Poaching violations typically catch our attention in one of two ways. Either the celebrity status of the one at fault, or the price of the fine dealt out. In one of the most recent poaching violations, the price tag of the fine is what immediately caught my eye. The poacher’s name is John Blick Jr.
I’ve never heard of him.
But despite his lack of popularity or celebrity status, he managed to stack up the poaching fines like a boss.
The Kansas wildlife department just announced his sentencing for illegally killing 60 deer (whitetail and mule deer). How big a deal is this?
The fines and restitution owed are more than 3 times larger than any previous fine for poaching.
Blick pled guilty to numerous counts of criminal hunting, hunting with aid of a motor vehicle, criminal discharge of a firearm, felony possession of a firearm, failure to tag deer, exceeding bag limits, hunting with artificial light, hunting without a valid license, and taking trophy deer illegally.
The deer heads will be destroyed in pursuant with 32-1047. All equipment and firearms seized were ordered to be forfeited to the state of Kansas.
The fine was $310,234.68 for 57 of the deer, with an additional $32,407.04 for 3 trophy deer killed. On top of the fines, the sentencing also includes 14 months in jail, followed by 12 months of post-release supervision.
According to the Kansas Wildlife, Parks & Tousim department, these cases were the result of a multi-year investigation.
Additionally, Blick was charged and plead guilty to 33 misdemeanors and was fined an additional $15,000 worth of fines with restitutions amount ordered of $17,407.04 for the 3 trophy deer that he killed in 2019 and also the forfeiture of his hunting privileges for 5 years from the date of his conviction.
The question is, did this poacher get what he deserves? Is the fine too excessive?
How about when compared to other crimes with a $300,000 price tag?
Consider this, the owner of the Pizza Peddler restaurants in Massachusetts has been ordered to pay more than $300,000 for “willful violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.”
There was also a millionaire property developer was slapped with a $300,000 fine for cutting down a 176-year-old giant redwood.
And what about the Pennsylvania gambling ring leader and son that were busted and stuck with a $300K fine for corruption?
So in light of these, how does the poacher fine stack up? Too much, or too little?
Comment below and let us know whether you think these fines are sufficient for the crime committed, or whether he got off easy.