Sunday, March 16, 2008

Deer Poaching

Today I feature a picture of my grandfather, Elmo Jackson Elder, aka "Poachin' Jack" (for those of you who might not know, a poacher is one who hunts without a license, or without permission from a landowner). I had mentioned Poachin' Jack in some of my earlier posts . . . he is the one who had a monkey working in his gasoline station. Some people have emailed me suggesting that perhaps I had made up old Poachin' Jack, that he was the result of an overactive childhood imagination. So, I wanted to provide some photographic evidence today that A) Yes, he did exist, and B) Yes, he was a poacher. Unfortunately the picture reveals an ugly truth . . . generational poaching. It looks like my brother had gotten sucked into the ugly little practice at about age 5. The funny thing is that my brother liked to poach in style . . . as you can see in the picture, he would put on his finest clothes to go poaching. Poor little guy did not have a clue that what he was doing was wrong.

Anyway, you can see that my brother and grandfather had been successful on this day, way back in May of 1962. The deer was too large to fit under the hood of the little Volkswagen Beetle, and they could not very well drive through town with it thrown over the top of the car, so they just concealed as much of the deer as they could under the hood, and left the head hanging out. They drove right through town, and to the casual observer it just looked like a dandy hood ornament.


  1. I enjoyed the documentation and wondered how your grandad got by poaching for so long......... especially with the hood ornament.

    Many ranchers in Texas now make much of their money leasing the land to hunters since prices for their products have failed to keep pace with the costs to bring them to market. This makes poaching a very serious issue to them and some very serious sentences have been assed for violators. In fact, a few poachers have shot at deer that shot back!

    Never doubted the monkey story. Good pictures and comment.

  2. littlepadre,
    His big poaching years were back in the 30's through early 60's. Things were much different back then. Poachers were viewed more as a nuisance than a real threat. I will admit that he probably did some poaching as late as the 1980's. As far at the little guy in the picture, he stopped when he was about 11, or whenever he learned that you really were not supposed to do it.