Target: Warden Nick Buckler with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Goal: Praise the game warden for investigating an illegal poacher and bringing the criminal to justice
After illegally killing 60 bobcats and gray foxes, and setting traps across 900 square miles, a Northern California man was recently charged with illegal poaching. He later pled guilty, representing a rare win for local fish and wildlife enforcement.
The accused, Tracy Lee Shultz, began setting up traps before the legal hunting season opened on November 24. Shultz also reportedly set up around 50 traps, far more than he could reasonably maintain according to hunting rules and regulations set up by the government. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife requires that traps are checked every day, and that animals are removed from them daily. This helps minimize the suffering of animals which may be trapped but still be alive, and limits the number of predators and scavengers feeding on trapped animals.
The Fish and Wildlife warden for Lassen County, Nick Buckler, was given a tip about Shultz’s illegal activities. Buckler spent numerous hours and days investigating Shultz’s trapping. After a nearly three month-long investigation, evidence was seized and criminal proceedings were initiated.
Shultz was fined $5,000 and ordered to give up pelts worth approximately $15,000. In addition to these fines, Shultz was also banned from fishing, hunting and trapping or going on trips associated with these activities for one full year. The fines that Shultz must pay will go to support legal fishing and hunting activities.
Poaching is heavily regulated in the United States in order to protect vulnerable animal species. Unfortunately many hunters disregard regulations and poach animals illegally, usually to increase their profits. The majority of these illegal poaching cases are never resolved, and few poachers ever face consequences for their crimes.
Praise Warden Nick Buckler for investigating Shultz’s illegal poaching, and for bringing him to justice.
Dear Warden Buckler,
Thank you for taking the initiative to investigate the illegal activities of Tracy Shultz, and for bringing him to justice. Poaching is heavily regulated in the United States due to the risk of lowering animal populations below sustainable thresholds. Unfortunately some hunters disregard government-set laws and poach for animal pelts illegally. Few of these cases are ever investigated despite their impact on threatened species and habitats.
Illegal poachers must learn that their activities will not go unpunished. Thank you for going above and beyond to bring a particularly brazen poacher to justice. Keep up the great work!
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: LynnKitchellStock via DevianArt