KENDRICK - With elk season closed, the quick actions of a concerned deer hunter who heard nearby rifle shots and later observed a man in possession of a bull elk, resulted in a $1,625 fine and loss of hunting privileges for a Moscow man.
In December 2001, Latah County Judge William Hamlett assessed Stacy Clemm, age 33, with the charge of killing an elk during closed season.
The case began when Tanna Ragan, Idaho Fish and Game conservation officer received an anonymous tip the morning of November 4, 2001; one day after the elk season closed in Unit 8A near Kendrick. The same morning, while hunting private land in the Texas Ridge area, the witness heard two rifle shots at approximately 6:30 a.m., and later observed Clemm use a four-wheeler to drag and load a branch-antlered bull elk into a white Ford pickup.
When Ragan and fellow officer, Clint Rand, contacted Clemm six hours later, there was an elk carcass skinned and quartered in his truck, but the head and antlers were missing. Clemm stated that he shot the elk the night before but because of a poor shot, couldn't locate it until morning. After finding no evidence on the carcass supporting his claim, Ragan collected a temperature reading of 86 degrees from the thigh of the elk, and explained that an approximate time of death could be determined.
Time-of-Death charts show that if the elk had been shot at the end of legal hunting hours on November 3 as Clemm stated, the body temperature would be approximately 65 to 68 degrees. The charts also showed that an elk with an average body temperature of 86 degrees would have been dead for approximately 5-10 hours, as the anonymous informant indicated the violation occurred.
After further discussion, Clemm admitted to the location of the elk head and hide, which the officers examined and determined that the elk was fatally shot in the neck.