This year the Idaho Department of Fish and Game's annual auction of seized items will be in Idaho Falls on Saturday, April 7.
The auction of found, forfeited, and seized items by Fish and Game is an annual happening-known to many simply as "The Fur Sale." Most of the auction items are furs and hides found, confiscated or seized by courts throughout the state during the past year.
To make it fair for all the residents of the state, Fish and Game moves the fur sale from region to region each year. This means that in the weeks leading up to the fur sale Fish and Game trucks will be shuttling loads of frozen hides, miscellaneous animal parts and assorted forfeited items to Idaho Falls.
"While some firearms have been seized by the court in certain regions of the state as part of Fish and Game cases, those firearms are being sold as part of the regular surplus property auction held in Boise each month," regional conservation officer John Hanson said.
But because firearms are considered valuable personal property, firearms used in the commission of a wildlife crime are not commonly seized, whereas fishing poles and traps often are.
Bid lots are a real mixed bag, some are valuable taxidermy mounts, some are green hides, and others are downright road kill. Folks also have the opportunity to bid on bundles of fishing poles.
Bidders have a chance to preview all items. But because the background of many of the animals is unknown, none are sold with the intention that the meat be consumed.
Along with curious sportsmen, amateur and professional taxidermists show up to bid on animals. Sometimes unique items, such as bear cubs, come up for sale and are just what a taxidermist may be looking for to complete a bear family creation.
Folks interested in mountain man and other historical re-enactments come to see what bits and pieces of fauna might be for sale. Plenty of deer and elk antlers will be up for bid, some real trophies, others sub-standard or broken.
Among the wildlife items that won't be for sale are bighorn sheep horns that the department may have collected over the past year. State law forbids their sale.
Some items seized by courts or found by Fish and Game will never make it to the fur sale. State law provides the opportunity for educators within the department to pick some items for hunter education and conservation education programs. Because most of these items are in their raw condition, groups often donate the money to have a taxidermist mount the animals for classroom use.
The auction runs from 10 a.m. to noon, with doors opening at 8 a.m. to preview items, on April 7, at the Upper Snake Regional Office, 4279 Commerce Circle, Idaho Falls. The auction will be operated by Andersen Auction Service of Pocatello.
For information call John Hanson at 208-525-7290 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.