Ever wonder why poachers can make $$ from it ?? There are several "markets" out there.
First there the old school, ... those poor souls, as you mentionned, who believe that it is their RIGHT to fish/hunt and d**m the regs. (as in fly only or no kill sections.)
Second there are the over limit gang who think that they'll darn well fill up the freezer as they only fish once or twice a year (as in fly in tourists in Canada who just can't beleive they can only keep 6 walleye).
These first 2 "scenarios" are pretty tough to deal with in the long run as they are "cultural" things. Education (and stiff fines) are the only long term sollutions (IMHO)
Next, thirdly, ... there are the "casual" commercial poachers. These guys (and gals) will sell, barter or trade game meat taken on non-comercial permits. Ever had someone at the office ask if you wanted to buy some nice fresh walley fillets ?? I have, and as the Chief Forester for the division, I promptly tell the person that if he'd like to repeat that, he'll LOSE HIS JOB !! (and I have done that).
Lastly, and not the least problematic, are the commercial groups. Wanna buy 1000 lbs of caribou meat, real cheap, ... can't be legal. This can only be adressed at the consumer level. I won't use restaurants that can't produce tags for "wild" game meat. As in : Its your choice
well, .. not a poaching example, but consumer choices to make anyway ...
Further, my crews romp around through over 40,000 sqr km of public forests up here and you better believe they have their marching orders. They all have digital cameras and know how to record and report suspicious activity.
Long winded sorry, ... but poaching is a problem all over the world. The only way we can get a handle on it is through education, observation and reporting, as well as through OUR OWN actions and consumer choices.
Your closing remarks are excellent. ...
Regardless, all Poaching is a crime, and should be dealt with a accordingly! Officals I spoke with said if you observe a potential poaching incident you should;
NOT approach the individuals on your own!
Try to get description of the incident, individuals, auto info, etc.
Call your local D.F.W. and ask to speak to an officer, or if your state has a T.I.P. line...
There are some unpleasant people out there, ... do be careful.
p.s. There's a list of numers @
Reporting poaching list @FAOL
and the number for your jurisdiction is usually printed on the fishing licence.