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Idaho Fish and Game

Fish and Game officer shoots dog for chasing and killing a deer in Pocatello


In the early evening on April 10, 2023, an Idaho Fish and Game conservation officer shot and killed a dog for chasing and killing a deer in south Pocatello.

The officer was responding to an unrelated wildlife call in a neighborhood off of South 5th Avenue when he was approached by several members of the public who had just watched two dogs chase and kill a mule deer fawn.  Some indicated that they watched the dogs leave the dead fawn to chase other deer.

The officer walked up the hillside where the incident took place and confirmed the presence of a freshly killed fawn with multiple injuries consistent with a predatory attack.  It was not long after that the officer witnessed one of the dogs actively chasing other deer which had been hunkered down under the protection of junipers.  The officer shot the dog which was engaged in pursuit of the animals.

Several reports of the incident had been made to the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office by other witnesses, and a deputy had also quickly responded to the scene.  According to information provided to Fish and Game by the deputy, these same dogs had been observed chasing and attacking deer in the area in recent weeks.

The Fish and Game officer returned the dead dog to its owner.  The owner of the second dog involved in chasing the deer was issued a citation for an infraction which carries a $136 fine.

According to state code, it is unlawful for people to allow their dogs to harass, chase, or kill big game animals in Idaho, and Fish and Game officers are authorized to shoot dogs that are actively engaged in those behaviors.

“It’s tough on our officers to have to make these decisions,” says Jennifer Jackson, Regional Communications Manager for Idaho Fish and Game’s Southeast Region.  “Many of our officers are dog owners, too.  But, it’s also tough to watch deer being chased down or killed by people’s pets—especially now after such a hard winter when these deer are so vulnerable.”