I wonder if the fine had anything to do with the poacher's financial situation. While it may have been excessive for a 70 year old on fixed Social Security income, the dirtball may have well been a millionaire. This could have been a factor in what the Judge handed down since the rest of the sentence seemed fairly slight. Anything less may have not even been a slap on the wrist. Living in California and having the monies to own a ranch large enough to produce trophy deer means the guy was not a welfare case, nor the average Joe Smoe. maybe the Judge was telling him to maybe next time, go to a high fence ranch and pay for shooting a trophy standing next to the bait pile(cause you can obviously afford it) instead of poaching and stealing from the rest of us. The article also says that other charges were dropped. Could have been a plea deal.