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Poacher’s punishment missed mark

Nothing against second chances, but sometimes people don’t deserve them.

Charles Goure, who pleaded guilty to poaching charges last week, will have to wait five years, but he will get a second chance.

He shouldn’t.



Goure’s second chance should have died at the same time he illegally killed his second deer in December outside Carbondale.

In all, five deer were killed in the vicinity and left to rot. Goure originally faced nine charges, but through a plea agreement he admitted to four charges ” two counts of unlawful taking of wildlife, one count of wasting edible game wildlife and unlawful possession of a loaded firearm in his vehicle ” all misdemeanors.



The punishment is a relative slap on the wrist. Goure won’t be allowed to possess guns or hunt for five years and he also had to pay $892 in fines and court costs.

When the story first broke, Colorado Division of Wildlife’s Carbondale District wildlife manager, Justin Martens, said, “Whoever’s doing this, I don’t think should be allowed to own a gun.”

Martens was on the mark. Unfortunately, the courts saw it differently.

There’s nothing wrong with saving the taxpayers money and working out plea agreements, but the main goal of the system should be to mete out justice, regardless of the costs.

Goure’s excuse that he was just shooting targets and the deer got in the way doesn’t fly. The odds are against “accidentally” killing one deer.

Two deer? Even more unlikely.

The other three deer for which the DOW suspects Goure is responsible? Come on. No one is that bad a shot. Plenty of people are, however, good enough marksmen to knock down a quintet of out-of-season targets.

So, Goure will give his guns to his cousin to hold for the next five years. The DOW can check his house once a year to make sure there are no guns present. But one has to wonder where those guns will be the day after the DOW visit.

And in five years he will have his guns back and be eligible for a hunting license.

There is already a largely undeserved stigma attached to hunters ” the booze-swilling redneck who just wants to play with guns and kill anything that moves. People like Goure simply strengthen that perception.

Rather than forcing a five-year hiatus on Goure, the courts, at a minimum, should have revoked his hunting privileges for life, thus culling him from the herd of Colorado hunters who follow the laws and respect the role hunters play in Colorado’s ecology.


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