poaching

(redirected from Poachers)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms, Encyclopedia.

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 ?
There came back into his memory at once the name Long Adam, the poacher.
But it seems unlikely, somehow, that the partridge rushed between us and died for love of me, like the heroines in the romances; so I suppose you are a poacher."
"I suppose you would call me a poacher," answered the man; and his voice was something of a surprise coming from such a scarecrow; it had that hard fastidiousness to be found in those who have made a fight for their own refinement among rough surroundings.
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.
The poacher had recovered a grim composure as he replied.
"Probably you are the poacher who says he isn't a poacher.
In land-based operations, four armed poachers have been killed in contacts, 15 have been arrested with ivory and are receiving the mandatory nine-year term of imprisonment, and 19 poachers have been arrested for hunting of lesser game and sentenced to between six months and two years.
Establishing the link between poachers and terrorists, the state authorities, in response to an RTI application, have accepted that the Karbi People's Liberation Tigers ( KPLT), an extremist outfit, was actively involved in the poaching of rhinos and trade of its horns.
In the past, such poachers and smugglers could walk out of court with a fine of less than $1,000.
The rare one-horned Indian rhinos were killed by poachers in India's Kaziranga National Park which is home to many rare species of animals including the rhinos in the country, the sources said.
"[W]ith wild ginseng root fetching upward of $800 a pound, untold numbers of poachers have taken to local forests, overwhelming meager law enforcement resources and leaving the plant's survival in doubt," reports Jake Frankel for Mountain Xpress.