Don't Shoot From the Road

Clearwater Region
Senior Conservation Officer Tony Imthurn

Bull elk shot from the roadway
Creative Commons Licence
Tony Imthurn for IDFG

During October of 2015, a concerned sportsman, John Doe, called Idaho Fish and Game to report two men shooting from a public road at a heard of elk on private property. After reporting the crime ,John Doe moved to where the two men were located and began visiting with them. John Doe observed the two men kick their shell casings around and then picked them up.

Idaho Conservation Officers Barry Cummings, Tony Imthurn, and John McLain received the call and arrived shortly after John Doe started visiting with the two men. The officers identified the them as Charlie Rake and James Light, both of Lewiston Idaho. Officers also located two dead elk in the field. One was a 5x7 Bull elk and the second, a cow elk. Both Charlie Rake and James Light denied shooting from the road and claimed they were in a nearby field when they shot, and they do not know who owns the land the elk were killed on.

John Doe provided a thorough written statement and officers issued citations to both Charlie Rake and James Light for shooting from a public roadway and possession of unlawfully taken elk. Their rifles and elk were seized.

The next day Officer Cummings returned to the crime scene and collected additional evidence that later lead to Charlie Rake’s admission of shooting from the road. Charlie Rake also admitted to throwing his empty shell casings off the road to cover their tracks.

Charlie Rake and James Light plead guilty and were each fined $425, they were also required to each pay a civil penalty of $750, and they lost their hunting privileges for two years.

If it wasn’t for the concerned sportsman taking the time to call, this crime very well could have gone undetected. Those who wish to call can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward. If you do want to “Make The Call”, please call Citizen’s Against Poaching at 1-800-632-5999.


Idaho is a member of the Wildlife Violator Compact, which means that if an individual’s hunting, fishing or trapping license is revoked by any of the 42 member states; all the remaining states will revoke the same license or privilege for the same time period.

Anyone with information about a wildlife violation are encouraged to “Make the Call” and contact the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) hotline at 1-800-632-5999. Callers may remain anonymous, and they may be eligible for a reward.

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