Rammell says he was confused by Sportmans Warehouse

Wants fish and game managment returned to “the people” at the county level-

Accused elk poacher Rex Rammell has his say in a guest editorial today in Pocatello’s Idaho State Journal.

Guilty until proven innocent. By Rex Rammell. Op ed in the Idaho State Journal



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  1. Virginia Avatar

    Not much sympathy from the writers responding to Rex’s plea that he is guilty before proven innocent. One thing he is obviously guilty of is being a knothead and I can just imagine how he would have governed the state of Idaho.

  2. WM Avatar

    Confused by Sportsmans Warehouse? Maybe he should consult with them about a legal defense for an alleged felony and subsequent prosecution. This moron had a duty to read the game regulations and understand them. If he could not understand them, he should have asked IDFG for a clarification.

    As for whether he could keep the elk, that would be the same issue in every violation for alleged wrongful taking of wildlife.

    I can see the conversation now in every arrest involving wrongful taking of something. The violator says to the arresting officer:
    “Yeah, just let me keep this until I am proven guilty. Look I know you caught me redhanded robbing the liquor store, but just let me drink the booze and spend the money until I am proven guilty. OK? Oh, and while you’re at it can I have my gun back too?”

    This guy is an idiot, whose stupidty goes beyond words.


    1. WM Avatar


      ++As for whether he could keep the elk, that would be the same issue in every violation for alleged wrongful taking of wildlife, OR ANYTHING ELSE THAT IS NOT CONCLUSIVELY PROVEN TO HAVE BEEN TAKEN UNLAWFULLY++

      I guess you could just take a picture of the money in the robbery example above. That would work under Rex’s interpretation, wouldn’t it?

      1. Elk275 Avatar

        In Montana, if they confiscate your animal and you are found innocent of the violation, then the fish and game department has to reimburse you for the value of the animal.

  3. Elk275 Avatar

    If he wants to return the management of fish and game to the county level, then if he hunts outside of his county he should have to purchase a non resident license. I wonder how far that would go with him or the residents of Idaho.

    It is his responsibility to read and understand the fish and game regulations for the region that he is hunting in. If the regulations are confusing or one has trouble understanding them then they should visit with a warden or call a regional office and make sure that they take notes and the wardens license number. The clerks at a license vendor issuing tags may be well meaning but are not responsible for knowing what the regulations say. There are no excuses Rex.

    Several years ago, I went over to the Salmon River for spring steelhead fishing and tried to purchase a license at North Fork, it was Sunday. The agent could not get the computer to sell me a license; I do not have restrictions on fish and game license purchases, but the agent was not able to sell me one. I was told to go into Salmon the following morning and purchase the license at the regional office. I went home instead.

    1. SEAK Mossback Avatar
      SEAK Mossback

      Would county commissioners in Montana be any less clueless or less susceptible to loud, biologically illiterate constituents than those who have made deer management such a disaster in California?

  4. PointsWest Avatar

    Doing my best James Cagney…, “yeah, see, take this you dirty copper!! Take this! You ain’t got nothin on me!! See!! You ain’t even got a warrant!! See!! I had a tag!! See!! I dare you to arrest me!! See!! You dirty copper!! Watch out!! Ya see, me and the Tea Party are a gonna be running the game department!! Yeah!! See!! How’d you like those apples?! See !! Take that you dirty copper!!”

  5. Save bears Avatar

    There s no excuse for being confused about the game regulations, ignorance of the law is not a defence..if your confused you seek out and get the clarification required to be a legal hunter..

    1. PointsWest Avatar

      In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. –the Eternal Ronald Reagan

      1. SAP Avatar

        PW – thanks, did not know that quote went further than “government is the problem.”

        It’s quite a bit more nuanced than what the oh-what’s-her-name-who-resigned-as-Alaska’s-Governor lets on. We still need a government, there are many things we collectively value that aren’t delivered by the so-called free market.

      2. PointsWest Avatar

        You want to live in a country where the goverment has lost control…join a drug cartel and move to Mexico.

      3. PointsWest Avatar

        SAP writes “there are many things of value that aren’t delivered by the so-called free market.”

        …but many things are — crack cocain for example. If we could just get goverment off the backs of the producers and sellers of crack cocain and let the people consume the products they want to consume, we’d all be up in that proverbial shining city on the hill smoking a cigarette.

      4. WM Avatar


        ++You want to live in a country where the goverment has lost control…join a drug cartel and move to Mexico.++

        You don’t even have to go that far south anymore.


  6. SAP Avatar

    The warden is to be commended for keeping a cool head.

    That “you better get your gun out” tough-guy BS is a sign that things are touch-&-go; also, in a tense situation like that you don’t keep control by following orders FROM THE SUSPECT!

    In the backcountry, there’s no backup, but also it’s pretty tough for the suspect to get away, so why escalate? He can’t outrun the radio. Nice work, officer!

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar

      Yes the warden should be commended. As soon as he saw it was Rammell and that he was making a threat to use his firearm, he knew there could be real danger and not just of the physical kind.

  7. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    As far as county control of wildlife goes, what a joke! It seems those who don’t want to obey laws seek the level of government where they think they will fare the best.

    A former graduate student of ours was married to a Teton (Idaho) County Commissioner (he’s long gone from office). She said he was the biggest poacher in the county.

    1. Phil Maker Avatar
      Phil Maker


      You’re so right. Folks want decisions made on the local level when they think those decisions will be in their favor, but as soon as it goes against them, they run for the nearest elected official (in Boise or Wash. D.C.) to fix it for them: eg. ID Woolgrowers and bighorn sheep along the Salmon River

    2. Cutthroat Avatar

      Not to mention the “good old boy” network in many rural Idaho counties. If it were left to county control the only ones who would be charged for poaching would be outsiders and those who were not in the favor of the enforcers. For many others in would be a free for all at the expense of wildlife.

  8. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    I would think someone who is SUCH and avid hunter would know how to read regulations. Any idiot knows that you read them yourself, you don’t ask the clerk selling them. The clerk is paid maybe slightly more than minimum wage to sell merchandise and only to sell merchandise (or in this case a license). They are not required to know the regulations in detail, only the person buying it is. And this guy was running for governor? Pretty scary.

  9. Craig Avatar

    “your tag is not valid for this area.” I explained to him when I bought the tag at Sportsman’s Warehouse they clarified I could hunt in any open zone in Idaho”.
    That is the biggest BS story ever! We have had zone specific(1-4) zones for which tag you purchased you could hunt, clear back in the early 90’s . You could hunt in any open area in your ZONE! Which he did not! He’s so full of shit he’s gonna get nailed on this on! His ignorance will not stand in court, maybe a 2nd grade kid would be confused by that! I hope the hell they revoke his license for life 5 years in jail and fine him. That just pisses me off how he’s trying to screw the system, make an example of him!

  10. Craig Avatar

    And really are you going to take the word of an 18 year old kid who knows nothing about game regs? I’ve never bought a tag or License from anyone over 20 years old at Sportsmans and I always buy my tags there.It’s not there responsibilty to tell you where you can hunt! If you are that godamn stupid you shouldn’t be hunting in the first place.

  11. DB Avatar

    All good points but remember Claude Dallas only got manslaughter–might have been self defense. Rammel gets off….

  12. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    I have a feeling that while Rammell has his supporters, he’s not so popular even up there where he lives.

  13. Craig Avatar

    You are talking folk hero VS politician, Claude was like a last of the mountain men folk hero back then. Total differnt situation, I work with a guy who was on the Team that got Dallas and know all the inside info.
    Rammell is just an asshole nobody cares about. But in all reality Claude was too, just a poacher made into a big ledgend of a man doing what he wanted and living off the land and defying the Gov’t! But really nothing but a worthless piece of shit poacher, that’s all he was!!

  14. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    From page one of the elk regs.
    “Elk hunting in Idaho is managed in 29 elk zones. In addition,
    Fish and Game has established a 2-tag system as an effort to
    offer elk hunters the most general season choices. Hunters
    may select 1 zone and choose either an “A tag” or a “B tag”
    in most elk zones.”
    I know many hunters do not like the zone system, me included. But I have never heard one that did not understand what it meant.

  15. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    I assume this is still valid as far as the technical aspects, but maybe has a few cobwebs that needs dusted off (i.e we have 29 zones instead of 28) as all the links still work. Perhaps making this a part of the F&G website, with a hard copy to all vendors of some sort would not allow a worm like Rammell the wiggle room that he thinks he has.


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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Ralph Maughan