Conservation officers catch poachers in S. Indiana, donate meat - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Conservation officers catch poachers in S. Indiana, donate meat to needy

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Game meat in freezer bags at Henryville Food Bank. Game meat in freezer bags at Henryville Food Bank.
Deer seized by Indiana Conservation officers. Deer seized by Indiana Conservation officers.
Henryville Food Bank. Henryville Food Bank.

HENRYVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- Even though many hunters obtain licenses to legally harvest deer, some are still breaking the law and getting caught.

"During hunting season every year we get a lot of complaints. Unfortunately this year, it seems like we've had a real spike in our complaints, especially here in southern Indiana,” said Jim Schreck, Conservation officer with Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Schreck says poaching could mean a hunter doesn't have a proper license, is trespassing or over-bagging. He says the most common form of poaching recently has been hunters shooting deer from their cars.

"First and foremost it's illegal. Secondly, it's unethical. But probably most importantly it's highly dangerous. We're lucky no one has been hurt or killed doing that,” Schreck told WDRB.

Schreck says penalties can include a fine, getting your weapon and other gear taken away, and even jail time. He says to catch poachers, they rely on ethical hunters and observant land owners to call in tips. When someone is caught, the meat is seized by police.

"Our goal is to not let anything go to waste so if we arrest someone or if we seize an animal, if at all feasible it's going to be donated to someone in need,” said Schreck.

"When deer season started, the freezers were empty,” said Stella Valentine, a volunteer with the Henryville Food Bank.

The pantry receives donated and poached deer around the holidays.

"It's been a huge blessing and some of the people who used to hunt that are not able to hunt anymore love it. They just love it,” Valentine told WDRB.

"If you suspect someone is killing wildlife illegally, call 1-800-TIP-IDNR or click here.

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