Many people have expressed anger and frustration with the shed hunting restrictions across the west. Most have the same complaint that the law is hard to enforce. Poachers are going to poach, and the law-abiding shed hunters will get the short end of the stick. Wyoming is proving they aren’t messing around though.
According to a report from KTWO-AM, Joshua Anders Rae was charged with illegally collecting sheds. He lost his hunting privileges worldwide and was fined $15,000 for. The incident took place in June of 2016 Rae crossed into a National Elk Refuge and entered the Bridger-Teton National Forest.
He was charged with violating the Lacey Act which states “it is unlawful to import, export, sell, acquire, or purchase fish, wildlife or plants that are taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of U.S. or Indian law or in interstate or foreign commerce involving any fish, wildlife, or plants taken possessed or sold in violation of State or foreign law.”
Rae received 5 years of unsupervised probation, a 5 year suspension of hunting privileges worldwide, and $15,000 in restitution to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department of law enforcement. He is also banned from the National Elk Refuge near Jackson, Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park, except for necessary travel across state and federal highways.
Rae was using the sheds as a source of income. He sold the antlers to be made into dog chews. He had 104 pounds of antlers in his possession.
What do you think of the punishment? Do you think it is enough to deter potential poachers? Or is the reward enough to make people dishonest?