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What is Poaching?


Workers arrange stockpiled ivory tusks set to be destroyed on June 21, 2013 in Quezon City, Philippines.
Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Poaching is the illegal taking of wildlife, in violation of local, state, federal or international law. Activities that are considered poaching include killing an animal out of season, without a license, with a prohibited weapon, or in a prohibited manner such as jacklighting. Killing a protected species, exceeding one's bag limit or killing an animal while trespassing are also considered to be poaching.

At right, a trophy on display at the Assunpink Wildlife Management Area, Monmouth County, NJ. A plaque below the trophy reads in part, "This buck was illegally taken during the 2003 extended bow season in Manalapan Township, Monmouth County. It scored 134 0/8 Boone and Crockett and would have made the Pope and Young Club if taken legally. Conservation Officer Greg Szulecki investigated the case."

Many state wildlife management agencies have hotlines that the public can call to report poaching.
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