On October 20, 2013, Officer Steven Ross received a call from a landowner that found a dead deer in their beet field during harvest. They also stated a family member may have heard the gunshot and had words with the shooter.
While interviewing the witness, Officer Ross was told they heard a gunshot and when they looked out their window they could see a car shining headlights into the field not far from their home. Concerned, the homeowner went to speak with the occupants of the car about shooting on private property in the dark. The homeowner spoke with the only person in the vehicle, who stated he had struck a deer with his car and wanted to put the animal down. The homeowner was suspicious and decided to write down the suspect’s license plate.
With a license plate number Officer Ross was able to track down the owner of the vehicle, Nolan Wrigley, and interviewed him. When Officer Ross spoke with the individual, Wrigley said he met up with a friend who wanted to go hunting. Wrigley said he only knew his friend’s first name, Jason, and that when they struck a deer with his car, Jason jumped out and shot a deer in the beet field. Officer Ross asked where he could find Jason but Wrigley did not know how to get ahold of his friend at all.
After inspecting the vehicle and the deer, Officer Ross could find no evidence that either had recently been in a collision. The only damage to the deer was a single rifle shot to its right side and a bullet jacket lodged in the heart.
With other witness information and a look into hunting history, I discovered that Wrigley had already harvested a deer that year. Also, the deer was shot in the dark with a rifle and was killed an area only open to archery hunters with a controlled draw tag.
With the gathered information Officer Ross charged Nolan Wrigley with hunting big game during unlawful hours, taking big game with a rifle in an archery only season, waste of game, exceeding the bag limit of deer and possession of an unlawfully taken deer. After a short time in court, Mr. Wrigley plead guilty and was sentenced to 90 days of suspended jail time, 2 years of probation, $885 in fines and was given 3 years of hunting/fishing/trapping license revocations.
Thank you to the sportsmen, landowners, and citizens of Idaho who keep their eyes open and make the call to help protect our natural resources!