Grangeville man, Idaho loses hunting license for life

It looks like the poacher was also a teller of unlikely stories about the vicious “Canadian” wolves-

I got the latest news update from Idaho Fish and Game today. One new item told how a resident of Grangeville, Idaho, Scott Richards, had lost his hunting license for life because of chronic poaching.

That name certainly sounded familiar. I did a quick Google search brought up the following:

Here’s what I found “Close encounter raises concerns about wolves. ” By Scott Richards. For the Idaho Press-Tribune.” This story of Richard’s has been put up in many hunting blogs, and I had received email copies in the past complete with phony-looking photos of Richard’s dogs, allegedly showing how the wolves ate them.

I found one hunting blog that did at least do some investigating rather than swallow the tale whole. Verifying “One Heck Of A Wolf Story Black Bear Blog.






  1. john weis Avatar
    john weis

    “”The real reason I am telling this story is that I have a conscience, and what happened to my dogs and me Wednesday, May 24, at 9:45 a.m. might open a few eyes.”””

    I am not sure his definition of having a conscience is the same as mine.

  2. Salle Avatar


    Problems I see with the story attempting to verify the original tale include the part where the author says Justin Mann told him that it is “usual” for wolves to return after a kill [of dogs!!] and eat it.



    And then he goes on to say that starvation is a key factor in the devouring of the dogs and then speculates that the wolves are overpopulating and, therefore, eating dogs after killing them because they are starving.

    I think there’s something smelly about these suggestions.

    Wolves will attack and kill dogs that enter their range but on the same point, I don’t recall ever hearing that wolves will eat other canids that were killed for “disciplinary” purposes~like entering their “safe zone”. Aside from that point, these authors fail to recognize that bears, on the other hand (which were certainly near-by), would have eaten the dogs and that scavengers would also participate in feeding on them leaving little but the large bones. I wonder why the head was intact. Looked more like it was cleaned off by hand rather than eaten/scavenged to me. Birds would have eaten the eyes at least. Bears could have done the skinning. And the owner was hold the remains up rather than a documented photo of the remains on the ground with additional evidence in view-like detatched parts and tracks. (I wonder how much these guys actually know about animal behavior beyond that of their trained dogs.)

    And then, it is my understanding~based on scientific studies’ findings, that wolves generally self regulate their pack-size numbers to adjust for prey base within their established range. I have had numerous discussions with wolf biologists, who have been studying and managing them since reintroduction, on this topic and have found that they all agree on this point.

    Somehow that last set of factors rarely get the recognition they warrant in such sensational tales of woe. Which would and should generate significant suspicion… But then, sensationalism and blood are what sell in a society that has little knowledge of the facts.

  3. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    It looks to me like a chain saw was taken to the dog, or maybe just Photoshop.

  4. frank Avatar

    Predators would not just stop at that point on the neck. They would eat that neck meat at the very least.

  5. Peter Kiermeir Avatar
    Peter Kiermeir

    Ah, our hero brags about shooting bears and cougars. He pretends he was after a bear when he brought his dogs in trouble with the Canadian monsterwolves! At least that´s how his storyline goes. To revoke his licence is nothing more than a token gesture. I´m sure he will be truly impressed and ……continue poaching!

  6. John d. Avatar
    John d.

    Not to sound negative, but I find this article to be nothing more than a publicity stunt. Normally, perps would have their just do without the media making a meal out of it. ID F&G is obviously trying to play the good guy that actually cares about wolves.

    Didn’t Tim Sundles try the same thing?

  7. Buffaloed Avatar

    John D,

    It is very common for IDFG to publicize cases like this. In fact, this case is unusual for its severity, usually there is a small fine and revocation of hunting privileges for a couple of years not a lifetime.

    That being said, the IDFG is not publicizing any of the illegal wolf kills…….. not one. They’re not even looking for the perpetrators unless someone turns them in.

  8. Buffaloed Avatar

    There have been 9 illegal kills this year alone.

  9. Layton Avatar

    And you base that on what??

  10. vickif Avatar

    Okay, this man’s “my babies, my dogs, were devoured by wolves” sob story didn’t ring true, IMHO. The look on who ever’s face , while holding the dog’s remains, was far from distrought.

    Reading that he was “helping with a documentary”, to show the side of wolves pro-wolfers don’t want the world to see, and reading that he was not against wolves and didn’t support kiling them off, was a contradiction and a stretch.

    If he is in fact helping with a documentary, his credibility will prove a distinct challenge in it’s promotion as based on facts.

    I think it would be more likely that wolves or coyotes ate the dogs after they were already dead, and were found by them. They would not have been a threat then, and would more likely have been eaten in that circumstance. How do we know it was wolf scat at the scene ? Was it tested?

    Looking atthe photo, I have to agree with Ralph.

    As far as losing his hunting privledges, he didn’t have the privledge or right to ‘hunt’ the animals he poached to begin with. Why would anyone assume he will behave within the letter of the law now? It is representative of the hunters’ mentality that is most rampantly seen in opposition to wolves. The mentality that hunters should be able to shoot as often and as many animals as possible backs those views. Poachers merely excercise that view with no regard to legal consequence, this mentality doesn’t have regard for environmental consequence to begin with. Not all hunters see it that way, thank goodness.

    This man got less than what he deserved, given the damage to perception of hunters in total, and blatant disregard for nature and the law. BUt he got more punishment than most. What does that say about our system? Sad….

  11. John d. Avatar
    John d.

    The carcass looks too ‘clean’ to denote the kill was performed by wolves.

  12. Salle Avatar

    If wolves had indeed killed that animal, or even bears or cats, there would have been some damage to the head, period. I base this on having seen dogs, of many kinds, and bears and cats fight or take prey. There is always at least one bite or cut on the head somewhere, usually around the face or torn ears…

    That animal in the photo was obviously NOT involved in any such altercation given the “clean” uncut head and ears.

    This “dude” might be able to spin a good yarn for those unfamiliar with the outdoors, and sympathetic to his views, but he certainly can’t fool anyone who has any experience with such events as he claims took place.

    Looks like a case of human caused mortality and mutilation.

  13. vickif Avatar


    You are absolutely correct. Canids in particular pull at prey a lot, nearly a tug of war. I have watched dogs kill coyotes, they pull at the tail and nose until another animal has a chance to crush the throat. When dogs fight, like this man’s description of a struggle would suggest occured, they go for areas where the other animal has a lot of sensitivity and vulnerability. Ears are both. This animal still had it’s ears in tact and no blood around them from what I saw.

    I would question that this dog’s head was left unharmed, perhaps, to use it’s appearance for sympathy points. I do have sympathy, but I wonder if this poor dog was sacraficed for publicity or perhaps even killed by someone it had trusted…I wonder if any theories were even investigated, or if this man’s word was just taken as gospel.

    If I had investigated, I would have looked for tool marks on the bones. I would have tested the scat. I would have tried to figure out how long the dog was actually dead. I would have looked high and low to see if any other bones had been dragged off, and examined them. But hey, I am a bit obsessive compulsive, and I would want more answers and proof.

  14. Linda Hunter Avatar

    After watching a friend put together a multi-media movie with a normal pc I realize that it would be very easy for anyone to make up any kind of story and provide “documentation” . . heck I could even do it with my digital camera and photoshop. It is also incredibly easy to make a sound byte with someone’s voice and make them say anything! I wonder how many stories of animal “facts” are fiction.

  15. Jesse James Avatar
    Jesse James

    Recently lost a hound to wolves in the south fork of the salmon secesh area.It was 12-9-08 Walked for hours after the dogs two returned and faloowed us follow the dogs for eight brutal hours. leaving only one dog with the treed lion allowed wolves to beat us to the lion. they ripped the ears right of the dog but never ate it. We could hear and saw six wolves in the area.It almost became life and death for our survival due to cold weather and icy conditions.RIP to our friend Blaze sorry but she left us doing what she loved.

  16. John A. Avatar
    John A.

    Don’t know if you are all just gullible or what but do you believe everything that the IDF&G tells you. Scott knew they would come after him months before they trumped up the charges against him. He lost his dogs to the wolfs and the government didn’t want him to tell his story. So they had to discredit him, thus the bogus poaching charges. All they had was some pictures that they made up the stories to.

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar

      John A.

      Your comments are not convincing because you don’t seem to have followed this blog enough to know that we are not very friendly here to Idaho Fish and Game. Secondly, Idaho Fish and Game is pretty much anti-wolf, so they would have no reason to trump up charges against a man whose wolf/dog experience makes wolves look bad.

  17. Matt E. Avatar
    Matt E.

    Mr. Richards is a poacher, period. He told undercover officers about killing the trophy big game animals he was convicted of. The photos corraborated his stories.
    The investigation started BEFORE the incident with the wolves. Trumped up charges? NO WAY!!

  18. phil giannini Avatar
    phil giannini

    I have met Scott Richards. He is very anti-wolf. I met him when I purchased some hunting land from him. At the time I had no knowlege of his poaching.I was supposed to give him permission to hunt the land in Dec. for archery elk season. I guess if he can’t hunt…I don’t have to give him permission.By the way there are 11 wolves in the pack in that GMU and I hope they stay there. If they open wolves to hunting, I’m afraid they will be the first pack to go, because they are easy to get to by road. I’m a hunter, and I don’t mind wolves taking their fair share of food. Between poachers or wolves….I’ll take the wolves. I hear them howl every time I go up there and I’ve seen a couple of them. There aren’t many places like that in the lower 48 any more, which is why I bought the land. If they hunt off that wolf pack, I’ll probably sell the land and move to Alaska


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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