On October 20, 2016, Idaho Fish and Game Conservation Officer Nathan Stohosky was forwarded an anonymous email from Fish and Game Headquarters office regarding the suspected illegal take of a mule deer buck by Cody Larkins of Preston, ID. The email indicated that Larkins had posted a photo to Facebook on October 10 of a 2x3 point buck he had harvested, and then again posted a photo on October 19 stating he had killed a 4x4 buck.
Officer Stohosky investigated and found that the suspect had indeed killed a 2x3 mule deer buck on the opening day of the general deer season in unit 77, as shown on the suspect’s Facebook account. He commented that the 2x3 was "meat for the freezer." Further investigation revealed that Larkins gave money to his friend on October 16 to purchase a hunting license and deer tag.
On October 19, Larkins took his friends deer tag and killed a large 4x4 buck in unit 77 and posted it to Facebook. Officer Stohosky was not able to obtain a confession after an initial lengthy interview with Larkins.
Officer Stohosky later reviewed videotape surveillance provided by a local Fish and Game license vendor and spoke with and interviewed the “friend” of Cody Larkins. The video surveillance tape showed the suspect and his friend purchasing the license and tag at the vendor. The video also showed in enough detail that Larkins providing money out of his wallet for the purchase. During the interview with the friend of Larkins, the "friend" admitted that Larkins did shoot the 4x4 deer, he did provide the tag to Larkins, and he did not go on the hunt.
Officer Stohosky interviewed Larkins again, who admitted to killing the second buck. Cody Larkins was charged with using the tag of another, taking an over-limit of deer, and providing false information to a police officer, all misdemeanor charges. Cody Larkins’ hunting license was revoked for three years with one-year suspended and was ordered to pay fines and fees totaling $685.00. Cody Larkins was also sentenced to two years of probation. While this case was helped by social media, Idaho Conservation Officers could not have solved this case without assistance from the public, in particular an alert and aware sportsman, and the expertise provided by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department.
If you do witness a violation please “Make the Call” to Citizens Against Poaching by calling 1-800-632-5999.
You may be eligible for a reward and you can remain anonymous.