Four nonresident so-called hunters recently learned that Idaho takes waste of game animals seriously. The four were hunting in the Pine Creek drainage of Unit 28 as well as in the vicinity of Shoup in Unit 21 during both deer and elk seasons. One man killed a 2x3 mule deer and a nice 6x6 bull elk. A 4x4 mule deer was killed by another in the party, and a third killed a 4x5 elk; quite a nice harvest of animals. Unfortunately, properly field dressing the animals and packing the meat back to camp was not a priority and most of the harvestable meat was left to rot.
Only the hind legs, backstraps and a few chunks of miscellaneous meat of both deer and the smaller elk were removed. The head of the 6x6 elk was packed out along with the tenderloins, but the rest was left on the hillside. The potential average weight of completely boned meat that would have come from these four animals is approximately 525 pounds. The amount of meat brought out by these nonresident hunters totaled 231 pounds including bones. Given these figures, a minimum amount of 294 pounds of meat was completely wasted, left on the hillside to rot.
Needless to say, the actions of these men did not impress either Conservation Officers Dane Cook and Ryan Hilton or Lemhi County Magistrate Jerry Meyers. All four received license revocations until January 1, 2005, civil penalties of $750 for the elk and $400 for the deer, fines of $500, court costs of $71, and 16 days in jail unless they could pay their fines. Total fines and penalties paid in this case amounted to $5,084. One of the men who did not actually kill one of the wasted animals was cited for principal to waste and received the same fines and penalties as his friends.
Waste of game animals is a crime against wildlife and Idaho's citizens. If you find wasted animals, please contact a Conservation Officer or call the Citizens Against Poaching hotline at 1-800-632-5999.