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If there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it’s that poaching is a heinous crime against nature. Everyone, that is, except poachers.

Unfortunately, few of these heartless criminals are actually caught in the act, making it difficult for conservation officers to enforce anti-poaching laws. And with tens of millions of wild animals killed illegally each year, understaffed and underfunded state and local agencies are stretched too thin to deal with the problem alone.

With its Robotic Decoy Program, the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust is helping to level the playing field by giving officers the opportunity to witness poaching activities firsthand -- and no animals are harmed in the process. Through this program, HSWLT donates realistic decoys of deer, bears, pronghorns, and other wildlife to agencies tasked with confronting poachers. Decoys are placed in a vulnerable setting (like an open field), and nearby officials manipulate them with remote controls so that they move just like living animals. If a passing poacher shoots at a decoy, officials have solid evidence to support the poacher’s prosecution.

Since the inception of our decoy program in 2004, the Trust has facilitated the donation of 36 decoys to 30 agencies in 28 states, a federally recognized Treaty Tribe and one Canadian province.

In 2016, we donated six decoys across North America including a deer in WV, a deer in NC, a deer in OK, a deer in TX, a turkey in AL and an antelope in NV.

These donations have facilitated cooperative arrangements with law enforcement agencies and we’re proud to say have resulted in the arrests of many poachers. 

If you are a Conservation Officer, or work for another agency that has prosecution authority, and would like more information about the program, please contact us.

In the last several months, agencies nationwide have expressed great interest in receiving decoys through the Trust’s Robotic Decoy Program. We currently have far more requests from officers across North America for decoys than the Trust has funding but with your help we can make these decoy donations happen.

You can support the Trust’s Robotic Decoy Program by donating here.