By Evin Oneale, Idaho Department of Fish and Game
Less than a month after his hunting privileges were reinstated following a previous poaching conviction, a Boise County man poached again.
And this time, it really cost him.
Gregory Wayne Powell, 44, of Horseshoe Bend, recently was sentenced in Boise County Court in Idaho City on felony elk poaching charges stemming from a December 2007 incident.
Powell, initially charged with unlawful possession and waste of two cow elk, trespassing, and using the elk tag of another, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of possession of two or more big game animals within a 12 month period.
In December 2007, Powell trespassed onto private land, shot and killed two cow elk. He left both animals where they fell, returning under the cover of darkness to field dress both animals partially. Powell hauled the carcasses to his residence in a horse trailer. He left both animals in the trailer until mid-afternoon the following day, by which time the meat had spoiled. Powell placed a friend's elk tag on one of the illegal animals.
When initially contacted, Powell denied any wrongdoing, concocting the story that he and the friend killed the elk somewhere else. DNA evidence sealed the case against Powell.
During sentencing, Fish and Game conservation officer Rob Brazie testified about Powell's eerily similar 2004 poaching conviction.
In 2004, Powell was convicted of killing a five-point bull elk several weeks before the season opened. He left the elk on the hill and later sneaked the animal out under cover of darkness. Left in a horse trailer for most of the following day, the unskinned elk spoiled.
When officers arrived to investigate, Powell convinced a friend to claim the elk as his own. Powell was charged with possession of a closed season elk, waste of an elk and using the elk tag of another. His hunting license was suspended for three years.
In the 2007 poaching incident, Fourth Judicial District Magistrate Kathryn Stickland sentenced Powell to 10 days in jail with another 120 days to be served at the probation officer's discretion, five years of unsupervised probation, a 10-year revocation of hunting privileges, $1,500 in restitution for two elk, fines totaling $600, unspecified court costs and $4,597.50 in reimbursement for DNA tests.
Should Powell be convicted of another crime during his probationary period, he would serve a minimum of one year in jail for the elk poaching and up to three years at the court's discretion.
Evin Oneale is the regional conservation educator is the Southwest Region.