The state of Missouri’s Department of Conservation had received many complaints of illegal hunting from the southern part of the state.  In order to investigate, an undercover taxidermy shop was set up in 2008, and, astonishingly, 62% of the wildlife bought in for mounting had been killed illegally in some manner!

The violations include those related to deer, turkey, furbearers, both game and non-game fish, and migratory birds…Conservation agents seized a total of 240 items including 90 deer mounts or sets of antlers, approximately 20 various small game, fish, or furbearer mounts, 70 frog legs, one rattlesnake, and 16 firearms. Some of the wildlife was sold illegally. Additionally, three individuals were arrested on a total of 11 outstanding warrants including two for out-of-state felonies.

Wherever one stands on hunting, one has to acknowledge that breaking game laws is bad news.  Kudos to the brave Missouri Conservation Department agents who thought up and carried out this impressive undercover operation!

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Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy, their son, Desmond Shearwater, and their indoor cat, B.B. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.