Charles Harr, Jr., 19, had his day in court earlier this week. Harr was charged with allegedly spotlighting deer, killing some 11 animals.
Two accomplices were apprehended and later cited on the crime spree last year. An 18-year-old friend and, get this, Harr’s father, Charles Harr, Sr. who officers believe was in the process of helping his son butcher and dispose of the illegal deer.
That is one of the saddest examples of fathering that I have ever heard of in the outdoor world. But unfortunately it is not uncommon. I have reported on many poaching incidents in my outdoor journalism career, and many if not most of them involve family.
The judge handed down the same old weak fines–$16,400 combined among the three men–that we have become accustomed to in deer-poaching cases. There was probation and officers took the rifle used to illegally kill the deer. Big deal.
But here’s what is a big deal: It’s going to be a very long time before Harr, Jr. will go hunting again. The court suspended his hunting license for 50 years.
This young man has a long time to think about what he did. If he decides to go hunting one day when he turns 70, maybe he’ll do it the right way.
Finally a judge got it kind of right in a poaching case, agree?
We live in a time when our President Obama releases drug dealers and/or commutes their sentences, welcomes illegal aliens with open arms and gives them a financial start. An let us not forget the all to regular headlines of our political elected officials getting sentenced for graft only to be walking the streets again in less than a month….that sure makes shooting a deer seem mild..illegal I agree but when compared to the others mild.
IMO, if he was not worried about poaching laws, do you really think he will abide by the no hunting for 50 years law? I don’t! He was raised wrong and, at 19 years of age, I think that leopard’s spots are firmly in place.
I’m sure that this won’t sit well with some here…but I think we as deer hunters tend to look @ fines, penalties for hunting violations as NEVER stiff enough.
IMO, a $5,500 fine ( rough average for the three individuals sited in your example) is a substantial amount of money and while revoking hunting for 50 years sounds tough, the reality is this young man isn’t going to sit out for 50 years and we all know it. And in reality what are they going to do if they catch him hunting again?
In the end, while some of us would want they guy thrown in jail for years and fined thousands and thousands of dollars, we all know these people can afford the fines and the local jails and state prisons are full of violent offenders who I would much rather see serve their sentences if that means lesser fines and community service for poachers.
I need to correct the last paragraph…
In the end, while some of us want guys like this thrown in jail for years and fined thousands and thousands of dollars, we all know these people can’t afford high fines and the local jails and state prisons are full of violent offenders who I would much rather see serve their sentences if that means lesser fines and community service for poachers.
In Pa. a district magistrate hears game law citations usually class 3-5 misdemeanor taking into account the penalty suggested by the PGC (game cops).
What suggests to the magistrate or the PGC that someone whom spotlights and poaches will care if the have a license or not? In all likely hood he’ll lay low for a bit then just continue to hunt or travel to New Jersey where the state is not a member of the Interstate Wildlife Pact or Canada where the entire country is open to those with revoked USA hunting tags.
While I disagree with poaching under any laws not all wildlife infractions that may result in a license revocation in Pa. involve killing wildlife. My son had his revoked for a combination of not enough florescent orange ( under 250 sq. ” ) his vest was not large enough and according to the WCO his ball cap was “not orange enough”. He lost his right to hunt in all states enrolled in the ISWP for 2016-17. To me that is excessive but under state law the WCO may write the what he feels is the appropriate penalty……..I should mention my son married the WCO’s ex wife three weeks prior to getting the penalty. Does that seem fair to anyone??? Off to Canada for us this year!!!!!!