This press release came out of the House of Representatives this week. It’s strange to think poaching still happens in America, but it does. Very interesting.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation by state Rep. Pat Ownbey would deter poaching by increasing the fine and mandating that poachers lose their hunting and fishing licenses.
“The current minimum fine of $50 for poaching is so weak that there’s not much point in even enforcing it and a repeat offender is treated the same as a first-time offender,” Ownbey, R-Ardmore, said. “I had a constituent whose horse was shot by a poacher who was illegally hunting deer on the property. This might not have happened if current laws provided for a stricter poaching penalty.”
House Bill 2573 would increase the minimum fine for poaching to $100 and mandate the loss of the poacher’s hunting and fishing licenses for one year. The legislation makes the penalty for a second offense a fine of $500-1000, six months in county jail or both.
“Poaching is a big problem across the state and our current law does a poor job of protecting landowners’ rights. It is costing people money and I think repeat offenders should face stiff penalties that might make them think twice about their behavior,” Ownbey said. “It’s time to put a stop to this illegal activity.”
House Bill 2573 will be eligible for a committee hearing when the Legislature reconvenes on Feb. 6.