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Case File  #14   November 2008

Hunting from Stand Overlooking Bait

On 11/17/2008, Warden Neal Wykes received an Operation Game Thief (OGT) complaint of a mechanical feeding station for deer placed near a treestand overlooking the bait site in the town of Sebago. Warden Wykes went to the area, subsequently finding a camoflauged treestand with the drop feeder placed a short distance away from the stand. Cautiously, Warden Wykes approached the stand, not knowing if the stand was occupied. Moving closer, Warden Wykes noticed movement in the stand and identified himself as a game warden and ordered the individual from the stand. The poacher indicated he was unloading his rifle and exited from the stand. Once down from the stand, Wykes ordered the poacher to place his rifle against the tree and asked him if he had any other firearms. The poacher removed a loaded .357 revolver from his holster and Warden Wykes unloaded the revolver. Upon checking the rifle, there was still a loaded clip in the firearm.

Upon questioning, the poacher admitted that he knew it was illegal to bait deer (the feeder, capable of holding 50 pounds of grain, was filled with corn). The poacher did not have permission from the landowner, nor was the stand labeled with his name and address. Warden Wykes charged the poacher with hunting deer over bait and placing a treestand on private property without landowner permission. The poacher's rifle was seized as evidence.

Not only does this violation illustrate the daily dangers our Maine wardens are faced with but also demonstrates the blatant disregard poachers have for our fish and wildlife laws. Thankfully, a concerned citizen reported the violation to Operation Game Thief.


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