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Hunter Shoots Deer He Wasn’t Supposed to, Gets Caught Red-Handed on Camera

By Caitlin Berard,

(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Pennsylvania police are on the hunt for an alleged poacher who trespassed on a family farm, shot a deer, and stole a trail cam.

It was Saturday night and a group of families was enjoying their evening at the Ashford House Farm in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Unbeknownst to everyone in the warm farmhouse, there was a strange man walking through a wooded section of the property with the goal of shooting a deer.

“There are horses in the field, children all around the farm, dogs. Everyone is having a good time. This is everyone’s happy place and someone comes and does something like this?” owner Caroline Canavan told 6ABC in disgust.

According to Canavan, she had no idea there was a trespasser on her property. She wasn’t watching the surveillance cameras at the time because she was busy tending to visitors and customers. Additionally, no one heard a gunshot because the perpetrator used a bow and arrow to kill the deer, as confirmed by surveillance footage.

“(He) dragged out the deer that he killed and noticed that he was on camera,” Canavan said. “Then he went and stole the camera.”

Though the camera, worth nearly $1,000, was lost to the poacher, footage from the camera remained, thanks to its automatic upload feature when it senses activity. Canavan reported that the man in the footage isn’t wearing proper hunting gear. Furthermore, the deer he killed appeared too young to be hunted, per Pennsylvania law.

“There are definite rules and (he) violated all of them. And it just makes people feel sick,” the farm owner said.

Following the shocking incident, Ashford House Farm officials contacted both the police and the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Both are investigating the case, and ask that anyone with information regarding the deer poacher contact the authorities.

Deer Poaching Isn’t Uncommon in Pennsylvania

Unfortunately, the Ashford House Farm incident isn’t a unique one. Poaching stories are all too common all across the country, including Pennsylvania, which saw a deer poaching case just last fall.

In October 2022, the Pennsylvania Game Commission launched an investigation regarding the poaching of a trophy-class white-tailed deer in Gregg Township. According to the Game Commission, the 10-point buck was shot with a small caliber firearm around 11:00 pm.

Poaching a deer carries a fine of $400-800, in addition to the loss of a hunting license for a year. Per the PGC, however, if the violation involves the killing of big game animals, or threatened or endangered species, perpetrators may face an additional $500 fine in addition to those laid down due to illegal hunting.

The $500 penalty then goes to a special fund. From there, $250 may be paid to the person responsible for providing information leading to the conviction of the poacher.

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