Press Release


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Public's Help is Critical in Fighting Wildlife Crime

By Dave Beaver - Idaho Department of Fish and Game Someone is Stealing Idaho's Wildlife. This message is emblazoned across the Citizens Against Poaching exhibit trailer that displays some of the worst examples of illegal hunting and fishing violations occurring in Idaho. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game uses this trailer at public events around the area in an effort to educate people as to the nature and extent of poaching in our area and the important role people play in helping curtail wildlife crimes. But is the message getting through? Consider these local events of the last few weeks. September 30, two young whitetail bucks are shot and left near Fraser. October 10, a large bodied bull elk is shot with only the head and choicest cut of meat taken and most of the meat wasted. The same thing is done with a whitetail buck on Mattson Cutoff Road. A cow elk near Potlatch is shot and left, nothing taken. Harvard, a small bull elk is shot and only the antlers are taken. On Webb Ridge Road near Lewiston, a whitetail doe is shot before the season 40 yards from the road and the entire animal is left to waste. Near Deary, a bull elk carcass is dumped with only the head and back straps taken. Lower Fords Creek near Orofino, a small whitetail buck is shot from the road and left to rot. These types of crimes are not committed by the individual who makes an honest mistake; they are carried out by persons willing to flagrantly disregard the law, with no respect for the wildlife of Idaho that belongs to all its citizens. On a near daily basis, Fish and Game officers and employees deal with these types of violations. However, too often the scene has no or too little solid evidence to pursue the perpetrator. This is where the CAP hotline comes into play as one or our most valuable tools. More accurately, the CAP system is a conduit to one of our most important tools, which is the people. Concerned people who witness what they believe to be wrongdoing and make the call to Stop A Game Thief, another CAP trailer message. A third statement written on the CAP trailer and one that is perhaps of greatest assistance to law enforcement is: Do You Know Who? Be a part of protecting your fish and wildlife resources and make the call: 1-800-632-5999. The hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Callers may be eligible for a reward and may remain anonymous. However, while the caller can remain anonymous, it is always helpful to leave your contact information with the CAP operator for further follow-up if the investigating officer has any questions. This also helps knowing who to send the reward to. If you don't want to call the CAP hotline, call your local sheriff's department or local Fish and Game Conservation Officer. Only when Fish and Game is aided by the public and honest hunters who band together and refuse to tolerate these senseless crimes will the criminals be removed from the privilege of hunting. Dave Beaver is a senior conservation officer based in Weippe.