Poacher Law and Legal Definition

Poacher is a person who takes wildlife illegally. Poaching, the illegal hunting, trapping, and taking of wild animals or plants is a deadly crime against wildlife. According to wildlife officials, legal hunters kill tens of millions of animals every year. For each of those animals, another is killed illegally. Hunters who take wild animals/plants without a valid permit may be referred as poachers. Hunting/killing/capturing of animals in closed season also amounts to poaching.

Rare and endangered species of plants and animals protected by state and federal law are often the targets of poachers. They kill the endangered species for commercial profit or just as a sport.

Poachers are subject to criminal penalties ranging from misdemeanors to felonies. Penalties may include fines, cancellation of hunting/fishing licenses/permits for many years, jail sentences, forfeiture of the poached wildlife, and the equipment used for poaching.