I don’t usually pay much attention to news or emails about “trophy” bucks.  Sure, I’ll spend a few seconds in awe of a really great specimen, but I find them most impressive alive.  Once they’re dead, they’re meat as far as I’m concerned.  Not to take away from anyone’s sense of accomplishment or anything, and a big set of antlers is nice enough… congrats to the hunter if it made him happy… but I don’t really care all that much about pictures of a big deer that someone I don’t even know has killed. 

Big buck taken illegallySo when the news came out about this 24-point buck killed in Michigan, I kinda blinked through it.  Big deal…another big deer.  I wasn’t really interested.  But when I read the follow-up to that story at the Outdoor Pressroom, I got a little interested… and then I got mad. 

Turns out, this jerk shot the deer and THEN went to buy his license afterward!  So this “Great White Hunter” is actually just another sorry-assed poacher!  From the Outdoor Pressroom, I followed the link to an online article from the Jackson Citizen Patriot.  The article explains that the Department of Natural Resources agents were skeptical  about Mr. James’s story.  A brief investigation turned up the fact that he went to a local marina and bought his hunting license THE DAY AFTER HE SHOT THE DEER!

Now when anyone is alleged to have committed a crime like this, I tend to hold off my own judgement until they have their day in court.  But Mr. James has already confessed to the act. 

“I turned myself in and told the truth on my own,” James said. “Like I told the conservation officer, it was an honest mistake. I always bought my deer licenses, but this time I forgot.”

I’m sorry.  Did he say he “forgot” to buy his deer license?  Really?  That’s the best he’s got?  An honest mistake…?

No.  You don’t FORGET to buy your deer license before you go shoot the deer of a lifetime.  You may forget your binoculars.  You could forget your release.  You might even forget to bring your license with you when you left the house that morning. 

But you DON’T FORGET TO BUY A LICENSE BEFORE YOU SHOOT A MONSTER BUCK! 

There is nothing honest or mistaken in this thing at all.  I’d say Mr James’s real plan was to save himself $15 until he found a deer he wanted to shoot.  That way, he could hunt all season for free, and then he’d only have to pay if he actually killed something.  He saw this monster buck, and out of pure selfishness and trophy-lust, he killed it.  Then he went and bought a license. 

That’s not how it works, folks.  I hope the judge and prosecutors see through his ridiculous claim as well. 

The misdemeanor charge of unlawfully taking game carries a mandatory jail term of 5-93 days, a $1,000 fine, loss of hunting privileges for three years and forfeiture of the antlers.

I hope he gets the full penalty with both barrels, in addition to the scorn and contempt of real sportsmen around the country.  It’s people like Mr. James here who make it so bloody hard to defend the sport and tradition of hunting.  Every time we’re able to generate the scantest amount of positive press, someone like Mr. James has to come along and erase it all with one stupid, selfish motion. 

So for his greedy and stupid acts, and the irreparable harm he has done to the image of hunters and sportsmen throughout the land, I hereby name Mr. Christopher James as the first recipient of the Hog Blog’s Adam Henry Award.

Congratulations, Mr. James.

Adam Henry (A. H.) – Commonly used police radio code for Asshole.

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