Monday, January 21, 2008

Poachers from South Carolina caught in Iowa

Two South Carolina men were arrested for deer poaching on November 10, 2007 at a Des Moines area hotel by Iowa DNR officials. Michael Sillanpaa Jr., of Summerville, S.C., and David Gordon, of Goose Creek, S.C. found themselves the focus of conservation officers. Tips came from a concerned citizen which led to the search of a local residence and a vehicle. Results of the search led to the seizure of deer, two shotguns, two crossbows, a rifle and other equipment, according to the DNR. The men came to Iowa last October...purchasing small game licenses and paying the habitat fee so they would have a legitimate reason to be in the woods hunting. Little did they realize they had become the focus of surveillance by the DNR. These guys were observed purchasing a $1,060 crossbow by officers at a local sporting goods store. Conservation Officer Jeff Swearngin reported later that they had been followed through two state parks where they would kill deer by shooting the crossbow from their vehicle, coming back at night to get the animal's head. Crossbows are not a legal form of weaponry to hunt unless you are disabled here in the state of Iowa. The Iowa DNR said the men shot two bucks, and South Carolina game wardens found three shoulder mounts and two other separate set of deer antlers also taken in Iowa. This wasn't the first time Sillanpaa has been involved with poaching officials from South Carolina revealed. Without this breakthrough these guys would never have been caught. What was strange was that they have been deer poaching in Iowa for the last 10 years. What kind of penalty was imposed you ask? State environmental officials required Michael Sillanpaa Jr., and David Gordon to pay $24,000 in damages, give up $5,000 worth of hunting equipment, and pay a fine of $2,137 which reflected the value of the recovered deer antlers. In looking over the facts - a question comes to mind. What has made the collection of deer antler so valuable that they would risk going above the law to procure them? They don't seem to be alone...

6 comments:

Kristine said...

I'm glad they were caught. As with most poaching cases, however, I wish the punishment had been a little harsher. Especially if the one guy was a repeat offender.

CDGardens said...

Kristine - I must agree that somehow we need to make poaching undesireable.
Maybe for out of state poachers we could make them return to the place they offended and require them to do commuity service on top of assessed fines and damages.

SimplyOutdoors said...

I just recently read an article somewhere about a taxidermy getting broke into and all the antlers being stolen. Apparently there is a big markey for deer antlers and skin. I would have never guessed it either but it's true.

CDGardens said...

simplyoutdoors - I too read that article you are referring to about the taxidermy business that was broken into. A sad event for the individuals that lost their physical mementos of their hunting success. Just hope they took a lot of pictures beforehand.

Marian said...

Hi CDGardens - Just awarded you "The Excellent Blog Award" on my site today. Congrats! Marian :)

CDGardens said...

Marian - Thank you very much for the recognition
of awarding "The Excellent
Blog Award" to me. I find it an honor to join with you and the others who also received the award.