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What is Poaching?

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Illegally killed deer

Illegally killed deer

© Doris Lin 2011, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Definition:

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."

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

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