By Chris Hayes
Conservation agents often have to go undercover to protect Missouri’s wildlife. Investigators believepoaching is the most dangerous and lucrative in the Midwest.
It’s hidden camera video, you’ll only see on Fox. It happened in the Southern Missouri town of Birch Tree, where an under agent set up a taxidermy shop to catch poachers. They were looking for wildlife violations, similar to what conservation agents catch in deer decoy stings. Conservation Protection Manager Gary Cravens described the brazenness of outlaws who will shoot from anywhere. Cravens said, “They see some type of animal they want to shoot, they`ll shoot it regardless of where it is or who it`s on.” Chris Hayes asked, “On public roads?” Cravens responded, “Oh yes, state highways, gravel roads, doesn`t make any difference.” Hayes followed up, “With other motorists around?” Cravens answered, “Yes.”
Poaching can also be spotlighting or hunting out of season. But you’d never know it was poaching, just looking at a deer mount. So agents set up this taxidermy shop to try to catch it all. In one case, men come into the shot and seem to notice a deer they’ve strung up – moving.
You can hear someone say, “Is the buck still alive?” Another man points and says “twitching.”
They agree the deer is alive, but they don`t seem to do anything about it. The deer slowly dies.
Cravens said, “It`s kind of sad to think there are people like that, that intentionally go out and do that kind of stuff, but we know they are. That`s our job to stop that, or at least slow it down.”
You might be wondering where agents put the camera, to get such a good view without being detected. They put it inside the head of a deer mount, with no way to be able to see it without ripping it open.
Agents nettedevidence of hundreds of violations, including illegal firearms and deer mounts, antlers and furs from poaching.
Jim Miller, of Big Daddy’s Taxidermy said, “It`s cheating, It`s stealing and it gives all the rest of us a black eye.” More....