Friday, April 15, 2016

Conspicuous Lawbreaking

A Wyoming-based online news aggregator tells of a proud trophy hunter tripped up by the conspicuousness of his trophy.

In November of 2015 a non-typical mule deer buck was taken in the Big Piney area by a hunter [after mule deer season had closed in October]...

This case was brought to the [Wyoming Game & Fish Division]'s attention by concerned citizens who had witnessed the mule deer buck on display at the Salt Lake City 2016 Western Hunting and Conservation Expo.

The reporting parties had noticed the same buck in the area after the October mule deer season had closed, they inquired information from the hunter and learned that it had been taken in November and notified the WGFD.

The picture here and those at the link give an idea what "non-typical" can mean, and why the informant had reason to suspect a violation. An animal so conspicuous that photographers were taking pictures of it earlier in the summer should have been a red-flag warning to the hunter in question not to take the shot unless he was absolutely certain it was legal. It was a deer-hunting equivalent of stealing the Mona Lisa and offering it for sale on Craigslist.

Mule deer are distinguished from whitetails by, among other traits, larger ears and, in typical animals, a distinctly different antler pattern. This buck, while non-typical, still obviously had mule-deer antlers.

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