Woods and Waters An outdoor blog by John McCoy

Pennsylvania cracks down on poachers

Wildlife law enforcement in Pennsylvania got a boost recently when serious new anti-poaching laws went into effect.

The laws dramatically increase fines, jail sentences and license-revocation terms for people who illegally kill deer, bears, turkeys and other game animals.

Carl Roe, executive director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said the laws were enacted primarily to deter potential violators from even considering the idea of poaching. He called the penalties prescribed by previous laws “the equivalent of a traffic ticket with no possibility of jail time.”

“Some chronic or commercial poachers considered Pennsylvania’s previous fines as merely a ‘cost of doing business,'” Roe said. “”Under this [new] legislation, those convicted of killing five or more big game animals, or three big game poaching offenses within seven years, will face possible felony-level penalties ranging from $1,000 to up to $15,000, loss of license privileges for 15 years, and up to three years in prison. In fact, even the poaching of a single deer now carries a minimum of a $1,000 fine and up to 90 days in jail, with five years license revocation.”

The complete Game Commission news release can be found here, at the Digital Journal.