Five juvenile poachers have been arrested and charged after an extensive poaching spree. The teens now face a multitude of charges in what authorities describe as a “poaching ring” that “thrill killed” multiple deer during the fall of 2020.
According to the Meadville Tribune, five juveniles were charged with the killing or attempted killing of 14 deer during the fall of 2020. The group would ride around with loaded rifles and shoot deer from the road.
Jason R. Amory, an information and education supervisor with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said the accused juveniles came from Crawford County and Erie County, Pennsylvania,
A total of 11 full or partial deer carcasses have been identified as being part of the shooting spree. The meat was not taken and only a few times did the teens take the antlers, leaving both to rot where they were shot.
Amory believes this in indicative of what he calls “Thrill Killing,” where the participants are only shooting the deer for the fun of it.
“The theme we keep coming back to is these deer are being killed for almost thrill-kill-type situations,” Amory said.
This is not the first time Erie county has had issues with teens poaching deer in this manner. Amory believes this incident is related to a similar incident that took place back in 2019, but do to the suspects being juveniles and because the cases still being open he could not comment further.
Charges against the young poachers were filed on Dec. 21 and include 143 citations with fines that reach a minimum of $48,800 and a maximum of $82,000. In addition, replacement costs that are often imposed in wildlife crimes could add an additional $11,400 to the total, for a maximum possible $93,400.
The teens, who all also possessed hunting licenses, risk them being revoked and having their hunting privileges taken away. Armory believes this will happen based on prior outcomes, but that decision would be up to the judge.
Hopefully, the judge will lay down an appropriate sentence that will get these kids attention and right their ship. They are going down the wrong path and this should be a wakeup call.
This is not the first time this season we have covered stories like this. Also this fall a group of teens from Wisconsin was busted for killing close to 40 deer and a horse in a similar manner.