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Two Men Sentenced Under Maryland’s New Anti-Poaching Law

Discussion in 'Chesapeake Flyway Forum' started by hutty, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. hutty

    hutty Elite Refuge Member

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    http://news.maryland.gov/dnr/2017/02/17/two-men-sentenced-under-marylands-new-anti-poaching-law/

    Two men became the first sentenced under a new state anti-poaching law after they were found guilty of multiple charges Wednesday in Dorchester County District Court.

    Andrew Collison Harding, 21, of Vienna, and Toby Allen Hughes, 21, of Seaford, Delaware, were convicted of casting rays with an implement (jacklighting), hunting deer at night, hunting deer from a vehicle, hunting deer during a closed season, and having a loaded weapon in a vehicle.

    Judge Melvin J. Jews ordered each man to pay $2,000 in restitution to the state’s Wildlife Management and Protection Fund under the terms of the Poaching Restitution Act of 2016. Payment is due by March 31. Each man also must perform 80 hours of community service.

    Officers on surveillance near Vienna on the night of Nov. 19 saw people in a pickup truck shine lights on a field off Maiden Branch Road. After several passes, the officers heard gunshots and the truck reappeared on the road.

    They stopped the truck and saw a freshly killed 9-point buck, untagged, in the back and a rifle in the passenger compartment. Officers arrested Harding and Hughes and seized the rifle and deer.

    The two men pleaded not guilty to the charges.

    In addition to restitution, the judge revoked their hunting license privileges for two years. Hughes and Harding also received a six-month jail sentence which was suspended, and one year of supervised probation.

    The rifle and scope used in the incident, along with the head of the 9-point whitetail buck, were forfeited to Maryland Natural Resources Police. The deer meat was donated to Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry.

    The anti-poaching law took effect June. It requires judges to order restitution and community service in cases of deer poaching. The monetary penalty is based on the measurement of the antlers – in gross inches – as scored on the Boone and Crockett Club system.

    A buck with antlers scoring 150 or fewer points requires restitution of $2,000 to $5,000 and 80 hours of community service. A buck with antlers scoring more than 150 points requires restitution of $5,000 to $10,000 and 80 hours of community service. A deer without antlers requires restitution of $300 to $500 and 40 hours of community service.
     
  2. Phytoplankton

    Phytoplankton Elite Refuge Member

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    I like the law, just wish the judge would of given them the max fine of 5k each and permanently revoked their licenses! Poachers are scum.
     
  3. Montauker

    Montauker Elite Refuge Member

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    80hrs community service, 2K fine, 2 year license revocation, and 6 month suspended sentence is more than a DUI. All for shooting a deer that the state allows farmers to kill at will.
     
  4. Duckrussml

    Duckrussml Senior Refuge Member

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    I'm with you on this one. Really they may have shot a deer that could come thru someone's windshield or caused a wreck... Farmers cry about the damage they cause. But don't want no one to shoot them.... Hmmmm... I think the 80 hrs of CS should be enough.
     
  5. gooseshot

    gooseshot Refuge Member

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    I can't believe that any law abiding hunter would be upset about a poacher getting sentenced to harshly. I'm sure that if they killed that 9 pointer that you had been chasing for the last 3 years off your property you may have a different opinion.
     
    Keith McGowan and Phytoplankton like this.
  6. Montauker

    Montauker Elite Refuge Member

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    Conversely how do you feel about drunk drivers getting less of a sentence?

    How long before DNR has a drone hovering over your spread watching to see you and your buddies rain out an extra goose and your gun is seized, you lose your license for two years, and have to fork over $2000?

    I'm not pro poaching and I think repeat offenders should get the book thrown at them. I also think that this law will greatly curb jack lighting. But $10,000 for a buck is really steep, especially in light of the number nuisance permits issued.


    A deer without antlers brings a restitution of $300 to $500 and 40 hours of community service.

    • A buck with antlers scoring 150 Boone and Crockett Club points or fewer brings a restitution of $2,000 to $5,000 and 80 hours of community service.

    • A buck with antlers scoring more than 150 points brings a restitution of $5,000 to $10,000 and 80 hours of community service.
     
  7. shoot-straight

    shoot-straight Senior Refuge Member

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    Shooting a deer at night takes considerable thought and planning. It's not like shooting an extra duck or goose out of a blind. Both are illegal, but spotlighting is totally different. You can't do it be accident.... You can't really explain your way out of it either.... I think the new consequences are great.

    Montauker, just stay in va if you don't like it.
     
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  8. fowlwhacker

    fowlwhacker Elite Refuge Member

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    I heard a story this year of DNR actually using a drone to perform surveillance on a group of guys who shot over their limit on cans. I hadn't seen anything posted on MD DNR crime blogger and wondered if there was any truth to the story.
     
  9. Bwana1

    Bwana1 Elite Refuge Member

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    Heard the same story. I am a member of the club where this was supposed to have happened. Total B.S. How do these things get started?
     
  10. Ruination

    Ruination Senior Refuge Member

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    DUI carries the possibility of 12 months in jail?
     

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