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This question came up on another forum and I thought it would be interesting to see what the members here would do. I was really surprised on the other forum.
You own a 250 acre woodlot that you have been managing the deer on for the last 10 years. You have foodplots throughout the property and maintain numerous stand locations. You have several nice bucks on the property and the property lines are well marked and posted with yellow dots. Your home is only about a kilometer from the woodlot and the dirt road that goes by your house ends about 400 meters beyond your woodlot property line. At the end of the road there is a family that lives in a run-down trailer. They have 3 young children and the father recently lost his job. You've saw him on your trail cams on the property and he's taken the odd blow down for fire wood.
The first week of deer season is fast approaching and you are out in your front yard enjoying the coolness and the stars. You hear what you believe to be a shot toward the end of the road but you're unsure of the location. You strain your hearing and the second shot is definate as far as location. ****** poachers is your first thought and you grab your cell phone and jump in your truck. You stop short of the access road and get out and listen. You hear a male and female voice coming up the road from your woodlot along with grunts and the odd curse. You step in the ditch to hide and the folks from the trailer drag a large antlered buck to the shoulder of the road. The man heads toward the trailer to get his truck. What do you do?
 

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poaching is poaching and if he shot the deer illegaly then I would report him just like anyone else. yes the family maybe going through a hard time but that is no excuse for poaching. If he is unemployeed then he has 4 full weeks to harvest a deer!
if his family needs food that bad there are food banks and other ways to legally go about providing for your family!!

if you knew the family was struggling that much then talk to the guy and grant him permission to hunt your land LEGALLY
 

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Tough call. We are to obey the law of the land and yet love our neighbor as our self. I would talk to him. I wouldn't turn him in but I'd make a point to talk to him about it.

This is a golden opportunity to help someone in need, extend compassion and pick a guy (and his wife and kids) up when he's down.
 

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I agree with buckfever. I would stop by and say hello, but not mention anything about the deer. I would let him know of local food banks and give some advice on building things to sell or offer to lend some tools for odd jobs to make a little extra pocket $. Next time I heard a shot I would turn him in though, first time I would consider him down on his luck, second time I would consider him to be lazy. A deer should feed a family long enough for a guy to get back on his feet.
 

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X3 with Buck Fever,I would try to lend a helping hand.We all had are down times,and usally just takes 1 thing to turn it around.
 

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Should every man that is unemployed be entitled to scavenge wood on private land?

Should he be entitled to shoot deer at night on private land?

Absolutely not. Pandering will just encourage him to expect more special treatment.

In this case I would speak to him and see how he reacts. If he is apologetic, maybe let it go with a warning and explanation that you manage the deer and for him to stay away. If he is defiant and whining, I would consider turning him in.
 

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Tough call. We are to obey the law of the land and yet love our neighbor as our self. I would talk to him. I wouldn't turn him in but I'd make a point to talk to him about it.

This is a golden opportunity to help someone in need, extend compassion and pick a guy (and his wife and kids) up when he's down.
x4 here.

Nowadays, hunting is a choice, not an absolute necessity for a food source. Now before you all keel-haul me, I too prefer wild meat over grocery store meat but hunting for food is exactly that, it is hunting for food. It's why hunting was invented. It was never about sticking a set of horns over the fireplace, it was about feeding your family.

brycealyson said the same thing I would say... What if it were me, and my kids were hungry. You can be damn certain that there is nothing I would not do to protect them, and see that they are fed and healthy. If that meant taking a deer, or a few rabbits, then thats what it means.

Now, like Winchester said, a second deer is pushing the limits. The deer I get feed my family all winter and spring, with a few rabbits, and ducks in the mix.
 

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From your narrative, the deer was shot out of season. On what piece of land is irrelevant at that point as he is a poacher, not a hunter. Yellow disks mean no hunting without permission, not no poaching without permission. His personal circumstances would not justify robbing a convenience store, poaching is no different. Make the call and turn him in.
 

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wow....what do you do here???

the law is the law!
but your compassionate side comes out here!
would i report him....probably not...he has 3 kids and i probably do the same in his situation...but i would hunt legally!!!
if i had absolutely no food or no money..what do you do...hard decision....and i worked for canadian wildlife service(CWS) for 9 years!
is it wrong not to report him....YES!
but i know i would go see him, let him know i know!
and i would warn him that this is the only time i will let it go!
I would then tell him that if he wants some meat to get it the way the rest of us do!
i would even offer to buy his license for him!
since he is not working....he has all day and everyday to hunt so there is no excuses!
and allow him to hunt on my land....even help set up a stand!
I mean...as far as him and his wife...then can do go get a job...even if it is washing dishes somewhere...but it's the 3 kids that i would be thinking about...hell...i would even give up my bow tag just so he could feed the kids and tag it myself....if that was an option!

but are you as much to blame as he is for not reporting him??
 

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It depends on what kind of person he is. If he is an honest to good person trying to survive and do his best in society I would let it pass this time. But hewould also get warned not to do it again. I'm sure with the upcoming season it would be no problem getting him legal meat.

If he is someone who just doesn't care and an outlaw that is always abusing the system then I would turn him in. He's not setting a good example for his family and should be punished for his wrongdoings.
 

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For the ones who said you would turn him in, I am not saying your wrong but something here to think about... They would take everything from him, he would go from needing a job to get back on his feet to no hope in heck of getting back on his feet. The kids would loose their chance of being raised in the country to being raised in a low income building surounded by junkies. (can't support your family when your in jail) I would assume it would be hard to see my kids cry with hunger and have to tuck them in a night without a snack before bed... hard to picture because I would never let it happen. Hunting for me is a novelty, I love wild game meat and love the hunt but I don't NEED it and I can far beyond survive without it. I think someone who does need it is more entiltled to it than I am. 99% of the hunters out there hunt for novelty, they don't NEED the meat to feed their family. I would rather give up hunting all together if it ment a hard luck family who needs it could take my place
 

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I Guess that I'm gonna assume that there wasn't a stick of wood on his property surrounding the dwelling you describe that he lives in.

What I wouldn't do is say nothing .... maybe in the future if you feel so inclined you could identify some deadfall for removal if it works with your management plans etc.

If you choose to give him a pass on the Deer, you are more than entitled however I think that going forward you need to decide what is acceptable. As it is the yellow discs demonstrate for me that if I wanted to hunt there I should talk to you about securing permission ...... Can't imagine you'd expect any less from your neighbor.

Edit .... what if this was the case.
We all know that shooting Deer out of season is illegal, but his family is hungry and he's fallen on some bad luck etc.... Some would say it's a grey area that is all situational --- Fair enough.

If it was the Nov 11 weekend and yourself and maybe your hunting party are getting ready to hit the sack in anticipation of the morning hunt. Guys are discussing Deer that by this time have developed names as they have been spotted on the cams and even a one or two of you have briefly glimpsed them in the past couple of seasons. You know where you are going to be in the morning and the conditions seem perfect.

Suddenly a rifle shot rings out in the darkness, then another. You drive around a bit but don't see any vehicles or people. The next morning you arrive at your stand early only to find a gut pile 20 yards from your stand. You follow the tracks and drag impressions to your unfortunate neighbors place to discover the Buck you've been chasing hanging in his shed (with or without his tag attached)

............. His kids are still hungry and he still recently lost his job. Do you still struggle with how to handle this?
 

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First of all if I had him on camera and he had cut wood on my property I'd have already talked to him and laid down some ground rules. Ignoring that I'd step out and talk to him.
It's BS that he has to "Jack" deer, if he is that hard up there is legal provisions for him to hunt for subsistence without a licence. He also knows the consequences before he did it and chose to ignore them so the poor me thing doesn't cut it for me.
Saying that I'm not sure what I'd do, even now thinking about it. If I knew how hard up he was before the fact, as Hoytman said, we wouldn't or shouldn't be having the conversation to start with.
 

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Actually,I would've allowed my neighbour to hunt my 400 acres in the first place,explaining to him my management goals,which deer are shooters and which are not,and offered him as much hardwood as he could cut,lug and burn rather than sneaking out blowdowns to warm his kids.If he could be a good neighbour and respect my wishes,nobody would go hungry or cold.
Now if he was just a slob poacher,shooting bucks at night that he'd never have the skill to take during legal hours,bucks that I worked hard to grow on MY land?....the law would be the least of his worries.
X2
 

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Actually,I would've allowed my neighbour to hunt my 400 acres in the first place,explaining to him my management goals,which deer are shooters and which are not,and offered him as much hardwood as he could cut,lug and burn rather than sneaking out blowdowns to warm his kids.If he could be a good neighbour and respect my wishes,nobody would go hungry or cold.
Now if he was just a slob poacher,shooting bucks at night that he'd never have the skill to take during legal hours,bucks that I worked hard to grow on MY land?....the law would be the least of his worries.
X3
 

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A few years ago I had some neighbors and one day well the date was March 26 and I was in the bathroom of my house and I was looking out the window at some deer at the edge of the woods. Then all of a sudden I heard a shot and one deer fell, so I ran outside and there were a couple of my next door neighbors with the gun in hand and I hollered what the hell are you doing? Their answer was we need the meat. IN MARCH? Well what was I suppose to do? Report them and be the subject of harassement? I did not report them but over the years the same neighbors broke the law over and over and I just did not bother with them at all. Now they moved away because they lost their property. But this is my story and to come back to yours what gets me is the example that neighbor of yours is showing his children. First of all he's trespassing on your property and then shooting a deer at dark? You better talk to him and just let him know that you know what he's doing and it's not right and like the others said tell him where to go for food and fire wood if he's down on his luck.
 

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Actually,I would've allowed my neighbour to hunt my 400 acres in the first place,explaining to him my management goals,which deer are shooters and which are not,and offered him as much hardwood as he could cut,lug and burn rather than sneaking out blowdowns to warm his kids.If he could be a good neighbour and respect my wishes,nobody would go hungry or cold.
Now if he was just a slob poacher,shooting bucks at night that he'd never have the skill to take during legal hours,bucks that I worked hard to grow on MY land?....the law would be the least of his worries.
X4
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I actually took a fair amount of cticism for the answer I posted on the other forum. My opinion hasn't changed as of yet. First off the guys a thief. He took firewood off my property without permission. Permission I wouldn't have any problem giving if asked. Secondly, he's also a trespasser, the game cams showed that. Access to a neighbour wouldn't be an issue but he didn't have enough respect to ask. Thirdly, he's a poacher, again a thief. The fact that he's hard up is jaded by the fact he shot a deer with a light. Years ago I found myself with 4 kids and no job. No unemployment coming in either, I was 2 weeks short. I sold my 2 firearms to pay for groceries and did what I had to to get through 4 months of Hell but I never stole from anybody or broke any laws. This guy took the easy way and condoning that makes him right.......Fire away. LOL
 
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