Results of a major poaching case, the Ruth case, in western Montana.
Poaching is the illegal killing of fish or wildlife. It can include illegal killing for commercial trade or ego gratification. In closed areas or during closed hunting seasons, it can mean taking more than the law allows.
Poachers are criminals who kill for the thrill of killing, to lash out at wildlife laws, and, increasingly, for profit. Poachers are not down-on-their-luck people trying to feed their families. They are from all walks of life and avocations, and include residents and nonresidents. They kill wildlife any way, time, and place they can. Poaching rings can be well organized and extremely profitable. Some poachers operate alone, while others operate as part of organized crime. All poachers kill and waste fish and wildlife with no regard for the rights of others.