On Oct 2nd 2014, Officer Andy Smith and I received a Citizen’s Against Poaching call on a poached buck antelope near Salmon, ID. After meeting with the witness, we found the dead buck antelope with the horns cut out and back straps removed. All four quarters and tenderloins were left to waste. Unfortunately, the meat was too far gone to salvage. We also found 300 Winchester Magnum casings nearby. The animal appeared to have been shot and wounded and ran for some distance before the poacher finally killed it. The witness observed a pickup from a long distance and gave us the best description he could. We now had a red Toyota short box pickup with a shiny toolbox to find.
Over the next few days our extensive search was unsuccessful. Four days later a red Toyota pickup with a shiny toolbox drove past us going the opposite direction. We turned around and followed the pickup to a home that happened to be in the same area where the antelope had been poached. This is when we met Tyler Cabigas of Carmen, ID. He initially denied shooting the antelope but later admitted that he and a friend Jonathon Bunce, did indeed shoot the antelope, on Oct 2nd. They said it ran for a while and then Tyler finished it off. Tyler then shot it in the head again with his 300 Win Mag so “cutting the horns out would be easier.” Tyler cut out the back straps and Jonathon and Tyler left. Jonathon told IDFG officers that Tyler did this kind of thing “about once a week” and he sells the horns and antlers of his poached animals. A third friend named Justin Haney had the antelope’s horns and backstraps at his home.
All three were charged for their involvement. Tyler received the brunt by serving 5 days in jail with 40 hours of community service to be served with IDFG. The judge also found him guilty of providing false information to officers, killing an antelope during a closed season and wasteful destruction of wildlife. In addition to the above, Tyler paid $1204, lost his hunting privileges for 3 years, and 2 years of probation.
IDFG and Citizen’s Against Poaching would like the thank everyone who takes the time to call in suspected poaching activities. As this case showed, we can’t do it without you.