Other cases remain under investigation
IOJ and IDFG reporting
MOUNTAIN HOME, Idaho — A father and son convicted of poaching a mule deer buck near Danskin Peak north of Mountain Home this fall face heavy fines and jail time for the crime. A tip from two bow hunters resulted in the conviction.
Appearing before Fourth District Magistrate Judge George Hicks on December 3, David Howell (53) of Kuna, and his son Adam (29) also from Kuna, were ordered to pay fines and civil penalties of more than $1,400. David Howell lost his hunting license for 10 years and his Ruger M77 rifle that was used in the crime.
He also received 180 days in jail (165 suspended), and was ordered to serve five days in jail immediately. For the next two years, he will return to jail for the first five days of October to complete his jail sentence. Early October marks the beginning of Idaho’s big game hunting season.
In addition to his fines and penalties, Adam Howell lost his hunting license for three years and was sentenced to 90 days in jail (88 suspended) and two years probation.
Caught in the act
On November 17, two hunters participating in the Unit 39 archery-only season watched two men poach a mule deer, then load the animal in their vehicle. The bow hunters called Fish and Game and conservation officers Greg Milner and Brian Marek responded.
Milner contacted the witnesses who showed him photos of the vehicle, the suspects with the deer, the vehicle license plate and confirmed the suspects were still in the area.
A short time later, Milner approached the suspects who knew they were caught and neither one made much of an attempt to lie about the situation. The pair told Milner they went out that morning intent on shooting a mule deer with a rifle, knowing full well that only bow season was open. “This poaching incident was 100 percent intentional,” Milner added.
This case demonstrates the importance of public involvement in the protection of Idaho’s wildlife. “Simply put, without critical, timely information provided by local citizens, this case might never have come to a successful conclusion,” Milner said.
Ducks wasted in Buhl
Farther east, IDFG is looking for information on ducks that were left to waste in Buhl.
On Nov. 26, Senior Conservation Officer Meghan Roos responded to a call and found eleven drakes and one hen mallard that had been tossed into a ditch behind Kacy Meadows in Buhl.
“The ducks were likely killed a few days to a week before being dumped there,” said Roos.
HSUS offers $7,000 to help solve two Idaho poaching cases
In an odd union focusing on a common goal, the Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust and Citizen’s Against Poaching are offering substantial rewards for information leading to the conviction of the person or persons responsible for the killing of five mule deer near Homedale in Southwest Idaho and the shooting of two deer on private property north of Tupper Grade in the Hagerman Valley. HUSU is putting up $5,000 for the Homedale incident and $2,000 for the Hagerman case.
“Although Fish and Game has philosophical differences with HSUS, we share a strong desire to bring those who illegally exploit Idaho’s wildlife to justice,” said IDFG Assistant Chief of Law Enforcement Chris Wright. “We hope their offer of additional reward money will help us solve these serious crimes.”
Lisa Kauffman, Idaho state director for The HSUS, said, “Poachers take a heavy toll on wildlife, undermine the important and difficult work of Idaho Fish and Game officers, and steal cherished natural resources from the people of Idaho. We urge anyone with information about these wasteful crimes to come forward, and we are very thankful for the work of Idaho Fish and Game in bringing these crimes to justice.”
The hides, heads and carcasses of five mule deer bucks were found near the Homedale Airport on October 17, along a rural road near the Snake River.
The antlers had been removed from most of the skulls and the poachers took only the prime cuts of venison, leaving to waste at least half of the meat required to be salvaged by Idaho law.
Fish and Game is also investigating a separate incident involving the shooting of a buck and a doe on private property north of Tupper Grade, between Billingsley Creek and 1050 East, on October 29. Evidence indicates the animals were killed and left on the property earlier that morning.
Anyone with information regarding these cases is asked to call Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) at 1-800-632-5999 twenty four hours a day. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.