Fabricated story cheated us all
I remember saying I would never think like my dad, the hard-nosed redneck who raised me under a regime of strict rules and hard work. I promised to never say the things he said, and I’d be my kids’ best friend.
Of course, after I moved out from under his roof and began my own family, I saw the value of many of the standards my dad set — and I instituted many of those same rules and uttered the same words to my now-grown children.
One of the many philosophies of my father that stuck was a simple creed: I hate a liar.
I can put up with a lot of character flaws, but bending the truth is not one of them. It just galls me.
So you can imagine my chagrin when Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge authorities began investigating the killing by DeRidder’s Christopher J. Courville of a huge buck last season.
The deer was just amazing, and Courville was only too happy to talk to us about the kill for a report published first at LouisianaSportsman.com and then in this magazine.
Initially, I didn’t give much heed to rumors of poaching because we hear that kind of talk regularly. Most such accusations are fueled by jealous, petty people who can’t believe anyone would be lucky or skilled enough to be in position when a monster deer walks out in front of them. To these people, the only answer to a trophy kill is that the hunter cheated.
But questions about Courville’s deer were persistent enough to pique the interest of federal wildlife agents (a group of folks you really don’t want to piss off).
The agents eventually discovered that Courville fabricated the story of how this huge buck was killed. Instead, he finally admitted to — and was convicted of — using a spotlight to kill the buck at night.
Our writer was lied to. Louisiana Sportsman was lied to. Our readers were lied to. And we’re not happy about it.
Let’s be perfectly clear about a few things:
1) Christopher J. Courville is not a hunter.
2) Christopher J. Courville is a poacher.
3) Christopher J. Courville is, by his own admission, a liar.
Unfortunately, he received a slap on the wrist. He should have received a lifetime hunting ban. Remember that he didn’t make an honest mistake — Courville made the conscious decision to spotlight this fine buck.
We at Louisiana Sportsman take our jobs very seriously, doing all we can to ensure information contained within these pages and on our website is valid and true. And we get it right almost every time.
When someone lies to us, we feel cheated and used.
But another of my father’s mantras should be a warning to all who would follow Courville’s poor example: A lie will eventually be found out.
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