Poaching: Punishment Done Right


map-43790_1280Have you heard of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact? Well, if you haven’t heard of it yet, maybe it’s time you get to know what it is. There are 2 men from Tennessee who can probably tell you all about it.

So, here’s a quick summary of just what this compact is:

“The Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact is an agreement that recognizes suspension of hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses in member states. This means that illegal activities in one state can affect a person’s hunting or fishing privileges in all participating states.” 

See more (including participating states) at: https://www.tn.gov/twra/article/interstate-wildlife-violator-compact#sthash.OTc2EYkV.dpuf

That’s right, if you violate the law in one state, your punishment can follow you to other states. And, in my opinion, this is how all serious poaching violations should be handled. Yet, I seldom hear of cases where this type of punishment is doled out. But, here is one of those cases where the punishment was done right.

This leads us right back to the 2 men from Tennessee, Eddy Albert, 21, and Densibel Calzada, 23. It is believed that Albert and Calzada may have poached as many as 40 deer.

These 2 men were investigated by the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) after responding to a trespassing call, and then 48 hours later responding to another call concerning Albert and Calzada. The second call had been made by the Smyrna, Tennessee police department after they had pulled the 2 men over and found a dead deer and a rifle in the vehicle.

This led to a search of the homes and phones of the men where videos and pictures of deer kills were found. A large portion of these videos and photos were of night time killings and showed grotesque treatment of the animals, including climbing on the backs of the animals and slapping them, and even one case of blowing the head off of a deer that was still alive. Albert and Calzada showed a complete lack of respect for the animals they had taken, and also displayed completely immature behavior in their celebrations of their kills. The 2 men were charged with hunting out of season, hunting without permission, illegal transportation of wildlife, and failing to report the deer they killed.

Albert and Calzada entered guilty pleas, and for their actions they each received the following punishment:

  • $1000 in court costshammer-1537123_1280
  • $5000 in restitution
  • Confiscation of weapons
  • 100 hours of community service
  • 18 months probation
  • Lifetime hunting ban in 44 states

I’m sure Albert and Calzada never imagined their grotesque and immature acts against deer in the state of Tennessee would affect them for life, and even more importantly in 44 states. The Wildlife Violator Compact exists for a reason, and it would be great to see it honored more often! We need to send a message to poachers; these types of actions will not be tolerated! Currently 44 states are members of the compact and 4 more are in the process of joining. This leaves only 2 states that do not belong, and currently have no intention of joining. Which 2 states, you ask? The answer, New Jersey and Nebraska.

So, now you know what the Wildlife Violator Compact is. And, you know the case of Albert and Calzada, and how they learned about the compact. I believe this is a case where the punishment was done right. But, I would love to hear your thoughts. Do you agree with the punishment these 2 poachers received? Was it strict enough? Too strict?

Please share your thoughts below, or as always, you can contact me at kls2703@yahoo.com.

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