Poachers’ Guns Get Sawed in Half by Colorado Parks and Wildlife: VIDEO
By Brett Stayton,
Back on January 26th, Colorado Parks and Wildlife posted a video pushing back against criminals who violate state hunting regulations and poaching laws. The video shows representatives from the agency’s Southeast Region office destroying $10,000 worth of rifles, shotguns, handguns, and archery equipment. Outdoor Life reports that the weapons were previously confiscated from poachers. The caption came with a warning for anyone who may have thoughts about poaching in the future.
As the entity responsible for protecting and managing Colorado’s natural resources, the agency stressed how seriously they take these criminal actions. “Poaching is not hunting. Poaching is unethical and illegal. It can get you a criminal conviction, a fine, and banned from hunting,” the social media post read.
In the video, Bret Mathews, a technician with Colorado Parks and Wildlife uses a saw to shred the guns and bows seized from poachers. Sparks go flying off the saw blade as the power tool rips through steel, plastic, and wood.
Weapons Seized From Criminals Destroyed By Authorities
Poaching is obviously deplorably unacceptable. However, quite a few gun enthusiasts got mad that the agency was publicly destroying the guns. Some people seem to think the agency was trying to promote an anti-gun political agenda. However, the agency explained the legal reasoning behind the decision. “By law, we have two options with confiscated firearms. If they match the needs of our agency or another law enforcement agency, we can recycle them. Otherwise, we must destroy them.”
At least one of the weapons shown in the video was used by a poacher named Iniki Vike Kapu. In February of 2021, he got jail time, probation, and fines as a result of charges of poaching 12 deer, 2 turkeys, and a bighorn sheep across three different counties.
California Poachers Charged With Conspiracy And Fraud
In December of 2022, a group of poachers in California caught charges for conspiracy and fraud. The suspects allegedly used forged hunting licenses and tags to hunt big game species over the course of several years. One of the suspects reportedly worked at the licensing desk for California Fish and Wildlife. The fake tags and permits all originated at Lizette’s Market in the town of Piru.
Erik Nasarenko, the Ventura County District Attorney said “the six-member wildlife trafficking organization is accused of conspiring with Lizette’s Market beginning in June 2019 through October 2021, allegedly producing the false and fake tags to hunt and take more deer, pigs, and bears than legally allowed by state law.”
Authorities were unable to determine exactly how many illegal hunts the group of poachers was responsible for. Altogether, the initial investigation shows the group made 64 fake tags. An additional 120 tags were not reported to the agency.
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