Poachers are hurting ranchers who lease their land for hunting
STARR COUNTY - Ranchers in Starr County said they are fed up with poachers. One rancher who rents out his property to hunters said poachers are ruining his bottom line.
Game wardens said poaching and road hunting are a huge problem in Starr County and landowners are taking notice.
Acres and acres of land are sprawled out through Starr County. It is prime real estate for hunters.
Rancher Robert Sanders was at the farm and ranch supply store in San Isidro gathering hunting supplies. He takes his hunters out on private land to hunt for trophy bucks.
“A deer is worth a lot of money...he really is. To me and to the man that pays me to take him hunting,” Sanders said.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said they rely on property owners and the public to report these crimes. Ranches surrounded by fences and gates make it hard for them to patrol.
Sanders said, “I tell them to get off the land… They give you some song and dance...’Well this is not so and so's land, or I'm a consultant for an oil company. They are driving around with blood in their pickup.”
Poachers have trespassed on Sanders' property and hunted without buying a license. His hunters are not happy.
“They're paying a lot of money to lease the land, and the animals are worth a lot of money,” said the rancher.
He said it is frustrating to see thieves stealing game and wants to see more enforcement.
Anyone wanting to report poaching can call 1-800-792-4263. This number works statewide. You will remain anonymous.
Fines for road hunting or poaching can reach $10,000 and a person could get probation or go to jail time. The crime can become a felony. Video.