Poaching isn’t sexy. Especially not to a game warden.
An Oklahoma woman looking for love on a dating app is facing hefty fines after a message exchange with a game warden revealed her recent alleged poaching activities.
According to a Facebook post by Oklahoma Game Wardens, Cannon Harrison, one of their wildlife officers, encountered a poacher through a random conversation on the dating app Bumble.
The post states that Harrison received a message from a woman on the dating app where the conversation in question ensued.
In the exchange, Harrison asks the woman how she is doing, and the response was so shocking, the would-be suitor thought it was a prank. “Honestly, the first thing I thought was that it was someone who was messing with me because they knew who I was,” Harrison tells The Washington Post.
The Oklahoma Game Wardens posted snapshots of the exchange between Harrison and the woman which reveal she had poached a deer outside of rifle season, at night, and with the use of a spotlight—three strikes against the would-be lady love.
“Just shot a bigo buck. Pretty happy about it,” she replies to Harrison. The response was followed up with a photo of the woman shown holding the dead deer. Follow-up questions by Harrison led to an incriminating confession about the crime that had just taken place. To the game warden’s amazement, the woman also sent photos of the detached deer head and carcass which was left to rot without attempts to remove the edible portions of the animal; another despicable crime.
As if killing a deer by illegal means and waste of game weren’t bad enough, the worst part about this situation may be her ignorance on the definition of a big deer. The poached deer’s antlers, in this case, don’t appear to meet the minimum standards for a legal deer rack in some states. Taking deer before they’ve matured affects the overall quality of the entire herd.
Through information gathered by the clever game warden, they were able to find her identity through social media. The Washington Post reports that the next morning the game warden showed up at her home to issue the woman a different kind of date… a court date. This was probably not the way she imagined she would meet her prospective love interest.
The woman, who remains unidentified by officials, plead guilty to hunting deer out of season and possessing game that was taken illegally, according to Harrison. Fines issued to her and an accomplice amounted to $2,400, reports Tulsa World.
Poachers selfishly jeopardize conservation and the opportunity for real hunters to practice wildlife management. Good to know game wardens and wildlife officials are always on the clock protecting wildlife, even in their personal lives.
In this case, the poacher and the game warden made a perfect match… of sorts.
by: Martha Houle
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