There are plenty of good reasons why poaching is a really bad idea, and it is abundantly clear that it's just not worth it.

Recently, a Fruita man was found guilty of illegally harvesting a bull elk on the Uncompahgre Plateau.

According to the Post Independent, 59-year-old Melvin Weaver was fined more than $14,000. He also had to give up the evidence including several pieces of hunting equipment. Weaver also received 60 penalty points against his hunting and fishing privileges. Which means it will be a long time before he hunts and fishes in Colorado again.

I've always felt that individuals who poach are not really hunters at all. Real hunters follow the rules, exhibit good gun safety, and demonstrate proper etiquette to other hunters and landowners.

I have never understood the thrill of taking wild game illegally. It's like winning a game of Monopoly by cheating. Where is the satisfaction in that?

Having been a deer hunter, once upon a time, I know the disappointment of going through the season and coming away empty handed. But, it's those disappointments that heightened the "thrill of the kill" when it did happen legally.

Good conscience should be enough to make outdoorsmen say no to poaching. But, if not, just think about the hefty fine, the loss of personal property, and the forfeiture of hunting privileges. It doesn't take a genius to realize it's just not worth it.