In early January, IDFG conservation officers and regional wildlife biologists responded to a Citizens Against Poaching call of a live mountain lion in a foothold trap near the Nevada line in Owyhee County. They successfully sedated, collared, and released the lion.
Further investigation revealed evidence of illegal trapping activity exceeding the mandatory 72-hour check. Officers monitored 20+ traps for the next four weeks and documented three more mountain lions, a bobcat, cottontail rabbit, skunk, and coyotes associated with the 72-hour check violations. Surveillance eventually identified the trapper, a man from Boise, who chose to make the 200-mile round trip every 4-7 days, an average of every 109 hours with a max trap check interval of 156 hours. Officers issued five citations for failing to check traps every 72 hours, along with several warnings. The trapper took no responsibility for his actions other than admitting he had 200 traps out this winter.
In early March, Owyhee County Magistrate accepted a guilty plea to all counts resulting in 5 misdemeanors. The trapper received a 15-year trapping license revocation, $1,000 in fines and probation. His probation included an additional 3-years of license revocation and $4000 in fines if he violates probation.
With your help we can continue to catch poachers. If you witness a wildlife violation, call the Citizens Against Poaching hotline at 1-800-632-5999. Callers may remain anonymous and those with information leading to an arrest are eligible for a monetary reward.