New Mexico has had it with poachers. Governor Susana Martinez signed legislation that cracks down on poachers who kill elk and other wildlife without a license or out of season just for the head or horns.
If convicted of wasting game, violators will now face a felony that carries a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison, a $5,000 fine and the forfeiture of the ability able to hunt with a firearm. Out-of-state suspects may also face extradition.
“We are pleased this bill was signed into law,” said Paul Kienzle, commission chairman. “Conserving New Mexico’s wildlife is our top priority and with these enhanced penalties our game wardens will have the tools needed to provide a greater level of protection.”
Game wardens with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish investigate up to 100 trophy poaching cases a year in which only the head or horns are removed and the rest the animal is left to rot. Hunters are required by law to utilize edible portions meat from harvested game animals.
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(Photo source: Beebower Productions Inc.)