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Poacher Who Killed One of Largest Elk in PA History Will Go to Jail

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Poacher Who Killed One of Largest Elk in PA History Will Go to Jail

Is the penalty enough?

After pleading guilty to poaching three bull elk—two of trophy class and one 10×9 non-typical that is among the largest on record in Pennsylvania—Frank Gordo Buchanan, Jr., 25, will spend three to 18 months in Clearfield County Jail. He will also pay $9,550 in fines for three counts of unlawful taking of big game and one count each of unlawful taking of game, unlawful use of a vehicle to take game, and unlawful use of an artificial light to take game, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

These fines and jail time are in addition to the $11,500 in costs, which we originally reported would be required of Buchanan and his two co-conspirators to replace the poached animals. The two other men charged in the incident have waived a preliminary hearing and will have their cases heard in county court, Penn Live reports.

The poaching activity took place over two nights in September. Authorities were alerted when a local resident found the body of a 4×5 bull elk stripped of its antlers. Six days later, the three men were seen spotlighting from a pickup truck, and wildlife conservation officers caught them with a fresh kill and a handsaw covered in elk hair and tissue. Buchanan admitted to killing all three elk with a 7mm rifle in order to sell the antlers online.

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