A man is facing up to 14 months in prison for poaching 60 deer over the course of several years.
Illegal Poacher in Kansas
John Blick Jr. was convicted of poaching whitetail deer and mule deer. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism investigated Blick. The result led to 60 counts of illegal hunting.
Besides hunting illegally, Blick is also being charged for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
He will spend 14 months in prison and then after his release, he will spend about a year with the Kansas Department of Corrections.
SHARON MAN SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR POACHING 60 DEER MEDICINE LODGE, KANSAS – John Blick, Jr. of Sharon, Kansas appeared…Posted by Kansas Wildlife, Parks & Tourism – Game Wardens on Thursday, January 14, 2021
“As part of the felony sentence, Blick was assessed $310,234.68 in restitution that is owed to the Kanas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism for the value of the deer killed,” Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism said.
Blick has pled guilty for criminal hunting, hunting with aid of a motor vehicle, criminal discharge of a firearm, a felon with a firearm, failure to purchase or tag deer, exceeding bag limits, hunting with artificial light, hunting without a license, and taking trophy deer illegally.
He had pled guilty for 33 misdemeanors in Harper County related to the trophy deer he killed in 2019. Investigators are hoping the information gained from this case will also lead to more prosecutions of wildlife violators in the near future.
Blick’s actions have resulted in no hunting privileges for five years, a massive fee, and over a year in prison.
Poaching Issues Across the Country
Kansas isn’t the only state enforcing strict poaching laws. In fact, Oregon is one of the most strict when it comes to poaching and regulating their hunting. They often get the police involved quickly in instances like poaching.
“When people poach animals they’re stealing from all Oregonians … Poaching is a problem, a blatant disregard by some people for our laws,” Yvonne Shaw from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said.
In Oregon, there were 7,644 poaching cases reported in 2018. This does not include a lot of cases that go unreported. Oregon is funneling $4.4 million into helping target poachers. This means putting money into the police to enforce hunting and fishing laws. It also includes more funds for the Department of Justice to prosecute these poachers.
There are trail cameras that capture images in more remote locations. However, Oregon is the 10th-largest state. To catch a poacher can be nearly impossible with so many square miles of open hunting land. This is partially why poaching has become such an issue, to begin with.
According to NRDC, Oregon is one of two states where the division of fish and wildlife is also part of the official police force. This kind of enforcement has proved necessary in the state. A six-year study found that poaching accounted for 20% of the mule deer deaths, which is more than the number of legally hunted mules.
Eighty percent were female deer, which can cause damage in the future population.
Many states continue to seek information and penalize poachers, especially as the 2020 season was one of the most popular hunting seasons.