California Poacher Calls the Authorities on Himself

by Matthew Memrick

The interesting case of one California poacher began with one instance where he called the cops on himself. 

Another time, authorities went high-tech and connected him to another poaching incident through deer DNA.

Field and Stream reported on 50-year-old Adam Friedman’s unfortunate mess with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Friedman was convicted twice and caught on camera in both instances. 

Ultimately, crime doesn’t pay, but you have to wonder if some poachers never learn.

Poaching Doesn’t Pay, Follow The Rules

Friedman’s follies started back in 2019 when he called in a tip. CalTIP is the state’s poaching/pollution hotline, and the man reported witnessing poaching in Madera County.

When CDFW officials conducted an investigation, they got a neighbor’s doorbell security camera footage. After studying the videos, they “clearly identified Friedman as the subject of his own poaching complaint,” according to a CDFW Facebook Post.

Fast forward to 2021, with Friedman still waiting on his trial for the first case

While in the Shaver Lake neighborhood of nearby Fresno County, the man got caught on camera again. This time, investigators conducted a DNA test of some deer remains found at the man’s residence.  

Those results matched the residence’s deer parts to the deer found at the scene for strike number two.

Want to know if there’s a third strike? California officials learned that Friedman killed another illegal deer in Utah earlier. You know, California wildlife folks talked to Utah folks about this fellow. You can’t have enough evidence, right?

California Poacher Sentenced

Both California cases came to pass last month in Madera and Fresno counties.

With the photo evidence weighing on the case, Friedman pled no contest to two charges: Wanton waste of a game animal and discharge of a firearm within 150 yards of a dwelling.

California got him for a 3-year suspension of hunting privileges. Friedman almost must serve 50 hours of community service, pay $2,850 in fines and do a Hunter Education Course.

CDFW found that “the suspect’s actions in these cases show a blatant disregard for game laws and public safety, [but] his actions do not represent the vast majority of ethical and law-abiding hunters.”

Poaching hunters seem to be running rampant these days. Or maybe tips have helped authorities with an increase in arrests.

Field and Stream noted that two New York men used spotlights to kill deer from a taxicab. In Idaho, a judge threw the book at one poacher in a unique way, making the hunter serve three 30-day jail sentences during elk hunting season for the next three years. Dang.

As for California’s 41-year-old tip line, the state encourages witnesses to call in poaching, with some callers getting money up to $1,000 after successful convictions. Of course, Friedman didn’t get anything.