More to 'poaching' case than meets the eye

This past week, the Sentinel, allegedly reporting from a Colorado Parks and Wildlife news release, ran an article with the headline, “Couple admit to poaching cow moose.”

The named couple did NOT engage in, were not cited or fined for and did not ever admit to “poaching” said cow moose. The word “poach” is not in the CPW release.

The hunter had a valid hunting license. She was hunting within the specified moose hunting season and game management unit. At no point did this couple ever go out with a criminal intent to illegally shoot a moose, nor did they need to.

While some Sentinel staff may want to split hairs over what defines or constitutes “poaching,” I believe that most folks view poaching as someone going out with a criminal intent to violate a law, by taking a big game animal out of season, without a valid license, and notably a trophy animal to keep or sell for financial gain.

Not a single one of these intents or elements apply in this instance. By the Sentinel’s loose, one-size-fits-all definition of “poaching,” a guy who shoots one extra dove, or makes an honest mistake by going over onto private land, is just as bad as a guy who commits the aforementioned obvious, willful crime of taking illegal game.

What this couple did do, is make an honest mistake, based upon several recommendations from local people, including some people that are, let’s just say, in the hunting/recreation business who should have known better than to recommend the area where this couple hunted.

And these hunters, once their unintentional misdeed was pointed out to them, immediately took responsibility, accepted blame, located the landowners involved and spent significant time apologizing, and explaining to them how this error took place.

This couple spent almost seven hours at the kill scene adjoining a dirt county road, following all regulations pertaining to tagging and edible meat portions of big game animals, and taking time to remove this very heavy carcass, so as not to offend folks that might not like hunting. They even sent out photos to a number of their friends who might have an interest in their hunt. Do any of their actions remotely describe “poachers”?

The alleged poacher has never ever had any wildlife violations, and not so much as a parking ticket for decades. How do I know all of this? I am this wonderful lady’s husband. She has zero responsibility for being in this situation, as it is I who put her in this spot. And regardless of the bad advice offered to us, I have accepted full responsibility for not doing sufficient follow-up to insure that the land we were on, was not involved in a land swap that allows public access, as previously informed.


Grand Junction

We must determine what kept voters from supporting 4A

Once again on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019 voters in Mesa County delivered clear messages on a variety of topics. More than 22,000 voters said “No” to the school bond — Measure 4A.

In the past week, a wise man here in Grand Junction opined to this writer “If you want to get the attention of any political entity, turn off its funding.” I voted for the measure. So a message has been delivered — but how do we know precisely, what the message was? In other words, why do people do what people do? Our school board, district employees, parents and yes, of course, our kids desperately need to know exactly why the “NO” voters sent that message. What was their thinking and reasoning?” Every effort and by a sensible method must the answers be learned. And this effort must be accomplished right away. We cannot afford for this result to happen ever again. There are many possible ways to learn from the “NO” voters as to what they might recommend so as to how they may vote “YES” the next time around. Most are wise. Many are sound thinkers. Yes, some are constant gripers. I honestly don’t have any suggestions as to how to gain this information — but it must be sought out, analyzed thoughtfully and if changes are needed, make them. Let’s learn together what the messages are. No doubt there are several. REMEMBER — we must learn why people do what people do. I look forward to learning what the messages are. Let’s pass the next school bond issue. But first, we must know specifically why this one didn’t pass.


Grand Junction

Voters don’t hate tax increases, just wasted tax increases

John Williams telling all of us we should be ashamed of not passing the school tax increase is the pot calling the kettle black.

What he and the board members forget, that we did not, is how poorly they handled their job of knowing how the previous school administrator spent our money. We all know we need a new high school and revisions to other schools and most of us are not worried about the small tax increase. What we are worried about is how the board will use the money! If they couldn’t keep track of spending after the 2017 funding measures, could we be sure they wouldn’t waste another windfall?

Maybe what we need is a new board we can trust to be vigilant with our money. I believe knowing our money would be used wisely, a tax increase for the schools would pass easily. It isn’t that we hate all tax increases, but wasted tax increases.


Grand Junction

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