In 2022, Idaho Fish and Game Officers received an anonymous tip through the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) hotline stating that there was a suspect with a fresh trophy mule deer head and it wasn’t hunting season. Later that same day a second CAP hotline call came in regarding a headless mule deer buck in the same area. The information provided by these concerned citizens started an investigation by Fish and Game Conservation Officers, which ultimately confirmed that a large, mature antlered mule deer was shot at night with a 22-caliber long rifle during closed season.
The suspect was charged with a felony for taking a trophy mule deer during a closed season, along with additional Fish and Game misdemeanors.
As part of a plea deal, the suspect pleaded to two misdemeanor charges for hunting big game during unlawful hours, and for taking a big game animal with an unlawful weapon. They were sentenced to 180 days in jail for each count concurrently with 150 days suspended and 30 days discretionary, supervised misdemeanor probation for two years, a $2,000 civil penalty for the trophy mule deer, a total of $1,000 in fines plus court costs, and a lifetime hunting revocation.
Idaho Fish and Game would like to thank the many members of the public that continue to report wildlife violations to the CAP hotline and provide the critical pieces of the puzzle that make solving cases like these possible. Also, a special thanks to the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance and involvement in this case.
Anyone who witnesses or has information regarding a Fish and Game violation is encouraged to “Make the Call” to the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) hotline at 1-800-632-5999, 24 hours a day. Callers may remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.