poaching

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Poaching

The illegal shooting, trapping, or taking of game or fish from private or public property.

The poaching of game and fish was made a crime in England in the seventeenth century, as aristocratic landowners sought to preserve their shooting and property rights. Poor peasants did most of the poaching to supplement their diets with meat and fish.

In the United States, poaching was not considered a serious problem meriting legal measures before the twentieth century, because vast expanses of undeveloped land contained abundant sources of fish and game. The increased cultivation of land and the growth of towns and cities reduced wildlife habitats in the twentieth century. In the early 1900s, the U.S. conservation movement arose with an emphasis on preserving wildlife and managing the fish and game populations. Wildlife preserves and state and national parks were created as havens for wild animals, many of which were threatened with extinction.

Because of these changing circumstances, restrictions were placed on hunting and fishing. State game and fish laws now require persons to purchase licenses to hunt and fish. The terms of these licenses limit the kind and number of animals or fish that may be taken and restrict hunting and fishing to designated times of the year, popularly referred to as hunting and fishing seasons.

Therefore, persons who fail to purchase a license, as well as those who violate the terms of their licenses, commit acts of poaching. Most poaching in the United States is done for sport or commercial profit. Rare and endangered species, which are protected by state and federal law, are often the targets of poachers.

Poaching laws are enforced by game wardens, who patrol state and national parks and respond to violations on private property. Poachers are subject to criminal laws, ranging from misdemeanors to felonies. Penalties may include steep fines, jail sentences, the Forfeiture of any poached game or fish, the loss of hunting and fishing license privileges for several years, and the forfeiture of hunting or fishing equipment, boats, and vehicles used in the poaching.

Cross-references

Endangered Species Act; Environmental Law; Fish and Fishing.

poaching

the crime of taking game or other specified beasts and trespassing so to do. It is criminalized by, among other enactments, the Night Poaching Act 1828, the Game Laws (Amendment) Act 1960 and the Deer Act 1980.
References in classic literature ?
He had cheated old Wilkins out of his freehold by a trick fit for a pickpocket; he had driven old Mother Biddle to the workhouse; he had stretched the law against Long Adam, the poacher, till all the magistrates were ashamed of him.
You are going to denounce Verner from a public platform, naming him for what he did and naming the poacher he did it to.
And Mother Biddle and Long Adam, the poacher, are not personalities," said Fisher, "and suppose we mustn't ask how Verner made all the money that enabled him to become--a personality.
There was Jem Rodney, a known poacher, and otherwise disreputable: he had often met Marner in his journeys across the fields, and had said something jestingly about the weaver's money; nay, he had once irritated Marner, by lingering at the fire when he called to light his pipe, instead of going about his business.
I much fear that yon same fellow is a rascally poacher come after our own and the King's meat
I was brought up in the country, and my father in his leisure time was something of a poacher.
For the brickmaker had been a notorious poacher, and was suspected, though there was no good evidence against him, of being the man who had shot a neighbouring gamekeeper in the leg.
It is Tory ground, where I and the `Pioneer' are no more welcome than a poacher and his gun.
he went on, addressing the poacher, "I fully believed you to be a man of your word; I pledged mine for you because I had your promise.
The higgler to whom the hare was sold, being unfortunately taken many months after with a quantity of game upon him, was obliged to make his peace with the squire, by becoming evidence against some poacher.
The hunters, never more than roughly aware of the position of the ship, nevertheless knew that we were close to the boundaries of the forbidden sea, while Wolf Larsen's record as a poacher was notorious.
In disposition he was sociable, and far from being proud; nay, he rather preferred the society of a farmer or a horse-dealer to that of a gentleman, like my lord, his son: he was fond of drink, of swearing, of joking with the farmers' daughters: he was never known to give away a shilling or to do a good action, but was of a pleasant, sly, laughing mood, and would cut his joke and drink his glass with a tenant and sell him up the next day; or have his laugh with the poacher he was transporting with equal good humour.