Idaho Fish & Game Director Among Elk Hunters Questioned for Trespassing

There are bumper stickers on every IDFG vehicle that say “Ask First to Hunt and Fish on Private Property”. Honest mistake? Maybe, but who knows what the implications are.

Idaho Fish & Game Director Among Elk Hunters Questioned for Trespassing.






  1. JimT Avatar

    A minor offense, but perhaps indicative of the arrogance of IDFG these days.

  2. mikepost Avatar

    In the RMEF, if a foundation staff person or a state/national level volunteer commits a wildlife law violation they are removed from their position. Should be the case for all wildlife related gov employees as well.

    1. Save bears Avatar

      I agree if they are convicted, if no conviction, then no penalty, we have to remember no matter what our feelings are when a story is posted in the media, they still have the right to be proven guilty, either by admission or conviction..before penalties are handed down..

    2. JB Avatar

      My understanding is that in Ohio government employees can lose their pension of convicted of a felony.

  3. Elk275 Avatar

    First of all this is not a felony. I have seen similar situations like this before, lets see how this is going to turn out in the courts before making a judgement. Who give who permission and what did it mean; this is for the courts to decide. There is another story to this story; I am not saying that he is right or wrong but lets not jump to a conviction before all the facts are out. It is such a little story and has no use in this forum, except that the readers and posters are anti state fish and game departments and some are anti hunting.

    Remember this can happen to a wildlife watchers, backpackers or Sunday recreational users. Fences lines are not straight, public land signs have been taken down, survey lines are not correct and a landowner may have blocked access to public lands.

    Where I am going hunting this fall in the North Bridger Mountains, north of Bridger Bowl Ski Area, the land is checker boarded; the land owners and outfitters have removed public land boundary signs and replaced some of them with very confusing no trespassing signs. I have talked with the forest service about this; they are very well aware of the problem but short of installing large concrete obelisks it will happen again and again.

    If I hunt forest service land in this area then I am going to have to cross private land with 100 year old easements. The trail signs have been removed and if one accidentally loses a very under used and faint trail even for a few yards they can be in the same situation as the state employee mentioned. The owners of the private land will intimidate anyone and threaten trespass charges and ask them to leave immediately.

    Lets be careful until all facts are in.

    1. Elk275 Avatar

      Several years ago in the North Bridger’s, the Forest Service had a trail crew building a trail across private land, with a trail easement. The land owners called the sheriff’s office and they responded to the call; trail crew foreman called his office and they send out Forest Service law enforcement agents. It was ugly, how it turned out I have not been able to find out. The land owner then built a triple barb wire fence across the trail. I have tried to talk with the forest service employee who oversees trails in the Gallatin Forest but the front desk has all of the answers.

    2. Ken Cole Avatar

      I agree with most of what you say but disagree that this has no place on this forum. It will definitely have some impact if he loses his job over this and that is why I think it is important. Would there be policy changes if he loses his position? Probably not, but things like this can have unpredictable outcomes.

      This also can be compared to what happened to Rod Sando when he wouldn’t “fix the ticket” as requested by the livestock interests who were offended that someone was charged with killing a mountain lion that hadn’t caused any damage but had been seen stalking some horses. The cat left the immediate area but was shot anyway.

      Sando got canned for that and the IDFG has been ultra politicized ever since.

  4. Nate hobbs Avatar
    Nate hobbs

    I have read a lot of frustration from a minority of individuals on the idfg facebook page that express extreme disapproval of the current leadership of Idfg, a small group from central Idaho want to flush out the leadership and replace them with those that are extreme towards the wolf and will not follow federal guidelines.

    One has to wonder. Is this about trespassing or did the accusations come from a different agenda?


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.

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Ken Cole