Keep the hunt cleanPoaching is stealing. Poaching is for those who cheat, and their cheating can damage our natural resources. Poaching also casts a negative light on those people who hunt or trap and follow the regulations while enjoying their sport.
Poaching is stealing.
Poaching is for those who cheat, and their cheating can damage our natural resources. Poaching also casts a negative light on those people who hunt or trap and follow the regulations while enjoying their sport.
A Goodhue County case of poaching has garnered statewide attention. What makes this story compelling is it involves a record-setting buck, one that several people suspected was roaming the area and that they intended to pursue.
Now pursuit belongs to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Troy Reinke of Cannon Falls is innocent of all charges until proven guilty, of course. He faces 13 counts, including gross over-limits of wild animals, after allegedly shooting a trophy buck without a license or tags and killing two other deer first. The charges carry a maximum penalty of more than five years in a jail and a $19,000 fine. He'll have his day in court.
In the meantime, Minnesota and Wisconsin hunters are engaged in a favorite pastime. They'll tell tales of the big ones that eluded them and recall successful hunts.
The vast majority are true sportsmen who understand the rules and adhere to them. That's what being a sportsman is all about
Local groups such as White Tail Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Frontenac Sportsman's Club, Izaak Walton League and Red Wing Wildlife League help ensure that happens. They don't make many headlines, but people know they're there and should appreciate what they do — train hunters, improve habitat, promote sportsmanship, and more.
Game wardens and law enforcement can't be everywhere, and they need the help of all hunters to stop poachers and everybody else who think laws and regulations don't apply to them.
It requires sheer discipline to refrain from releasing an arrow or squeezing the trigger when prey presents itself. Passing on a shot may mean a better opportunity minutes, hours or days later. True trophy hunters and sportsmen possess that quality.
Hunters' passion to possess big antlers is fueled by ego and potential celebrity that such kills can bring from peers, hunting enthusiasts and marketers. For a few, passion outweighs sense. Why else would Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officers issue 52 citations for illegal baiting in northeastern Minnesota last weekend alone?
Any true hunter would say that the alleged illegal taking of the White Rock buck reflects poorly on the entire populous of sportsmen. The sooner the case is adjudicated, the sooner healing of this black eye can begin.