[[quoteright:350:[[Disney/TheRescuers http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mcleach8.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[-[[VillainSong Home, Home on the Range, where the critters are tied up in chains, I cut through their sides, and I rip off their hides, and the next day I do it again!]] [[LargeHam EVERYBODY!]]]] -]

->''"Whoever hits the most manatees wins!"''
-->-- '''Hoggish Greedly''', ''WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers''

Be aware! The wild is just filled with Evil Poachers willing to murder any human who gets in their way. Poaching means any illegal hunting, but Hollywood poachers only hunt endangered species, such as [[RidiculouslyCuteCritter cute panda babies]] or [[YouMeddlingKids meddling kids]].

Many Evil Poachers have no motivation to hunt and threaten people other than [[CardCarryingVillain to be evil]]. They are like the evil polluters in ''WesternAnimation/{{Captain Planet|AndThePlaneteers}}'' who never manufacture anything. If Evil Poachers do get a motive, it will probably be selling their prey on the BlackMarket.

Evil Poachers are [[VillainByDefault Villains By Default]] in a KidsWildernessEpic, a genre in which they tend to [[TheFamilyForTheWholeFamily end up as slapstick idiots]] dressed in scary [[NemeanSkinning animal skins]].

In RealLife, most poachers are poor people trying to get out of poverty; they are unable to afford a license. This is also a major reason why poor poachers will often target endangered animals - the rarity of their parts increases the value. However, they do often shoot at park rangers if they encounter them (they're the reason why most rangers in Africa are heavily armed) and are often hired by people in [[TheMafia organized crime]]. There are some illegal trophy hunters as well, ranging from amateurs hunting without a license and off-season to wanting the glory of getting a rare animal.

The inversion, RoguishPoacher, is most common [[SocietyMarchesOn in older works]], particularly {{fairy tale}}s and FolkMusic. The RoguishPoacher always hunts for food (usually [[SympatheticCriminal for his starving family]]) and lives in a [[PeterRabbit Peter Rabbit-vs-Farmer MacGregor]] kind of relationship with the [[AristocratsAreEvil Evil Fatcat Landowner]]. Compare KarmicThief.

A sister trope to the EgomaniacHunter. Compare with CruellaToAnimals. Contrast the HunterTrapper, who hunts and traps legally and is much more likely to be reasoned with, the RoguishPoacher, this guy's SympatheticCriminal counterpart, and the GreatWhiteHunter, the heroic counterpart.
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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Viper Snakely in ''KimbaTheWhiteLion''. Known as Hamegg in the original manga.
* ''[[LyricalNanoha Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha]]'' - One of the reasons why the [[TheFederation Time-Space Administration Bureau's]] Frontier Nature Conservation Corps exists is the presence of poachers who disregard the nature protection laws. One of them even tried to put a bullet between the eyes of a 13-year-old officer when she arrived to arrest him in ''{{Sound Stage X}}''. Granted, [[TheBeastmaster said officer was]] [[DragonRider patrolling the grounds on a]] [[OurDragonsAreDifferent giant dragon]] [[ToyShip and had a partner]] [[SuperSpeed who could deflect bullets]], but still...
* ''ShamanKing'' - Horohoro runs into a trio of poachers. This horrible encounter changes his whole perspective on life.
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' - The series takes place in a world where people are encouraged to go out and capture hundreds of wild animals for their own use. Poachers exist, but the line is mighty blurry, with poachers doing the same things as good guys, but being {{Designated Villain}}s.
** An easy way to spot a poacher is if he is using any tools beyond a Poké Ball. If he is using a Poké Ball, is it a regular Poké Ball or a modified one that never misses its capture (like Mewtwo's balls (though he wasn't specifically an Evil Poacher) or the Dark Balls used by the Iron Masked Marauder? Are they attempting to capture more than one Pokémon of a certain type at a time, outside of a designated Safari Zone? And most obviously, does the targeted Pokémon clearly belong to someone else?
** Team Rocket often poaches, for example in the Safari Zone episode. There was also a trio of poachers that caused Larvitar to be separated from its mom, and the one Team Rocket fought who was capturing Poison-type Pokémon in this way; Arbok and Weezing were let go to help them when the Pokémon were freed.
** However, most poachers shown capture Pokémon to sell them illegally, which fits in with the real life version of poaching. A more recent episode actually showed this a tad lighter by having a poacher reform.
* ''{{Toriko}}'' has these by the dozen, since certain foods could be hunted to extinction, but the most dangerous of these are the Gourmet Corp.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* Evil poachers killed Sable's family in ''JonSableFreelance'', starting off his RoaringRampageOfRevenge.
* Col. Werner Dachsund in ''Proof'' hunts cryptids (the extremely endangered species that the protagonists' organization, The Lodge, exists to protect) for sport and eats them. Many cryptids are sentient, which doesn't deter him in the slightest. In fact, his main goal in the arc is to hunt the Lodge's star agent, John Prufrock (a.k.a. Bigfoot).
* ''ComicStrip/ModestyBlaise'':
** The dolphin hunter Gaspar in the arc "Dossier on Pluto".
** The poachers in "Million Dollar Game".
* A common foe in ''JungleJim''.
* Evil poachers were a common foe in ''ComicBook/SheenaQueenOfTheJungle''.
* In ''ComicBook/ShamansTears'', the first criminals Joshua Brand stops after gaining his powers were poachers who were stealing wild horses from the Indian reservation to sell for pet food.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Clan Fletching in ''FanFic/TheTaintedGrimoire'' has been poaching creatures for profit. Though one of them decided to cooperate with the authorities when told that his daughter, [[AntiVillain whom he is doing this for]], might not be able to look at him should she discover what he is doing. The other two, however, play this completely straight.
* Jake England, EVIL POACHER is literally called this in ''FanFic/DaveStdiderPokemonTraner''.
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[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''Disney/TheRescuersDownUnder'' brings us Percival C. [=McLeach=], voiced by George C. Scott. That's him pictured up above, as well as the lyrics to the cheery little [[VillainSong ditty he sings.]] Did we mention he has a scope ''shotgun?'' Now there's a guy who loves to see the faces of his victims before he riddles them full of holes...
* Clayton from Disney's ''Disney/{{Tarzan}}'' combines attributes of the Evil Poacher and EgomaniacHunter.
* Charles Muntz from ''WesternAnimation/{{Up}}''.
* The villains of ''[[WesternAnimation/TheWildThornberrys The Wild Thornberrys Movie]]'' are Evil Poachers. They're also perfectly willing to kidnap and murder kids just to be able to keep poaching endangered African wildlife.
* The BigBad of ''WesternAnimation/{{Rio}}'' is a poacher named Marcel. However, he's played rather realistically in that while he's a bad guy, he's not an outright evil sadist who loves hurting animals; he's just greedy and uncaring about the animals' well being. He poaches to get money, not because he likes to see birds suffer. His cockatoo, on the other hand...
* ''Disney/{{Bambi}}''
** There is still much controversy as to whether the faceless human hunters are meant to be seen as villains at all - [[VillainyFreeVillain though they're certainly antagonists]]. The implication of the film itself seems to be that they are more stupid and insensitive than truly bloodthirsty, leaving their campfire burning so that it destroys almost the entire forest.
* Amos Slade from ''Disney/TheFoxAndTheHound'' is a rare aversion, as he only poaches once in the movie, but that is entirely out of revenge.
* Gaston from ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast''. [[{{Fanon}} It's universally suggested that he's the hunter who shot Bambi's mother (as her head was seen mounted during his song).]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live Action]]
* Perry from ''Film/{{Alaska}}'', who's EstablishingCharacterMoment was to ''[[KickTheDog taunt a caged up polar bear cub with its mother's hollowed out carcass]]''.
* One of the most iconic examples that fall under this trope is the ''Film/{{Predator}}''. An ''alien'' evil poacher at that. And this is taken to the [[ExaggeratedTrope Nth level]] considering [[HuntingTheMostDangerousGame one of their more favored targets]].
** There's no reason to call him a poacher. The whole hunt could was quite possibly completely legal from his species' POV.
* Inverted in ''Film/CrocodileDundee'' -- the title character is a "croc poacher".
** Dundee's job was actually to catch dangerous crocodiles that represented a threat to humans. However, in the first movie, this trope is played straight with a group of poachers who are illegally spotlighting kangaroos for fun before Dundee uses a kangaroo disguise and a high-powered rifle to turn the tables on them.
* The main bad guys in the 1998 ''MightyJoeYoung'' remake.
* The military in almost all monster films, e.g. ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'', ''Film/KingKongLives'', etc. They want to kill the monster which is one of a kind, and thus very rare and very endangered.
** They tend to differ from the norm in two ways: they have reasons beyond being evil or selling things on the black market, and their actions tend to be ''at least'' semi-legal.
* The hunter from ''Film/{{Jumanji}}'', although he preferred to [[HuntingTheMostDangerousGame hunt the deadliest of game]].
* In ''Film/{{Anaconda}}'', Paul Sarone is a Paraguayan former priest who decided to become a snake poacher in the Amazon instead, capturing them for rich clients. [[spoiler:It's revealed that he's been manipulating the whole crew from the beginning and was using them to capture the Anaconda.]]
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[[folder:Literature]]
* Inverted in the Creator/RoaldDahl book ''Literature/DannyTheChampionOfTheWorld'' where the poacher, Danny's father, is a good guy and a GuileHero, showing a germ of the character of ''Literature/FantasticMrFox''. The bad guy is the man who owns the land they live on, who is a pompous, heartless, cruel man. It probably helps that the animals being poached are [[WhatMeasureIsANonCute pheasants]] being readied for an upcoming hunt, and so are due to die whatever happens. Moreover, England has a bit of a cultural trope about the hearty countryman who is not above a little poaching now and then. It also helps that the father came up with increasingly [[ZanyScheme clever ways of going about it]] and the landlord kept trying to find more and more trivial ways to force the family to sell their gas station that you have to root for them, regardless of your stance on hunting, trespassing, and poaching.
* Carter the Poacher in the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novels is another example of the anti-trope.
* ''The Island Trilogy'' by GordonKorman - the poacher villains in the second and third books are pretty evil. They are ready to kill a starving, shipwrecked 14 year old who is willing to keep quiet until they realize he's worth a ton of money.
* ''{{Literature/Malevil}}'' has Wahrwoorde. He forced this family to live in backwards squalor in a swamp, is cruel to his son and mother-in-law, raped his step-daughters, and plots to murder the inhabitants of Malevil to steal the castle stronghold for himself.
* In the fifth TrixieBelden book, ''Mystery Off Glen Road'', Trixie and Honey think there's a crazy, unicycle-riding poacher poaching the deer in Honey's father's game preserve.
* Subverted in ''[[Literature/GarrettPI Old Tin Sorrows]]'', in which a butchered fawn is discovered on the Stantnor estate and thought to be the handiwork of a poacher. Even a war-hardened veteran is dismayed that anyone would hunt such a young animal. [[spoiler: It's actually a ruse staged by a serial murderer to lure some of the estate's staff onto a wild goose chase.]]
* Although not blatantly evil, Quint from the novel ''Film/{{Jaws}}'' outraged his companions when he revealed he'd illegally killed a pregnant dolphin.
* Damon Kronski from the ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'' series leads a faction called the Extinctionists, which aims to hunt as many endangered species as possible to extinction. They claim that their reason for doing this is to make humans re-channel the resources they spend on preserving endangered animals into improving the lot of their own species, but Artemis considers them a collective of bored, rich snobs who consider killing to be just another form of entertainment they can buy.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' had a guy who hunted werewolves for their pelts. Werewolves are dangerous monsters indeed, but the fact that they're human most of the time gave Buffy motivation to stop him.
** Extra FridgeHorror in that werewolves return to human form after they are killed. That means that they'd have to be flayed alive.
* Countless episodes of ''Series/MacGyver''.
* ''Series/LostTapes'' - Both the Hunter variety and the Animal Trafficker variety are featured. Both get a KarmicDeath from the series featured Cryptids. Though for the later, the monster also kills one of the [[AnimalWrongsGroup people breaking into the storage facility where illegally imported animals are kept]].
* Several episodes of ''Series/SkippyTheBushKangaroo'' deal with people trying to illegally kill or capture park animals, including Skippy.
* Probably the most common sort of bad guy encountered in ''Series/{{Daktari}}''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Inverted with the traditional English folk song "The Lincolnshire Poacher".
* And in "Longdog" by ShowOfHands, inspiring the band's FanCommunityNickname. A longdog is a variety of sighthound popular with hare- and rabbit-coursers, and the hero's ownership of one is used as circumstantial evidence to send him to jail.
-->''Got a four-wheel pickup and a shotgun.\\
Never bought a meal in my life.\\
I go shopping with a lamp and a knife.\\
I got a longdog. I am a poacher.''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mythology]]
* Inverted in ''RobinHood'': most of the poachers in the stories were often starving peasants who are forced to intrude on the King's gaming grounds in order to feed their families. Most of the Merry Men were poachers whom Robin saved from hanging.
** Indeed, many of the earliest conservation laws (which are OlderThanTheyThink, going back a few centuries) were instituted not for the benefit of the animals themselves, but because greedy landowners hunted for recreation and didn't want the peasants to have their own wild game.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''SimSafari'' - Averted: if you can't employ the African villagers in your safari camp, the only way they can support themselves is by poaching in your park.
* Many baddies in the first half of CadillacsAndDinosaurs are this, most prominently the Butcher.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' - Supposedly, this is what Sniper did before he became the sniper. Only counts as an example if he's the other team's sniper.
* Stella the Turtle Poacher, the EvilCounterpart to Turtle Tamer characters in ''KingdomOfLoathing''.
** And because ''Kingdom of Loathing'' [[{{Pun}} never misses a chance at a bad pun]], she also [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poaching_%28cooking%29 poaches]] turtles. In case she wasn't evil enough for you.
* Averted by the protagonist of ''VideoGame/{{Poacher}}'', Derek Badger. He doesn't hunt any endangered species, as far as the player is aware, and he only does it to get by. In fact, he's a very nice and rather empathetic bloke who is more than willing to lend a hand to others in need.
* These are the bad guys of the BeatEmUp arcade game ''Prowl''.
* The Poacher from ''VideoGame/JadeCocoon'' who you can fight three times. Thankfully, even though he demands you hand over your {{Mons}} if you lose, he [[GameplayAndStorySegregation doesn't actually steal them if you do.]]
* Maxim Slaughter, the villain in ''VideoGame/EcoQuest 2''. His room is full of various endangered animal trophies.
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', Hemet Nesingwary thinks of himself as more of a GreatWhiteHunter, but his followers in ''Wrath of the Lich King'' take it UpToEleven and become hilariously over the top Evil Poachers.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* ''DominicDeegan'': The tour guides of the [[WorldOfChaos Wild Edge]] become poachers when the tourists and researchers leave in the off-season.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Captain Planet|AndThePlaneteers}}''
** [[MeaningfulName Looten Plunder]] is an Evil Poacher who is also an Evil Capitalist.
** Later, the Planeteers and Captain Planet deal with an EgomaniacHunter[=/=]Evil Poacher family known as the Slaughters, led by Mame Slaughter and Stalker Slaughter. The Slaughters even team-up with Looten Plunder in one episode.
** Hoggish Greedly was also an evil poacher, to a lesser extent, because he sought out endangered and rare animals as much as he did common ones.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''
** In one episode, Bart gets an elephant as a part of a radio contest. The elephant becomes a handful so Homer agrees to sell him to an ivory dealer named Blackheart. When Bart and his elephant run away during the night, Homer at first thinks Blackheart took them both. He yells out the window: "That wasn't part of the deal, Blackheart! THAT WASN'T PAAARRRT!!"
** Another episode had the family going on a trip to Africa and meeting a Jane Goodall {{Expy}}. She convinces them to help her defend her chimpanzee sanctuary from a group of {{Evil Poacher}}s. The trope gets flipped when it turns out that they are with Greenpeace and are trying to free the chimps from her diamond mine. She admits that she snapped, then buys everyone off with diamonds from her illegal chimp-slave diamond mine.
* Averted in ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}''. There are poachers that hunt panthers in one episode. It turns out they're working for a really pissed off (Native!) woman hunting for a specific panther. [[spoiler: Then it turns out both her and the "panther" in question were manipulated by the real villain, a giant spider with supernatural powers]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheTransformers'' plays this trope completely straight with [[QuintessentialBritishGentleman Lord Chumley]] in the episode "Prime Target". Not only does he poach rare animals, but also apparently top secret Russian planes and [[MechanicalLifeForms Transformers]].
* Gnawgahyde, one of the Dreadnoks from ''GIJoe''.
* Bull Gator and Axl from ''WesternAnimation/TazMania'', for a sufficently low value of 'evil'. They claim they are only doing it to bring happiness to the zoo-going children of the world.
* Regis Stone for ''WesternAnimation/DexHamiltonAlienEntomologist''. He is an EgomaniacHunter who will wipe out the last of the species for the thrill being the one to do so, and doesn't care what laws he breaks in the process.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oskar_Dirlewanger Oskar Dirlewanger]]'s Waffen-SS Unit in World War II was originally composed of poachers along with regular soldiers (later, other criminals and even mentally ill individuals were admitted). It was hoped that the experience in shooting and hunting would help the unit combat partisans. The unit was notorious even among the SS for it's extreme brutality and it perpetrated some of the worst war crimes in the whole conflict.
* They very word for poacher in GermanLanguage is ''Wilddieb'' - "thief of wild animals".
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