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Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact Brings the Pain!

Feb 16, 2012

Have you ever heard of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact (IWVC)? There is no reason you should if you try to obey fishing and hunting regulations. However, one habitual poacher recently got a crash course in the workings of this 20-year-old agreement between state game-and-fish agencies. The 57-year-old Wisconsin man was found guilty of 23 wildlife violations in Montana in December. He was ordered to pay $15,500 in fines and restitution.

Besides losing a boatload of cash, he also got his Montana hunting privileges suspended for nearly 35 years. Not being able to hunt in Montana until he is 92 years old is probably a bitter pill for this guy, but that is the least of his worries, because Montana is only one of 36 IWVC member states. That means that all the other 35 states – including his home state and Missouri – will suspend his hunting privileges, too.

So what? That still leaves 14 states where the infamous poacher can hunt, right? Wrong. Seven other states are in the process of joining the IWVC, so eventually he will be shut out there, too. He will be left with Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Rhode Island. Those states’ combined area equals 1.3 percent of the land in the United States. Montana alone has three times the acreage as the seven IWVC nonmember states. Good luck satisfying your hunting urge on that postage stamp.

Getting your privileges suspended isn’t easy. That questionable honor is reserved for deliberate, repeat offenders. Trust me, anyone who gets his privileges suspended for one year, let alone 35, didn’t just trip over an obscure clause in the Wildlife Code.

I don’t know about you, but I find this very comforting. We all know that hunting and fishing regulations are necessary to protect our wild resources. Occasionally we find some of those regulations inconvenient, but we obey them because we want to do our part to protect the sports we love. The idea that others might not be playing by the rules really sticks in our craws. The IWVC is our way of telling poachers to take a hike…to New Jersey, for example!


Jim: I am all for IWVC and all the penalties that accompany it. However, I agree with Paul in that many of these violators who blatantly disregard the law will continue to be violators. What's a permit to them but a worthless piece of paper. We've dealt with these types (poachers) at our place in the Ozarks and a lot of them are serial criminals anyway with crimes ranging from theft, robbery, drub abuse/trafficing, assault and more.

Thanks for the comments, guys. Paul, you are right about the strong possibility this guy will go back to his old tricks. But with the record he has accumulated, he also is likely to get jail time next time he is caught. That gets the attention of repeat offenders in a way that fines can't. - Jim@mdc

Awesome idea I didn't know abou that, but what a excellent idea!!! Keep up te good work, it would be nice to get all the states onboard with this. Maybe one day it will be nationwide, it's too bad people like that give us ethical hunters a bad reputation. Respectfully, Concerned Missouri Sportsman! Avid bow hunter and outdoor enthusiast Bill

But the real question is if he has already been convicted of 23 wildlife violations does he really care that he doesn't have a fishing or hunting permit? Chances are he will continue to do the same illegal things with or without a proper license.

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