Poachers Keeping Conservation Officers Busy

While bears may hibernate and cranes fly south for the winter, those individuals who choose to violate Idaho’s wildlife laws are busy year round, that means that those who protect Idaho’s wildlife resources can never rest.

Conservation officers in the Teton Basin have recently been dealing with violations ranging from illegal trapping and illegal wolf hunting, to illegal taking of trophy mule deer. Unfortunately violators sometimes do not react well to being detected, resulting with one even being charged for pointing a shotgun at a conservation officer.

Lauren Wendt, Senior Conservation Officer in Driggs, was addressing an illegal waterfowl hunting situation on Nov. 16, 2012, when Seth T. Mills of Driggs pointed his shotgun at her. In addition to two other wildlife violations, he was also charged by Teton County with exhibition or use of a deadly weapon.

While general seasons exist for legal wolf hunting in the Teton Basin, conservation officers have recently completed a case where an individual was not only cited for illegal trapping, but also for hunting a gray wolf without a tag and possession of an unlawfully taken gray wolf. While the wolf incident occurred on the last day of 2012, finally on Jan. 31, 2013, James D. Fullmer of Tetonia, Idaho, confessed to conservation officers he had taken a gray wolf near Squirrel Creek in Fremont County, without a tag.

Officers are also concluding an investigation regarding the illegal taking of a mule deer buck from Teton Canyon. A Boone & Crockett scorer gave the buck a green score of 181 2/8″, meaning that officers were able to cite Ben Brown of Tetonia with illegal taking of a trophy animal. Jacob Knight of Park Valley, Utah, was also cited in connection with this incident.

Citizens can report wildlife violations to their local conservation officer or the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) Hotline at 1-800-632-5999.