It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Violation!
News Release by Gregg Losinski, Regional Conservation Educator, Upper Snake Region
MUD LAKE - Man and his technology have come a long way since Idaho became a state. Hunting today is not about survival, it’s about pursuing a form of recreation, a sport. Like all sports, hunting has its rules. In mid-October of this year, Idaho Department of Fish & Game (IDFG) conservation officers came across three individuals who attempted to use a combination of modern technologies to gain an unfair advantage in their pursuit of wild game. Their actions not only violated the concept of fair chase, but also violated a number of actual hunting regulations.
On October 18, 2014, Senior Conservation Officers Tim Klucken and Josh Leal responded to reports of a powered parachute flying low over the Mud Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA). On the way to the WMA, officers could hear someone giving location instructions about deer over the FRS radio. The officers were able to make contact with Jake Tanner and Neil Wood who were carrying shotguns and admitted that they had been communicating with the person in the powered parachute about locating deer. It also turned out that Tanner lacked a tag to hunt deer.
Upon further investigation, officers were able to determine that the individual in the powered parachute, Braxton Tomlinson, was trying to locate deer hiding in the reeds of the WMA marsh and then communicate their location by radio to Tanner and Woods, who were on the ground. Use of aircraft to locate wildlife and communicating information to someone on the ground is against Idaho Code and specifically mentioned on page 97 of the 2014 Big Game Regulations.
In Jefferson County Court, all three pleaded guilty and were fined $500 with $400 suspended, plus court costs, sentenced to 10 days in jail, suspended. Judge Crowley also sentenced them to one year unsupervised probation and revocation of hunting for one year.
To learn more about the concept of fair chase, visit the website of Orion The Hunter’s Institute at www.huntright.org.
Idaho is a member of the Wildlife Violator Compact, which means that if an individual’s hunting, fishing or trapping license is revoked by any of the 42 member states; all the remaining states will revoke the same license or privilege for the same time period. Anyone with information about a wildlife violation are encouraged to “Make the Call” and contact the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) hotline at 1-800-632-5999. Callers may remain anonymous, and they may be eligible for a reward.
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