Two Jordan Valley, Ore.-area residents have been accused of poaching four of the biggest bull elk that Idaho game officers have ever seen.
The elk - one of which would have been the third-largest ever taken in Idaho if it had been shot legally - were killed Nov. 6 on the Idaho side of the state line near Jordan Valley.
The incident comes at a time when some Idaho elk herds have a shortage of large bulls. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is sponsoring public meetings throughout the state to discuss solutions to the problem.
“The big bulls are disappearing around the state because there are a lot more elk hunters and they’re becoming more effective,” Scott Reinecker, a Fish and Game conservation officer, said Tuesday.
Fish and Game officials learned of the latest poaching incident through an informant Sunday and issued citations Tuesday.
They identified the men as Jim Kershner and Pat Stanford, of Jordan Valley, Ore.
They allegedly used lights to shoot the elk at night on Juniper Mountain, in Owyhee County.
Later, with help from three other Jordan Valley residents, they moved the elk from Idaho to Oregon and put Oregon game tags on them, Fish and Game alleges.
Those who allegedly shot the elk were cited with multiple counts of game violations, each count punishable by fines of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail. The accomplices were cited for aiding in the commission of a misdemeanor.
The largest of the four scored 396-3/4 on an elk rating scale. If it had been shot legally, it would have been the largest taken in Idaho since 1965.