More about the trial of Tony Mayer, founder of

“Judge Israel sternly told Mayer that he is charged with “flagrant unlawful killing and/or possession of a trophy bull elk,” a crime punishable in Idaho by up to five years in prison and a one-year to lifelong loss of hunting and fishing rights.”

“Accused elk poacher faces possible life hunting ban.” “Twin Falls man charged with killing trophy elk out of season.”
Idaho Mountain Express. By Terry Smith

Update. The story in Outdoor Life.

About The Author

Ken Cole

Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project. We do not accept unsolicited “guest” authors or advertising.

37 Responses to Wolf hater and accused elk poacher faces possible life hunting ban

  1. ProWolf in WY says:

    So he may lose his hunting privileges/rights for life? Kharma is a bitch!

  2. JimT says:

    If he does, the key will be enforcement…

  3. Save bears says:

    With some of these people, loosing your privilege to hunt, means, not a damn thing!

    • Elk275 says:

      If he loses he rights to hunt there is always, Canada, New Zealand, Africa, Asia, South America and Europe. I have never heard of a state court restricting hunting outside of the state.

      • william huard says:

        Maybe Mayer can teach a seminar on the ethics of hunting

      • Save bears says:


        I agree, but based on us talking on this blog, I don’t think you condone poaching anymore than I do, we have both been in the brush a couple of days before or after the season ends and see the animal we want, but the key is….

        We didn’t take the shot!

      • Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

        Elk, others –
        Idaho is signatory to a wildlife law enforcement Compact that provides mutual recognition of wildlife violation sentences among the participating states. If hunting priviledges are revoked or limited by a judicial decision in Idaho, the hunters priviledges are equally restrcted ior revoked in each state signatory to the Compact. In the west, participating states included Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Montana, Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, Nevada, Alaska. The Compact has been in place for years and the number of states joining the Compact continues to grow.

      • Save bears says:


        That is the way it is suppose to work, after working for FWP, I can tell you for a fact, often times it does not..

      • Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

        In your experience – how so?

      • Save bears says:


        When I was with FWP, I know of several instances, that people were caught poaching, and upon further investigation we found out that they had already been convicted in other states that had signed on the interstate pact….

      • Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

        SB –
        Those attempts to avoid the consequences of the Compact are inevitable. In those instances, do you know what the ultimate outcomes were?

      • Save bears says:


        I was not in law enforcement, I was in research, but I do know that some of them ended up doing jail time for for there deception on the license purchases in addition to other penalties for the convictions…

      • Save bears says:

        I will add, that with the evolution of the instant checks that hopefully more will be caught and pay the penalties associated with these types of crimes..

      • bob jackson says:

        Related to game violation state MOU’s is federal concession permits that are suppose to be used by those licensing agencies to pull the permits of outfitters caught doing “state crime”. But alas, the states don’t tell the feds when this happens bcause the state G&F don’t think it is any of the feds business how the states regulate and punish for game violations.

        The states have MOU’s on the books with these feds so policy wise they should be notifying each other.

        I doubt MSG’s Idaho G&F, even though he asserts cooperation on all fronts to take down these poachers…including outfitter-guide poachers, has EVER cooperated with the FS or NPS to help these feds take out an outfitter.
        So to put it in a nutshell MSG’s pomp and circumstance is just that.

        And another thing, how many domestic abusers…those who the court says can not carry a firearm are denied a guide or outfitter license by those states G&F…..or even a hunting license. The camps in Thorofare were full of orangatan loser guides and a number of them had those very serious domestic court edicts. But when I would notigy the game wardens of this nothing would be revoked.

        The law of G&F is a privelged application. Yes the outlaw individual is busted and very much publizied but there is so much going on behind the scenes to insure protection of the status quo.

    • Save Bears,

      What is a typical penalty for a person who has lost their privilege to hunt, but is caught hunting (obviously illegally) anyway?

      • Save bears says:

        Really Ralph,

        There is not much of a penalty, if it is a felony conviction, you could be charged with a gun violation, most likely not…but really to loose your hunting privilege, means, just about nothing in this country, even though there is agreement in place between states, they don’t often get checked, and rarely do you have to worry about it..

        The threat of a lifetime ban, really means nothing, you have to target them where it hurt, make them surrender their guns!

        Only the most flagrant poachers are ever really punished, you have to have a long history behind you, before they really do anything to you..

        The problem is, it is not entered into the national database, so most of the times, it never gets caught..

      • JEFF E says:

        I believe the statute in Idaho is that using a firearm in the commission of a felony results in no longer able to legally possess firearms.

  4. Elk275 says:

    …….self control.

    I am leaving for the Centennials, Gravellys and Snow Crest country, I have an appointment with a brace of sage gouse tomorrow and a trio of blues. If time allows a few minutes of fly fishing in the Rudy.

    • Save bears says:


      I would really like to join you….

    • SAP says:

      Careful up in there between Long Creek & Elk River — folks are seeing grizzly families pretty regular in there. You should be fine bird hunting, as long as your dogs don’t “fetch” mother grizzly for you! Stay safe & good luck.

  5. Chuck says:

    I wonder how many times before Tony has done this?? I had heard that some of the pictures on his website were probably doctored. I would really like to see them make an example out of him. Am sure as the article said that he is going to plead not guilty, his main blame will be towards the wolves and how he was protecting this bull from a far worse death by wolf.

    • ProWolf in WY says:

      Chuck, I don’t think just “some” of the pictures have been doctored on this site.

  6. Mike says:

    The Northern Rockies seem to be full of folks like this. The amount of poaching from anti-wolf nuts must be staggering.

    • Save bears says:

      Care to name your source for that claim Mike? Every state in the nation has criminals, I don’t think the Northern Rockies has anymore than anywhere else…so would be very interested in seeing information to back your claim up..

    • ProWolf in WY says:

      Mike, I do think most hunters, whether they are anti-wolf or not, are not poachers. When hunters poach they hurt their sport/pastime (whatever you want to call it) and provide fodder for anti-hunters. Anyone who hunts that really wants to preserve the activity will not engage in poaching.

    • Alan says:

      One thing to keep in mind is that SSS is poaching. On the one hand we hear about rampant SSS going on among hunters, and how given the chance they will SSS if wolves aren’t removed from the list etc. On the other we hear, “Most hunters aren’t poachers”, (which I believe, BTW). It can’t be both ways.

      • Save bears says:


        If your hearing about it, then they aren’t doing it, the ones you have to worry about is the ones that don’t talk about it..

      • jon says:

        I will agree with sb that the ones that are saying it aren’t likely going to do it and believe me, I have seen quite a few hunters advocating sss on different websites. One thing that doesn’t surprise me is that quite a few hunters advocate sss when it comes to predators when they are supposed to be conservationists and against illegal killing of wildlife. I guess their true motive comes out loud and clear.

      • Alan says:

        Where I hear about it mostly is from you, Save Bears:

        “Based on my experience, I don’t see this as a victory, I see it as a determination that a lot of blood will be spilled, and I just hope to hell none of it is human….” SB Aug. 5

        “I will duck when I am in the woods…” SB Aug. 5

        ” ….there is no way in hell that a guy in a black robe in Missoula is going to be able to catch these people…” SB Aug. 5

        “…What I am saying, is there is no resources available to patrol most of the lands that wolves inhabit, and to top it off, there is not all that big of deal when people get caught!..” SB Aug. 5

        “…I think there are a lot of people that in the upcoming hunting seasons, slated to start in about 3 weeks, that won’t quite hesitate as much to “take that shot” while they are hunting other species..” SB Aug. 5

        ” “I have a class to teach this weekend in Montana, so we arrived this afternoon and my wife and I went to dinner at the local pub, which was a very enlightening experience, the whole topic of conversation was…
        “We need to go out this weekend, you know, hunting season starts in about a month, so there will be few Rangers in the woods right now, what time do you want to meet on Saturday? Do you want to take the trailer, and hit it again on Sunday?” and most of all…”We will show them damn wolf people”

        Draw your own conclusions, but my feelings about the future at this time is not very good…” SB Aug.5

        ” I would sure prefer them to vent in the news and blogs than to take it into their own hands and start a blood bath…” SB Aug.5

        But then you make a statement like, “Every state in the nation has criminals, I don’t think the Northern Rockies has anymore than anywhere else…” and Pro-Wolf states, “Anyone who hunts that really wants to preserve the activity will not engage in poaching.” Very confusing! My point simply being that SSS IS POACHING.

      • Save bears says:


        As I said, don’t worry about those who talk about it(Me) worry about those who don’t..

        And yes, I agree 100% SSS is poaching..

      • Save bears says:


        I don’t understand why you would think any of us is saying SSS is NOT poaching? Care to clarify?

  7. Rita K. Sharpe says:

    Poaching is poaching,whether elk,wolf,etc.It should treat it the same but it isn’t.If you take an elk illegally,you stole from other hunters who do things the right way.I want and see alot of things,but it doesn’t make it right for me just to grab it while I have the chance.Everyone seems to get punished for somes elses willfull and selfish acts.

  8. Alan says:

    “We need to go out this weekend, you know, hunting season starts in about a month, so there will be few Rangers in the woods right now, what time do you want to meet on Saturday? Do you want to take the trailer, and hit it again on Sunday?” and most of all…”We will show them damn wolf people”
    Draw your own conclusions, but my feelings about the future at this time is not very good…” SB Aug.5

    Sounds like worrying about just ‘talk’ to me. Guess that’s why I was confused.
    I never meant to imply that you or others posting here are saying that SSS is not poaching, only that it is something that ALL hunters need to keep in mind. Also to suggest that anyone who is willing to SSS probably poaches other wildlife as well, such as this Tony Mayer. Don’t know if he is guilty of SSS or not, but wouldn’t put it past him if he is willing to do this (poach elk). In other words the opposite is also true: those who poach other wildlife are the ones likely to SSS. I also wouldn’t put it past some of these vehemently anti-wolf websites (such as Saveelk) to stage some of their photos, possibly with poached elk.

    • Save bears says:


      I have never advocated poaching, although at times I am a smart ass, and will make statements that piss people off..

      And my feeling on this situation has not changed, and now it is October 10th…

  9. Chuck says:

    Well I was out hunting yesterday, heard a couple shots and was trying to raise my wife on the radio to see if it was her that had shot, went to higher ground and then heard a lone wolf howl, no other wolves responded, then I heard on my radio a guy talking about all the dog tracks and then he said that other guy gut shot him and he is down in the bottom crying. I suspect whom ever the other guy was had gut shot the wolf and that was the wolf I heard howling, he only howled a couple times then quit. I made sure to notify the IDFG at the check station, Steve seemed very interested in my information and took down all my info.

  10. Cody Coyote says:

    Can you imagine the furor if there was a law enacted mandating a 3-day waiting period to recieve a hunting license while a federal / state background check was done ? After all, hunting is done with guns. Gun purchases are subject to those provisions these days. That law might be proposed as a means to smoke out wildlife offendors trying to get tags in other states.

    Not advocating, just pondering . We wouldn’t want the NRA and SFW to run out of inflammatory fuel for their causes.

  11. Chuck says:

    There are new updates in this case. Mr Mayer is going to get off with a slap on the wrist. Go figure


October 2010


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey