Game Law Violations

Report from Idaho

Idaho conservation officers recently solved a case of closed-season deer shooting. An older man shot at a large buck out of the back door of his house. This was in a rural subdivision with other houses nearby. The deer was wounded and ran off, so the shooter had his son and another man follow. The idea was to "run it down and gun it down," but they didn't find it. Later that day the deer made a big circle and came back to the area where it was originally shot. The son or a helper then shot at it with a pistol, missing the deer but not the neighbor's van. The owner and another person were standing at the front of the van talking when the bullet hit. They observed the deer running, but didn't know the bullet had struck the van until later when the officers were lining out the trajectory of the shots. They recovered a bullet from the inside of the back door of the vehicle. Charges are pending the outcome of ballistics tests to see who shot what. The officers found the deer dead, but unfortunately it had spoiled by the time it was found.

Report from Wyoming

Game & Fish Department Pleading For Tips

Several incidents of geese being discarded before being cleaned has Goshen County wildlife officers asking for information about the violations and pleading for hunters to display respect for the animals.

Joe Gilbert, the Wyoming and Game and Fish Department's Torrington game warden, reports there have been at least four abandonments, totaling 21 geese, in Goshen County since late December.

"In addition to being a serious violation, abandoning game is the ultimate disrespect for the animal and makes all hunters look lazy and uncaring," he said. "If anyone has any information about geese being dumped, even if it's secondhand, please report it to help us identify possible violators and build a case."

Some of the discarded geese have been in plain view to all motorists along U.S. Highway 85 and Nebraska Highway 92 east of Huntley. Anyone with information about the following abandonments is urged to call the STOP POACHING line at (800) 842-1934:

• Two geese thrown onto the patio of Stephanie's Salon on south Main Street in Torrington on December 13.
• Four geese discarded between Christmas and New Years 1 mile east of Veteran on Walk-in Area 19.
• Along an irrigation canal one mile northeast of Torrington, seven geese, four drake mallards, one drake green-wing teal and one rooster pheasant were discarded in plastic garbage bags around December 27-30.
• Gilbert discovered eight geese January 9 along U.S. Highway about 8 miles north of Lingle. The birds had probably been dumped January 7-8.

As the bag limit has increased, Gilbert has witnessed the reverence for Canada geese from some hunters erode. "When I took over the Goshen County district in 1989, the bag limit was two geese and the season 75 days, and you didn't see this violation," he said. "As the season and bag limit grew, we started noticing an occasional goose abandoned in 1996. Now with a limit of five birds the violation is getting out of hand."

Persons abandoning game birds can face fines up to $400, 6 months in jail and loss of hunting privileges for 3 years. Violators could also be charged with littering.

Information about any wildlife violation can be reported to (800) 442-4331. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward if the information leads to a conviction.

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