doe. This was a buck only hunt. Also, it was still alive and struggling trying to get up. The guy started cussing and then kicked it in the head and took off up the hill. I headed down the hill and found my brother and told him about it. We hiked to the bottom of the Canyon and there was a Game Warden at the bottom at the road, so I reported what I had seen. The warden asked if I would show her where the deer was, so my brother and I took her up to the deer. When we got there, I started pointing out what had happened and all of a sudden there were bullets whizzing by us. I don't think they were shooting with the intent to hurt us, but probably to try to get us to leave. I doubt that they knew the warden was with us. Anyway, after a really long time, the guy came down to his truck and we were waiting there with the game warden. Turns out the guy wasn't supposed to be hunting because he got busted for poaching a trophy bull moose the year before and lost his hunting privileges. The warden contacted me later in the month to thank me. She said that he lost his gun, truck and hunting privileges for 30 years. He also got jail time for shooting towards us. The only reward for me was they gave me the doe for its meat. It was crazy because I thought I was going to get shot.
 

elkassassin

Long Time Member
Several Years Ago While Lion Hunting We Caught a Guy Throwing Snow over a Cow Elk trying to cover it up!

I Walked Right up to Him & Asked Him WTH He was Doing?

'Oh I Ain't Doing anything He Said'!

I Said what about them Elk Feet sticking up through the Snow?

He said what Elk Feet?

So I Go Over & Pull the Cow Elk out of the Snow Pile & I Say:That F'N Elk!

He Gets all Nervous & Wants Me To Help Him Drag it out & Load it!

The Deal Was:

The DWR Issued Countless Late Cow Tags on the Forrest!

There Were 0 Elk on the Forrest due to Deep Snow that Year!

So alot of Hunters took their Chances Shooting them Illegally on the REZ!

I Told Him I Had His License Plate Number & If He Didn't get it Loaded I was gonna Turn His Ass In!

So I Watched Him from a distance with my Bino's & Low & Behold I Could see another Guy that was Hiding from Me Help Load the Damn Thing up!

He wanted Me to Help,which Means I Woulda been Breakin the Law as Well!

All Over a STINKIN F'N January Cow!
 

elkassassin

Long Time Member
The Best Citations are Real World Tune-Ups!

A Few Years Back on the South Slope,two Brothers Road their Wheelers Back in where they should not of been!

The parted ways & Planned on meeting back at their Wheelers right before Dark!

Both of them got turned around/Lost that afternoon!

Right Before Dark a Shot was Fired!

The Brothers both thought it was their brother capping the Shot off!

They Both Head toward where they heard the Shot!

It Lead them Right back to their Wheelers!

Problem was,the One Wheeler didn't wanna start!

To My Knowledge the High Country Mechanic was never Located!
 

Bossbrott

Active Member
Bought my first rifle from a poaching reward.
Walking home from school a fella had 7 does laying in his garage. I called him in and got the reward.
Dirtbag deserved all he got, including eviction.
 
Colorado has operation game thief that offers a reward. Called it twice for a poached Bear and deer. Both times got several days old response for action and no follow up.
 

lundellhunting7

Active Member
In 2013 I watched a guy shoot 3 Raghorns and a cougar through my spotting scope during the Late elk hunt on the Nebo. The guy shot the elk he went down and checked them out when he got down by one of the downed elk he shot another round and we didn't think anything of it... he milled around between the elk for while then he took off (all dead within 100 yards of each other). I found his vehicle and took pics of it. Went back up to see if the guys I was hunting with got ahold of the dnr and they had so I headed back down and ran into the guy in his vehicle. At that point I snuck some pics of him while asking him how his hunt went and if he had seen anything. He said he hadn't ha ha ha. But he still had a small amount of blood on his hands I noticed.
Dnr got there and we hiked up and helped them quarter them out and haul them down off the mountain. We got up to the bull he had "shot" at when he got up to it. My uncle was walking below it about 50 yards and all of a sudden we hear a cat and it jumped out of the bushes at him... Damn thing had been shot in the head but just had grazed him so he was just knocked silly. The Officer finished him off and we quartered them and hauled them off.
They ended up convicting the guy but we never got a reward for it like we were told we would get by the officer. But its a day I will never forget.
 

manny53

Long Time Member
yup a couple idiots standing in the middle of a paved road shooting a fork....no such luck getting a tag for it
 

Zeke

Long Time Member
Bro and I were hunting the Vernon LE unit years ago and ran into some guys from out of State who said they hunted there every year and they noticed a few more guys this year than in past years. Weird since it’s LE.

They drove off (after we got the plate number) and discussed their encounter with us and we could hear every word.

Shortly after, the warden drove up to check our tags and we related the story. He said there’s nothing he could do since it’s our word against theirs.

Left a turd taste in my mouth.

Zeke
 

feddoc

Long Time Member
Tuneups….yea, caught a guy who had shot a cow by 'mistake' and let it lie. Musta been 88 or so. Same camp, maybe same guy, let loose 23 shots from an '06 at a spike (I counted the fresh brass.....from 200 yards away) when 4 points began to be mandatory.

Dropped a dime on him to the local popo each time, but never heard anything back.
 

Founder

Founder Since 1999
Colorado has operation game thief that offers a reward. Called it twice for a poached Bear and deer. Both times got several days old response for action and no follow up.
That’s a bummer. I reported a guy once and that’s what I expected, but I was wrong. Officer was there in a few hours.
 

eelgrass

Long Time Member
I've never had the opportunity to turn anyone in but we did take the law in our own hands once when fishing.

There was a bunch of us fishing for steelhead in pretty low water conditions on Mad River. About a 12 pound fish decided to head up river out of the hole it was in. It came to a real shallow riffle and a guy ran over and kicked it up onto dry land. He then took a rock and killed it.

A bunch of us started yelling at him and we were going to turn him in. He got so scared he threw the dead fish back in the river. No evidence.
 
4 times. Gave chase on two occasions. I now know the G&F officer in several units, and contact them regularly. Great hardworking guys.
 

deerkiller

Active Member
I watched a couple guys each shoot a swan on Utah lake back in 2013. They had our a bunch of swan decoys in their spread, but didn’t think anything of it since sometimes guys will throw them out to attract attention to birds from a long ways off. Anyways, mid morning 2 swan fly over me making a bunch of noise. These 2 guys start yelling the classic “whoo” call, and they lock up instantly and glide into their spread. They folded both up and sounded pretty excited about the whole thing, like they had just done something great. I had a wounder sail off their direction earlier, so I figured I’d head over there in the boat and see what’s up. I roll up and both guys are holding a swan walking back to their boat. I asked them what they had killed and if they had a tag. It seemed pretty obvious from the beginning that they had not a clue that Utah lake isn’t in the swan hunt boundaries. The one guy kinda argued with me on where they could hunt until I said to look at his permit, it would say “great salt lake vicinity”. At that point they both turned white, looking like they had seen a ghost and got really quiet. The older guy then asked me how I wanted to proceed with this situation. I told him it looks like an honest mistake, doesn’t seem intentional and that they really had no idea they were in the wrong. I said I wasn’t gonna turn them in, if they wanted to do so, that was up to them. I just figured I’d let them know their mistake and that was all. Didn’t see the point in ruining some guys lives over that. Had i figured it had been intentional, then it would be a different story.

I’ve never seen 2 guys tear down a spread so fast and get out of there in all my life. Still haven’t seen them or their truck/boat back there since 😂

Another time I watch from a long distance a guy wearing full camo stash a big pile of deer antlers back in 2017 when we had a temporary shed hunt closure until April 1. I had put in a bunch of time watching some giant bucks that year and was pretty mad when I glassed him up carrying horns. I had about an hours drive until I could find cell service to call him in, but I did get his plate number off his truck. In the end I decided turning him in would mean no one would get the antlers except for the DWR and I didn’t like that idea. I figured I would just let him do the hard part for me and go back when the season was open and try to beat him there. 12:01am I had 13 brown deer sheds in my arms and was completely out of the unit by the time the sun came up. I wished I could have watched him opening morning walking around that area all confused, trying to figure out where all his antlers were. I killed it that day on the horn count 😂 I bet he was pissed!
 

Slightlysober

Active Member
I watched a couple guys each shoot a swan on Utah lake back in 2013. They had our a bunch of swan decoys in their spread, but didn’t think anything of it since sometimes guys will throw them out to attract attention to birds from a long ways off. Anyways, mid morning 2 swan fly over me making a bunch of noise. These 2 guys start yelling the classic “whoo” call, and they lock up instantly and glide into their spread. They folded both up and sounded pretty excited about the whole thing, like they had just done something great. I had a wounder sail off their direction earlier, so I figured I’d head over there in the boat and see what’s up. I roll up and both guys are holding a swan walking back to their boat. I asked them what they had killed and if they had a tag. It seemed pretty obvious from the beginning that they had not a clue that Utah lake isn’t in the swan hunt boundaries. The one guy kinda argued with me on where they could hunt until I said to look at his permit, it would say “great salt lake vicinity”. At that point they both turned white, looking like they had seen a ghost and got really quiet. The older guy then asked me how I wanted to proceed with this situation. I told him it looks like an honest mistake, doesn’t seem intentional and that they really had no idea they were in the wrong. I said I wasn’t gonna turn them in, if they wanted to do so, that was up to them. I just figured I’d let them know their mistake and that was all. Didn’t see the point in ruining some guys lives over that. Had i figured it had been intentional, then it would be a different story.

I’ve never seen 2 guys tear down a spread so fast and get out of there in all my life. Still haven’t seen them or their truck/boat back there since 😂

Another time I watch from a long distance a guy wearing full camo stash a big pile of deer antlers back in 2017 when we had a temporary shed hunt closure until April 1. I had put in a bunch of time watching some giant bucks that year and was pretty mad when I glassed him up carrying horns. I had about an hours drive until I could find cell service to call him in, but I did get his plate number off his truck. In the end I decided turning him in would mean no one would get the antlers except for the DWR and I didn’t like that idea. I figured I would just let him do the hard part for me and go back when the season was open and try to beat him there. 12:01am I had 13 brown deer sheds in my arms and was completely out of the unit by the time the sun came up. I wished I could have watched him opening morning walking around that area all confused, trying to figure out where all his antlers were. I killed it that day on the horn count 😂 I bet he was pissed!
Cool stories! Now tell the bear ones....from
your perspective 😂
 

Pucci

Active Member
Caught poachers last year out of Baggs on my buddies property. Saw them and then heard a shot and went to investigate. Excited to shot a spike and told them they were on private property which they argued with me. Called local warden. One expensive deer and they were locals from Rock Springs.
 

Slightlysober

Active Member
Caught poachers last year out of Baggs on my buddies property. Saw them and then heard a shot and went to investigate. Excited to shot a spike and told them they were on private property which they argued with me. Called local warden. One expensive deer and they were locals from Rock Springs.
How are they locals if this happened by baggs and they live in rock springs?
 

Slightlysober

Active Member
Not really. No GPS no honest mistake. Not to mention it was posted.
Well there ya go. They were not local and they didn’t have a GPS. Too bad you didn’t interfere when you first saw them. This is as much your fault as theirs. With them being from out of town you should of helped them out. We’ve all hunted new areas. Help a fellow hunter out.
 

cannonball

Very Active Member
Excited over a spike deer. It is obvious they were greenhorns and probably didn't know where they were. I think I would have told them it was private property and send them and the deer on their way then told my landowner buddy what I had done. In the old days most of the private land was open to everyone, but as soon as the sons of sons, of the original hard-working, sweat, and blood landowner, inherited the land, up came the no trespassing signs. It is a new day - what's in it for me day - No slack day - Charge em' day.
 

Giddyup

Member
Caught a guy and his son in the fall of 18 on one of the better le units in Utah while gathering cows. Got a tag last fall and had an awesome hunt! Even though I tagged out on the opener
 

DBG3285

Active Member
Back in 2011 I caught a poacher from this Website.

I had ended up catching another poacher that year as well, so I got a tag and money.
 

DBG3285

Active Member
Details!!!

Someone posted a picture of a bull they had killed.

I recognized the place, and the bull. I had hundreds of pictures of that bull, and we had drawn a tag and had been hunting him.

One day we stopped seeing him, and never could relocate him.

Low and behold, someone posts a picture of him holding the elk in the area he had been residing for months up until his disappearance.

Upon myself (and others from MM) questioning him about the bull. He changed his story 3 times of where he had shot it, and that he had just taken pictures there because of the “beauty”.

I asked for kill site photos, which he denied having. But another MMer found where he had posted kill site photos on another site.

After a challenge from the suspect, I spent a few days with my wife hiking the hills and found where he had killed the bull.

He had only skull capped it (360+ bull) and taken the front shoulder, the rest of the animal was still there.
 

deerkiller

Active Member
Someone posted a picture of a bull they had killed.

I recognized the place, and the bull. I had hundreds of pictures of that bull, and we had drawn a tag and had been hunting him.

One day we stopped seeing him, and never could relocate him.

Low and behold, someone posts a picture of him holding the elk in the area he had been residing for months up until his disappearance.

Upon myself (and others from MM) questioning him about the bull. He changed his story 3 times of where he had shot it, and that he had just taken pictures there because of the “beauty”.

I asked for kill site photos, which he denied having. But another MMer found where he had posted kill site photos on another site.

After a challenge from the suspect, I spent a few days with my wife hiking the hills and found where he had killed the bull.

He had only skull capped it (360+ bull) and taken the front shoulder, the rest of the animal was still there.
Sounds like the bull killed on the nebo a couple years ago by a kid who didn’t have the right permit and social media was his down fall...? Same one?
 

elkassassin

Long Time Member
Hey DBG!

And I Get a Threat because I Started a Thread wondering if anybody had any New Harvest Pics!

He Posts a Pic or Two and It's My Fault Somehow?

"Blame it on Bessy"


Someone posted a picture of a bull they had killed.

I recognized the place, and the bull. I had hundreds of pictures of that bull, and we had drawn a tag and had been hunting him.

One day we stopped seeing him, and never could relocate him.

Low and behold, someone posts a picture of him holding the elk in the area he had been residing for months up until his disappearance.

Upon myself (and others from MM) questioning him about the bull. He changed his story 3 times of where he had shot it, and that he had just taken pictures there because of the “beauty”.

I asked for kill site photos, which he denied having. But another MMer found where he had posted kill site photos on another site.

After a challenge from the suspect, I spent a few days with my wife hiking the hills and found where he had killed the bull.

He had only skull capped it (360+ bull) and taken the front shoulder, the rest of the animal was still there.
 

DBG3285

Active Member
So I killed my bull that I got the poaching tag for 100 yards from where the bull that got poached was, 2 years later I drew the tag and killed that bull 200 yards from the referenced/storied bull.
 

oldmossback

Moderator
Not technically caught a poacher but I busted some clown recently on the face book page "I hunt Colorado" bragging about how he gets a buck every year in a unit that takes about 4 points to draw. When I commented how does he draw the tag every year. He replied ," Well someone in my family or party draws a tag every year, its a family thing" I replied, " oh so you party hunt?" he says ." Whatever you want to call it we all share the meat" I told him," You do realize that party hunting is what you are doing and it is illegal?"
Needless to say the post was deleted 5 minutes later😁
 

COLOelkman

Active Member
In CO a few years ago we found a calf elk shot during archery season and they only took about 40% of the meat. It was only about 20 minutes from the road on a flat trail which is how lazy they were to not bring out the meat (they even had a mule). They left an arrow at the kill site so we called DOW and they showed up the next day with 3 officers and said they had an idea who did it. It was a camp from Arkansas that had about a dozen hunters and when confronted, they all denied it. Then officers said they needed to see everyone's arrows and when they held up the arrow from the kill site, someone confessed. Officers said they started whining about it and said they'd never come back again. One of the female officers was very attractive and said some of the hunters tried hitting on her! Really? Needless to say they got a ticket but I don't recall how much they said it was. We didn't get any reward and didn't expect it but was just glad to have the guys ticketed.
 

Strut

New Member
Caught this guy trespassing and stealing the sheds on my property! I was quick enough to take this short video and stop him in his tracks. He has been poaching here for years and I finally got lucky and caught him. He said, "okay, what are you going to do?" My wife said "don't start a range war", so I didn't turn him into the Sheriff. I had complained to our DWM for years. CPW won't enforce crap on private land. I think he learned his lesson. I'm sure he soiled his undies.
 

Attachments


Click-a-Pic ... Details & Bigger Photos
Top Bottom