Elk poaching anti-wolf leader punished

Tony Mayer can’t hunt or fish in Idaho for poaching big elk-

Finally, and after a trial, Mayer lost his hunting and fish privileges for 3 years, was given a 220-day suspended jail sentence, got put on probation for six years, was ordered to pay $1585 in various court costs, fees, and ID Fish and Game penalties, and has to give 100 hours of community service.

He narrowly escaped a much more severe felony charge for killing an elk that was  “trophy” status  by agreeing to plead guilty to lesser charges. The judge said he had never seen so many spectators in his courtroom for a misdemeanor charge. No doubt this was because of his web site that worried about elk falling to wolves and him then poaching a big elk.

AnIdaho Mountain Express article gives the details and background of this much-covered story. Anti-wolf activist loses hunting privileges. By Terry Smith



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  1. Immer Treue Avatar
    Immer Treue

    “The judge also ordered Mayer to provide 100 hours of community service.”

    Should be given a pooper scooper and pick up all the wolf scat!

    “Spectators included…and three apparent Mayer supporters, including Stanley outfitter Ron Gillett.”

    Go figure!

    1. jon Avatar

      Mayer’s punishment should have been worse. He should have lost his hunting privileges for life. I imagine where he lives, there are other avid wolf haters just like him, so I seriously doubt that he was shunned by his community. He is using this as a ploy to get sympathy. Once you poach, you are considered a criminal in my eyes. Some justice is better than none in this particular case.

      1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
        Ralph Maughan


        More than that. At the time Mayer was charged there was a flurry of other stories of anti-wolf people caught poaching deer, moose and elk. We also posting news how poaching is an enormous side-take of big game animals. I got the impression that for some of the anti-wolf people, it was a case of “don’t look here. Look at that bad animal over there.”

        1. JimT Avatar

          As you have said before, this is a bigger issue that just wolves. I think there is a perception right now amongst the more anti-Fed, post-Sagebrush, state’s rights factions that the atmosphere is ripe for any kind of unlawful actions and they can ride this anti establishment wave to avoid responsibility and accountability. BTW, I got a canned response from Gov. of Montana the other day in response to a letter I sent him. PR crap, we love our wolves, and have done a great job managing them into health..blah, blah, blah.

          1. wolfsong Avatar

            I got one also Jim, pretty sad excuse for a reply wasn’t it? I had sent one about the Bison also and got the same BS back. Evidently they don’t feel that hazing newborn Bison calves to their deaths or murdering wolves to be an issue. Too bad we can’t inform each and every tourist that goes to Montana on how well they really treat the wildlife there.

      2. Patrick Ewing Avatar
        Patrick Ewing

        Poaching is wrong. TRUE HUNTERS are also conservationists. It is these kind of people that give the law abiding hunter a bad name. Extremists give activists a bad name. An extremist will still fight when the desired number for a species to be taken OFF the E.S.A list has been reached.The WOLF never Qualified.

        1. JEFF E Avatar
          JEFF E

          what is the desired number?

  2. wolfsong Avatar

    Disgusting. I wonder what they will use to cover up their poaching activities once the wolf population is gone?

    1. jon Avatar

      In Tony Mayer’s mind, he probably killed this elk illegally because he thinks the wolves are eventually going to drive the elk herds in Idaho to extinction. A lot of avid wolf haters seem to still support this guy despite that he’s now technically a poacher. This poacher Mayer says nothing about him being a poacher on his saveelk.com I think some people now will see him as the hypocrite not to mention poacher that he is. He has a website called saveelk.com, but yet breaks the law and kills one of those animals he wants to save illegally. We all know Tony Mayer wants to save elk from wolves, so he and his ilk can kill the elk themselves. That’s what it’s always been about.

      1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
        Ralph Maughan

        This is just yourguess. I don’t know what he was thinking. He might have thought because he was saving the elk, he was entitled to a nice big bull for his “good works.”

        Most of these people probably think well of themselves, although some probably do see it as another racket.

  3. Deb Avatar

    what a sh__bag. I can’t believe he got off sooo easily. To rush out and “get him a trophy” before something else MIGHT take it down for survival??? Like I said…what a sh__bag. Definitely should have lost ALL hunting privileges…

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
      Ralph Maughan


      We don’t know what he was thinking.

      1. jon Avatar

        Ralph, my belief is is that when one poaches and gets caught, it was not likely that person’s first time poaching. It was his first time getting csught.

  4. CodyCoyote Avatar

    I’ll bet there will be volumes of praise for old Tony over at the Black Bear Blog and Toby’s wretched website , among other leading anti-wolf bullhorns.

    T. Mayer is one of their very own— such a sterling example of the modern wildlife conservationist , the integrity of the American hunter, and the North American Big Game Model in action. Leading by example.

    If only the success rate for busting poachers approached that of the honest hunter’s chance of getting an elk in the fall by following the rules and having a splendid outdoor experience. Heck, I’d even settle for a ten percent arrest rate , so long as they get their toys confiscated and ‘ hunting ‘ privileges suspended forever on their way to being displayed naked on prominently placed pedestals for their ilk to ponder…

    IMHO the Mayer sentence was light.

    1. william huard Avatar
      william huard

      You are right Cody, these are the SSS and gut shootin idiot whiners in action. The Black Blowhard Blog are so proud of this douche Mayer

      1. Harley Avatar

        I could be wrong but I don’t think I’ve ever seen praise for a poacher on the BBB. I don’t read every single entry.

        1. jon Avatar

          Seems like cody hit a nerve with Tom Remington.

          1. Harley Avatar

            I still don’t see praising though…

          2. Harley Avatar

            just so my position is clear, poaching is something that should not be praised, on that I agree.

  5. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    another oft quoted favorite son and hero of the ppp blog

  6. Nota Avatar

    Any news yet on the Rammell case?

  7. Linda Jo Hunter Avatar

    I happened into a feed store the other day and found a new way of packaging salt licks for livestock. . . they look just like rocks now and come in different colors, but now I know what to look for. I tracked some guys (how sexist; I assumed they were guys) into a secluded spot that they then marked with lots of flagging tape. I was expecting a salt lick or trail camera or both and didn’t find it. . of course the search image I had in mind was the leftovers of an old fashioned block of salt. I think I will look there again. So for anyone else who doesn’t know this they have changed the look of salt blocks.

    1. skyrim Avatar

      That’s useful information Linda. Thanks.
      I put them out for the critters on my property in Central Utah. Not so much for their benefit, but when you find 50 lbs of anything for 5 bucks, you gotta buy it. That’s what I tell the guys at IFA anyway…… ^..^

  8. WM Avatar

    Was Mayer lying then or now. Just too many “untruths” to be believed, which means the guy is a pathalogical liar.

    Too bad this magistrate/judge didn’t get a little more creative with the sentence following the plea bargain.

    More fitting, in my view, would have been some time with a GPS monitoring collar (or ankle bracelet), kind of like the ones used on elk and wolves, just to make sure he doesn’t violate his parole.

    Will other states observe reciprocity and deny this jerk a license/tag to hunt?

    1. william huard Avatar
      william huard

      The GPS monitor should be attached around his neck though

  9. SaveElk Avatar

    Nice to see the true colors of this group emerge. The passion expressed is truly enlightening.

    1. william huard Avatar
      william huard

      Once a poacher always a poacher. This wolf hating buffoon could care less…..

      1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
        Ralph Maughan

        William Huard,

        Let’s see what he has to say for himself.

    2. Ralph Maughan Avatar
      Ralph Maughan

      So “Save Elk.” Now that you have been convicted, maybe you can tell us what was going though your mind when you violated the law?

      Defend yourself!

    3. jon Avatar

      Yeah, I would like to hear your side of the story. You run a website dedicated to saving elk, but yet you kill one out of season. Please explain yourself Mr. Mayer. We are all ears.

    4. jon Avatar

      Nice to see the true colors of you too Tony, mr. save elk who poaches elk.

  10. Immer Treue Avatar
    Immer Treue


    I think in a case like this, one would expect a little “Schadenfreude” to trickle in,

    yet to quote Bertolt Brecht:

    “Do not rejoice in his defeat you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the bitch that bore him is in heat again.”

    Mayer is nothing more than an angry little man who threw stones in a glass house.

  11. SaveElk Avatar

    Ralph – I know with this group that whatever I say will be viewed as a lie as is obvious with the comments from your group, I was convicted and hung before my first hearing, and this includes the Mountain Express. I guess I shouldn’t have expected anything else.

    What was gong through my mind at the time that I shot the elk was that I was legal. I know you find this hard to believe but that is the truth. After I recovered it I came to the realization that I screwed up and didn’t have the tag and permit that I had previously applied and paid for with my annual renewal of my lifetime hunter license and sportsman’s pack. Proof of this application and payment was provided the court at sentencing. I acknowledge that I had a major “brain fart” and failed to follow through making sure I had the required Idaho tag and permit prior to embarking on the hunt. As soon as I recovered the animal and realizing that I didn’t have the necessary tag, I immediately went to the Smiley Creek store and purchased on (knowing that it was after the season) from Al Jones the store manager.

    When I was first visited by the IDFG shortly afterwards, I admitted then that I had screwed up. But it was obvious from the beginning that their agenda was not to issue a citation but to put me through hell and try to hang me with a felony. In 99 out of 100 cases they normally would do so; however I was just too big a fish to let go that easily. For the record, I have hunted over 35 years throughout the northwest and in Idaho. I have never received a single game violation of any type in spite of the taking of numerous game and being stopped and thoroughly checked several dozen times over the years. I am not this out of control- dark of the night poacher person that you all would like me to be.

    I do not condone poaching or the illegal taking of wildlife in any fashion, and I fully accept the sentence given to me. Further I would like to apologize to all as I am truly remorseful and embarrassed and this kind of behavior is not me. I assure you that I will not be a repeat offender.

    Tony Mayer

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
      Ralph Maughan

      Thank you. Tony.

      As far as I am concerned I won’t say more about the facts of the case.

    2. Jay Avatar

      Well you earlier claimed you shot the elk during the legal season, but it was wounded and died AFTER your tag expired. Now you’re saying it was a brain fart? Get your story straight and then come back with another excuse…

    3. jon Avatar

      Hey Tony, do you still believe there are 200 pound wolves on steroids running around Idaho? maybe you should change your website to poachelk.com That would be more fitting I think.

    4. jon Avatar

      thanks for giving us a explanation Tony, but I believe you knew that were doing and you just got caught and you made up some lame excuse to cover your own butt.

    5. william huard Avatar
      william huard

      Tony- Why don’t you apologize for being a pathetic predator hater… I have heard your comments on your website— do you really think your views on wildlife are mainstream once you get out of your little Idaho bubble?

    6. skyrim Avatar

      Lets see, thats the Rammell defense, isn’t it?

  12. Paul Brookshire Avatar
    Paul Brookshire

    Poachers of wolf pack in Methow Valley WA finally indicted!

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
      Ralph Maughan

      Thank you, Paul. This is good news. This was a very important wolf pack.

      I will make it into a post.

      1. jon Avatar


        Anyone surprised ranchers were responsible for this?

        1. Ken Cole Avatar

          Make that allegedly responsible. There is no conviction yet.

    2. timz Avatar

      The fine should be so high everything they own would be seized to pay them, while they are serving hard time in prison.

  13. Nancy Avatar

    Glad to see poaching is being taken seriously somewhere Paul.

  14. WM Avatar

    Mr. Mayer,

    ++….After I recovered it [the elk] I came to the realization that I screwed up and didn’t have the tag and permit that I had previously applied and paid for with my annual renewal of my lifetime hunter license and sportsman’s pack…. ++

    Initially, my apologies if I misinterpret your post, and do not understand the specific steps to the process for the ID lifetime license and sportsmans’ package option. The lifetime license/package holder (which you state you are and have represented to the court) still requires the annual purchase of tags and permits, as necessary for the species/ units/seasons you wish to hunt. Says so, right there in the regulations. Now, that is a pretty deliberate step one should always remember – buy the tags/permit, and be sure to bring them along (Your statement above indicates you bought your tag/archery permit, but that is not what the misdemeanor charges state according to the article.). It’s right up there with remembering arrows for the bow, or cartridges for the rifle, or the dates of a season.

    So, wouldn’t the after-the-fact attempt to procure a tag/archey permit at the Smiley Creek Store, after a season closed also seem a bit odd, as well as another game violation, itself? Isn’t this stuff all computerized, anyway, or was there another way for you to manually purchase an “A” tag for your chosen unit and an archery permit AFTER the season closed? And, don’t they put the date of purchase on the tag/paperwork to discourage a poacher from shooting an animal and getting a tag afterward (Bet the game wardens have seen that little trick before).

    It would seem the more logical response to the initial “brain farts” from which you claimed to suffer (I count two or three so far), would not have been to have subjected yourself to yet another “brain fart.” Rather the less farty path would have been to contact IDFG, noting that you had already “in effect” pre purchased the necessary things you thought you needed, or you just screwed up. Better, I suspect than scooting back to Twin Falls with an illegal elk, untagged in your rig. Seems you were trying to cover up the crime you committed.

    And here’s the real “brain fart,” bragging about your take on a blog. I am still laughing about that one.

    FOUR brain farts in a row. Ooops, FIVE. making up the story for your legal defense that IDFG had a vendetta against you for your anti-wolf views. Now, that’s gotta hurt, because that aroma is gonna stick with you for awhile.

    Am I missing something, here? Please explain if I am incorrect on this.


    Sorry, sport, I’m still not buying your …uhhh, story. The contrition part you will get to prove to society over the next three, or will it be six, years. Don’t screw it up.

    1. Jay Avatar

      Ooops! No tag?!
      Outright lies–anybody who hunts knows whether they purchased a tag for the animal they are pursuing, and a hunter worth his salt will grab his license and tag before anything else (gun, bow, pack, etc.) before going out on a hunt. This story has more holes (and more inconsistencies) than swiss cheese.

  15. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    “Judge Walker noted before pronouncing sentence that there were inconsistencies in what Tony Mayer said in court Friday, what he reported on Bowsite and what he initially told Fish and Game investigators. ”

    From Mt. Express article


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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