Nonresident No-Tag Wolf

Salmon Region
Nonresident with no-tag wolf
All rights reserved.
Case evidence IDFG

On October 29, 2015 Idaho Fish and Game officers received a Big Game Mortality Report (BGMR) for a wolf harvested by Robert Koester. Suspicious circumstances related to the time Koester’s wolf tag was purchased led officers to look further into the wolf’s harvest.

After conducting several interviews, the officers learned that Koester, formerly of Salmon Idaho, did not have a wolf tag when he shot the wolf on October 24, 2015. Koester was deer hunting on the last day of the general season when he shot the wolf. After killing the wolf, Koester drove to Salmon and purchased a wolf tag in an attempt to cover the unlawful take. During their investigation officers also learned that Koester was a full time resident of Montana, where he lived and worked. He had been fraudulently purchasing resident licenses using his parent’s address. During that time Koester also killed a bull elk in Unit 37A with a wrong class license and tag.

On September 06, 2016, Koester was issued 28 citations for the unlawful take of the wolf, possession of the unlawfully taken wolf, hunting without a valid tag, the unlawful take of a bull elk, and for purchasing wrong class licenses for 5 years.

As part of a plea deal in Lemhi County, Koester pleaded guilty to 5 counts of purchasing the wrong class of license. Koester was sentenced to 900 days of jail, with 850 of those suspended, two years’ probation, 3 years of loss of his hunting and fishing privileges, 16 hours of community service, and a total of $6451.60 in fines and penalties. That amount includes the civil penalties for the wolf and the elk as well as $4017 in restitution for the wrong class licenses.

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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