Idaho poacher gets lifetime hunting ban

Idaho Falls, Idaho man killed 5 elk, left four-

He also goes to jail for 2 months, can’t possess a firearm in the field and pays a fine. But is the penalty all that tough?

Idaho poacher gets lifetime hunting ban. The Associated Press






  1. mikepost Avatar

    Interesting that this sentence is hearlded as something really strong and yet the fine is about what a Hollywood DUI would bring and his so-called “lifetime ban” can be reveresed in 10 years. The judiciary does not seem to appreciate the societal losses caused by this kind of aggregious poaching. The fine barely covers the losses to the state for the direct and indirect revenues that could be generated by four more cow elk hunters. The rule of thumb is that a violator like this gets caught about 10% of the time, so one can postulate that he has done this many times before and escaped prosecution.

  2. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Glad they slammed this guy. POS

  3. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    That is good they got this guy. Do you suppose he complained about wolves killing all the elk?

    1. JEFF E Avatar
      JEFF E

      I’m sure he was right there on the barstool talking about how the wolves need to be “managed” because they were killing all of “his elk” POS

  4. Save Bears Avatar
    Save Bears

    Jeff? How many times you going to call him a POS?

    I am glad they were able to catch and prosecute this criminal, I wish they would have taken his guns away for life and banned him from being in the national forests and national parks, he does not deserve to use the treasures that we all pay for..

  5. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    everytime i talk about him
    you have a problem with that

    1. Save Bears Avatar
      Save Bears


      Why, when I ask a question, do you automatically assume I have a problem with that, you are really a defensive person, I was just asking, you know your point was made..

    2. JEFF E Avatar
      JEFF E

      why do you care

    3. JEFF E Avatar
      JEFF E

      at the risk of an exercise in futility, again
      what I do here is simply state my opinion on a given subject, occasionally backed with cites. If someone “gets my point” agrees, disagrees, does not get it, or does not care, is none of my business.
      having said that, IMO you are no more than a poser and as such are particularly distasteful. I have, up to a few days ago, when I decided to push the easy button, Ignored you and will go back to that mode.

  6. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Save Bears, I also hope he never gets to go into a national park or national forest. As far as him being a POS, I think Jeff is stating the truth.

  7. Save Bears Avatar
    Save Bears

    Pro, the truth is always good, but i think everybody got Jeff’s point is all I was saying, I choose to not post my thoughts about this individual as it may be considered a threat!

    1. Save Bears Avatar
      Save Bears

      And just to add, I don’t think the punishment was harsh enough..

  8. Gerry Miner Avatar
    Gerry Miner

    what is a POS?

    1. Save Bears Avatar
      Save Bears

      Piece of Sh*T

  9. Save Bears Avatar
    Save Bears


    What do I care what? Why do you care?

  10. Save Bears Avatar
    Save Bears

    Anyway Jeff, I am sorry I asked you a question, it just seem like we diminish our cause when we let our emotion over rule our common sense, and yes, I know, I am just as guilty as anyone..

  11. Save Bears Avatar
    Save Bears

    What ever Jeff…

    1. Save Bears Avatar
      Save Bears

      And Jeff, I will express the same sediment about you, you are a loud mouth, uninformed person on the subjects that get discussed here, I guess, your easy button analogy is a good one, I guess I will practice that as well, because people like you certainly don’t add anything to the discussion and you really don’t help the cause..when it comes to wildlife and wild places..

  12. Kayla Avatar

    Personally except for the lifetime hunting ban, they went a
    little soft on the guy in my opinion. What with only 60 days
    in jail? What with only $7500 fine? They always seem to go
    a little soft on something like this or when someone kills a
    Grizzly or something. It would have been nice to have seen
    At Least maybe 6 months in jail and like maybe $20,000 or
    so fine. Well, just my opinion!

  13. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse


    I bet if one polled the folks who read and comment on this blog, you would find nearly everyone agreeing this jerk did not get nearly what he deserved. I expect hunters would be at the head of the line asking for a stiffer sentence, if possible. Based on the article there appear to be no mitigating circumstances for what this guy did. Nobody ever wants to see him or know that he is in the woods again for a long time.

    The judge probably did all he/she could to come up with a near maximum sentence. Maybe someone else knows more about the basis for the fine and jail time, but it may very well be prescribed in the statutes/regulations, and the judge had to rule within sentence guidelines.

    As for staying out of the woods, loss of hunting privileges and no firearms, it sounds like that is actually a pretty well thought out part. And, it sends a message.

    The question I would have is, why did the guy shoot so many cows, and whether such conduct should put him in a mental institution. Is there still a lock up for that in Orofino?

  14. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse

    And, personally, I would make him wear a sign that says ‘game poacher” any time he goes in public for 30 days. He might not live out the sentence.

  15. JimT Avatar

    Is the ban really enforceable? Seems logical to conclude that unless he is required to give up all his guns, registered or otherwise, and banned from buying them, he will probably poach again.

    I guess it would really come down to his peers reporting him if they saw a kill in his yard, or “heard of one’”. Would the community of hunters turn him in?

  16. JimT Avatar

    And if he has sympathetic friends, he can always borrow their guns, right?

  17. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse


    And where exactly would there be “registered” guns in Idaho?

  18. JimT Avatar

    Good point…which makes the ban even harder..;*)

  19. Si'vet Avatar

    Sympathetic friends ? This guy should probably move. There are a lot fewer hunters tolerant of this crap than you folks can even imagine. For some of us, a true trophy is catching a poacher, getting them convicted and donating the CAP money back. FYI most poachers are caught or turned in by hunters. Also as an FYI, in most hunting circles the next biggest complaint besides ATV use is trival fines and punishmnet of poachers.

  20. Save Bears Avatar
    Save Bears

    I seriously doubt he will bother to buy a hunting lic, but if he were to attempt to, most game agencies maintain a database of banned hunters and with the interstate agreements in place that prevent anyone banned in one state trying to obtain a lic in another state, should catch him.

    Also this was a felony conviction, should it would be a Federal crime for him to own a gun during his probation time and he would have to go through a hearing to have his right to guns restored, it would also be a felony to let him borrow a gun, so if a friend lends him a gun, they would be subject to penalties as well.

    I would hope the law agencies would monitor this to ensure compliance with the conviction.

    In reading information about this case as well as others, it sounds like the judge gave him just about as much as they could. I still feel the law should be updated to tougher sentences for these criminals…

  21. JimT Avatar

    Thanks for the information. Glad to hear the hunting community is as upset..maybe more…as the rest of us…

  22. Dave Avatar

    This is a strange case, no trophys, no meat, just a shooting binge, wilderness muse may be dead on, this is mental, and this kind of (i dont know what you call it) human could be dangerous. glad to hear he has at least some kind of record may not be the last you hear of this guy. As far as poaching goes this is a well thought out sentence, and goes well beyond some of the other sentences i have seen. However this one deserves extra attention.

  23. mikarooni Avatar

    Good grief, this demented poacher is one helluva POS!

    1. JEFF E Avatar
      JEFF E

      you took the words right out of my mouth

  24. Larry Zuckerman Avatar

    The original story is in the Post-Register. Since Judge Jerry Meyers retired in the Salmon area (where fish & game violations got stiffer sentences than many other crimes against society like domestic violence, drunk driving, robbery, etc.), most hunting and fishing violations brought by IDFG were dismissed or the fines without jail time were minimal and almost insulting to the prosecutor, conservation officers, license holders, and the general public. While several of you feel the sentence could have been harsher, the felony conviction with jail time, forfeiture of weapons, and lifetime ban on hunting is relatively stiff.

    I agree with others in the Blog, shooting cow elk without harvesting meat reveals a blood lust and several loose screws.


    Larry Zuckerman, Salmon, Idaho

  25. David Avatar

    It strikes me that the general demographic cross section on this site would make an example of the guy.

    I agree, what he did reflects some possible screws loose in his brain. However, 60 days in jail is a pretty tough hit to someone’s source of income, personal life, and general well-being. And I for one, think that making someone’s future stability difficult is not the correct way to correct heinous behavior.

    I think it is important to remember that bad behavior is just that, and needs correction… NOT retribution. How many wolves would those elk have fed, and for how long? He didn’t slaughter the last of an endangered species. Preventing re-occurrence is far more important than spending much needed tax dollars to remove him from society.

  26. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Thanks Larry Zuckerman,

    I thought Judge Meyers must have retired.


    You do make a good point. Going to jail is a big crossing point when it comes to almost any criminal penalty.

  27. Si'vet Avatar

    I believe a harsh penalty such as this is sending a message, and becomes a real deterrent for others. If judges continue to: always do what they’ve always done, we’ll always get what we’ve always got. When you poached in Salmon you were stealing Jerry’s fish and game and were sentenced accordingly. Jerry did retire but returned to do some fill in work, a severe health issue has keep him pretty low this winter. But poachers and juvenile deliquents beware, he shall return!!

  28. Si'vet Avatar

    Larry, FYI, Judge Meyers is on the mend and is actually back at work, taking on a pretty good work load. As another tidbit of info, before we get to feeling to sorry for the defendent, Jerry is all to familiar with this person, he has been before Jerry on at least one other poaching case, as well as other civil matters.

  29. pointswest Avatar

    A little over a century ago, there were no game laws. Killing five elk was perfectly legal. Native Americans would kill severak pregnant cows just to have the tender veal of the unborn calf. They would kill a bison just to eat its tongue.

    I am not defending what this poacher did but it was not a rape or a murder. Sending him to jail also punishes his wife and kids. I think suspending his hunting privilages for life is very serious and the $7,000 fine was good but 6 months of jail time seems a little too much. We have white collar criminals in this country that steal millions from worker’s pensions and from the public who rarely get jail time. We have white collar criminals who lie, cheat, and steal to exploit natural resources and who forever destroy wildlife habitat and few ever get jail time. We have environmental extremest who lie, cheat, and steal to advance their cause that is often some sort of psychological “acting out.” They might slander, defame, destroy, or disrupt perfectly legal affairs in complete indifferenct to ethics or to law but very few ever get jail time.

    How about this. Let’s agree that jail time for poaching is OK but also agree that slanderers and defamers who post misleading and unsubstantiated statements on the internet as facts that might injure perfectly innocent people also get jail time.

  30. Si'vet Avatar

    Pointwest, “multiple offender”, and you want me to worry about his family. Where is the defendents responsibility?? Was he thinking about his family when he was killing and stealing those elk from the rest of us. He chose to put his family in that situation.. The same goes for the rest of the above mentioned atrosities.

    1. pointswest Avatar

      No but I doubt the wife knew about the poaching gene before she married him. Why should she pay.

      BTW Gubinatorial candidate Rex Rammel come from a family with a pretty bad reputation of hunting without tags on or near their land near Driggs.

  31. Save Bears Avatar
    Save Bears


    We all have responsibilities and commitments, and the first and foremost is to our families, if he didn’t want his family to suffer, he should not have committed a crime..I have no compassion for this would seem to me, his family made the mistake, they trusted a far as I am concerned, throw his ass in jail and throw away the key, he stole from all of us, and most of all he lost the trust of his family..if his family knew he was a criminal, then they are just as guilty as he is…

    I don’t make allowances for these type of people..not only did he let his sportsman friends down, he allow his greed to override his responsibilities to his family.

    Simply stated, he is a crook, he raped the resources and most of all he put his family in jeopardy and you want me to have compassion for him? No Way, No How and not in this life!

    1. pointswest Avatar

      I think the punishment should fit the crime. He should be punished. I will say again that I am not defending him. But six months in jail is too much for killing too many elk. This guy is over 50 years old. Just a little over a hundred years ago, his act would not have even been illegal. That is a difference with stealing or or destruction of private property which have always been illegal.

      I think it was very unethical of him to leave the meat to rot on the ground. I think it is terrible. But six months in jail is a pretty hefty sentence. He will lose his job, his income for at least six months, his reputation and yet if he had done this 50 years before his birth, it would have been perfectly legal.

  32. pointswest Avatar

    What he did was wrong. But let the punishment fit the crime.
    In medieval England there was Forest Law. The forest was owned by the King and/or nobility since they loved to hunt. The punishment for poaching a deer under Forest Law was hanging. It was argued, by the King and nobles, that poaching was like stealing from the King.

    After a few revolutions and a few Kings were beheaded, Forest Law was finally repealed. Was Forest Law just? …or did the people have a point that the crime did not fit the punishment? Should we hang poachers for stealing your elk? …should we hang their wife and kids too? You’re right. It is just like stealing. We should have no sympathy for them. Let’s get medieval on their ass!

    1. Save Bears Avatar
      Save Bears


      Well if we are to take this approach with every crime and take the family into consideration for their hardship, we might as well never prosecute a crime. But to be honest with you, no criminal takes into account what could happen to their family…those who commit crimes are simply greedy and thoughtless when it comes to those around them.

      If we allow ourselves to worry about the family of the criminal, then we might as well throw law out the window, because every single criminal has a family and being convicted of a crime is always going to affect others..

  33. JB Avatar

    “Let’s agree that …slanderers and defamers who post misleading and unsubstantiated statements on the internet as facts that might injure perfectly innocent people also get jail time.”

    Holy cow! Given that criteria we’d have to put all of Fox News behind bars…not that I’d mind. 😉

    1. pointswest Avatar

      How about jail time for people who dare to criticize the integrity of the Holy Fox Channel?

    2. JB Avatar


      Actually, I agree with you regarding the putting people behind bars. It’s extremely expensive and does not benefit society in the least. A better solution is a lifetime hunting ban plus a mountain of community service.

    3. Talks with Bears Avatar
      Talks with Bears

      Holy Cow JB – do you think there would be enough room in that jail for all of Fox News after the current duly elected President – liar in chief and his ego were placed there?

    4. pointswest Avatar

      Anymore, in the US, jail time is more a question of economy than of justice. We cannot afford to keep all the people behind bars that should be there.

      1. Ralph Maughan Avatar

        One good thing about the recession is probably the release of some prisoners. What does it say about the the country when the states lock up a higher percentage of their population than any other place on the planet? Are Americans that criminal minded, or was this an overreaction to the high crime rates of 20 years ago?

        Most of the crimes are fairly minor drug related crimes, and the prison population the result of our 80 year old failure called the war on drugs.

        1. pointswest Avatar

          When the crime rate reaches a certain point in a society, maybe the entire society is guilty of something.

          1. mikarooni Avatar

            It’s our fault is it? Kind of like they keep drinking because we keep nagging them, huh?

            1. pointswest Avatar

              What about the converse…some societies do not have a drinking problem. Is it kind of like they don’t drink because you never were nagging them, huh?

  34. mikarooni Avatar

    It makes me want to puke to see people taking up for this poaching scum. As for his family and given that they have harbored this filth in the same house, why would I want my kid, who was raised with the expectation of being an honorable, studious, educated, hardworking, self-sacrificing contributor to society and has more than lived up to every bit of that challenge, having to ever deal with the squalid and treacherous descendants of this miscreant poaching degenerate? The sentence is way too light.

    1. pointswest Avatar

      How about jail time for people who are just plain too negative and hostile?

  35. Save Bears Avatar
    Save Bears


    In my opinion, I feel the punishment in this case did fit the crime, and I wish it was stiffer for blatant abusers..which this guy was and he plead guilty…

    1. pointswest Avatar

      I too think it was a deplorable act. Just shooting elk to watch them die and the leave the meat on the ground is about as bad as it gets.

      I thought is was 6 months in jail but it was only 60 days so it is not nearly as serious as I thought it was. It is still pretty stiff, however, in comparison to other penalties for other crimes.

      There are people here in LA who shoot people and get less.

      I had some crazy chick who was chasing her boyfriend in her car slam into my property and knock a wall open on my tenants living room and nothing was done to her. She would have killed my tenants but a tree that she hit saved him. She intentally ran a stop sign at 50 mph in a residential neighborhood chasing after her boyfriend who left her earlier that morning probably after sleeping with her for the night.

      Between my property, her father’s car, and the car she hit at the intersection, she destroyed about $70,000 of property and did not have insurance nor any money to pay for any of the damage. She also faked like she was hurt and got a $5,000 trip in an abulance to the ER. I’m sure she was not hurt because I saw her climb out of her car and throw herself on the ground after she saw that her boyfriend was backing up to the scene. She lay there crying in agony to her boyfriend until the abulance came. I told the cops what I saw.

      My home owner’s insurance covered my costs but then my premiums went up by 50%.

      She had no car insurance nor any money or property. There were no criminal charges brought against her. Nothing happened to her. She got all that drama and sympathy from her studly aloof boyfriend at zero cost to her.

      Some guy in Idaho goes banana’s and shoots four too many elk worth maybe a thousand each and you want him in jail.

      Sorry, it does not seem fair to me.

  36. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse

    Anybody actually know whether this guy has a family and kids who need him at home? If I recall the article says he was 54.

    I am with JB. Community service, maybe related to wildlife conservation for a year or two would give him an opportunity for redemption, while not having to incur the cost of prison. I think it runs about $50K a year to keep somebody in jail, where they are of absolutely no use to anyone. An opportunity would have to be earned, and based on his values, this guy appears to have other game violations from a bit of history provided by someone here. If he deserves a chance, then give him one. If not, toss him with general inmate population wherever for 60 days, or two years, and see what kind of improvement that makes. Very little I bet, and it cost the state to keep him there.

    I am being facetious, so don’t jump on me about “cruel and unusual punishment,” but in some cultures chopping off a finger has its deterrent effect – I vote for a trigger finger.

  37. Si'vet Avatar

    PW “Repeat Offender” – His tail in jail is my money well spent. FYI 2 months = 60 days.
    BTW when Rammels were busted poaching moose in the the Teton Valley back in the 70’s they got off with a slap on the hand. there in lies the problem…

    1. pointswest Avatar

      Oh…I was mistaken. I thought it was 6 months. 60 days is not nearly so bad but I think it is a little harsh.

      When I was in college back in the 70’s, I acidentally killed two deer with one shot. I only had my elk gun at college, a .270 which tends to blow up deer, so bought some 130 grain hard point rounds that would pass through a deer rather than destroy so much meat. This was for ethical reasons. I shot a deer in the fog killing it with one shot but when I approched I saw that another deer was down. It was mortally wounded so I headshot it for ethical reasons. The bullet from the first deer has passed through its chest and into the shoulder of the second deer standing directly behind it. I’m sure I could have gone to the game warden and explained what happened and he would have taken the extra deer and let me go. I’m sure of it. I had heard of it before. But that would have meant driving two hours to find a game warden and walking an hour back into where I shot the deer. It was Sunday and it would have meant missing class on Monday. I had tests, studying, and deer meat that I had to worry about. I could have left the second deer to rot but I believed this to be very unethical. I probably should not have gone hunting that day.

      I had the deer hanging behind the house but this stupid, stupid roomate took one of them down because he needed the rope and the dogs got to it later that night. The next morning deer hair and hide was strung all over the neighborhood and someone called the cops. I was busted.

      I got a $400 fine and my license suspended for the rest of the year but it was already October. $400 was a lot of money to me at that time but I wonder if they would give someone jail time for something like that today?

  38. Si'vet Avatar

    PW, No sad fact is, the fine would be about the same. As you probably know now, if you would have left the deer, called F&G gave them directions, they would have retrieved it themselves, and gave you a pass, Once you reduced it to bag you run a foul of the law. And as you also found out they didn’t care what your story was, you had 2 deer, “guility”, I tried earlier on this site to explain why Lynne Stone couldn’t posses a big game animal she didn’t legally harvest, F&G are real sticklers when it comes to legal harvest, and ownership. 400$$ in the 70’s working part time for 1.50$ was a stiff fine. Judge Forbush or Reynolds, my guess Forbush,,

    1. pointswest Avatar

      I don’t remember the judges name…he was a substitute judge anyway as the one who should have been presiding was having surgery or something. It was in Moscow, Idaho.

      Actually, I did not get the full fine because of the mitigating circumstances if I remember correctly.

      They were justified in fining me. I knew I was breaking the law by not going to the game warden. I was much, much, much more worried about school at the time and not flunking any more tests. I shouldn’t have been hunting but it was so refreshing after studying dynamics and differential equations all fall.

  39. Save Bears Avatar
    Save Bears


    Fair and right are two entirely different things..I am sorry you can’t see this, I am sorry you suffered a loss…

    1. pointswest Avatar

      …but justice in American is intended to be fair (note pagan goddess who wears blindfold and who is holding a balance on Dept of Justice Bldg, Washinton, DC.).

  40. Dave Avatar

    Ralph r u starting a new sight to legalize weed?? jokes.


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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