It’s only been two days since firearm deer season kicked off in Oklahoma. And game wardens say they are receiving calls and complaints that people are hunting illegally, known as poaching.
Mike France has been an Oklahoma Game Warden for over 22 years. He says a lot has changed.
“When I was a kid, we didn't have hardly any deer,” said France. “We all grew up squirrel hunting, rabbit hunting, quail hunting and saw very few deer.”
But now more Oklahoma deer are being poached by hunters.
Multiple suspects were caught poaching Friday, November 16, in Stephens County around 10 p.m. Authorities said three bucks were killed.
The suspects were issued citations for hunting with the aid of a motorized conveyance, headlighting, and possession of wildlife not legally taken.
The deer were donated to local families in need.
“It gets you upset. It gets you mad that people are taking someone else's property because it is property of the state of Oklahoma,” said France. “It’s taking away the opportunity for a legal hunter to go out and harvest a buck of a lifetime.”
Wherever in the state you may be, France and fellow game wardens say they are watching.
“Quit doing it. If you've done it in the past, quit doing it because it’s not worth it,” said France. “If you get caught, the ramifications, the financial part of it, the loss of your hunting privileges, loss of your firearms, it’s just not worth it anymore.”
Your hunting and firearms privileges will not just be taken away in Oklahoma if you are caught, but they will be taken away in nearly every state in the country.
If you do see any suspicious behavior, you are asked to give your county game warden or sheriff office a call.