I don't think that the punishments fit the "crime" at all. I think they are disproportionately harsh. But with all the anti-hunters who use everything they can to stop hunting, there is a political implication that must be considered.
I don't think they are harsh enough. Most get off with a fine and loss of hunting license for a few years or so. (if your a poacher what do you care if you lose your hunting license?) Law allows them to take the truck, take the gun etc they ought to. It seems that here in NC they rarely do.
We have trouble with guys turning their dogs lose on posted property to run the game off to an area where they can hunt them. Hunting on the road. etc. Your lucky if you can get a warden to respond to a complaint. Find lots of bucks around road ditches and fields shot and some with antlers cut off. What a waste got to start making some examples.
Yes poaching is serious! As a Maine Guide, I am required by law, to turn in anyone I catch to the authorities. And why wouldn't I want to... they are stealing what belongs to everyone. They are taking money out of my pocket and food out of my kids mouths.
As for the punishment fitting the crime, in Maine we're getting close. I would like to see all fines for hunting & fishing violations go to IF&W. That could help solve the budget problems!