Acting on tips from residents, Idaho game officers have nabbed four men accused of poaching elk.
A Bonners Ferry veterinarian and his hunting partner were charged with illegally taking one bull elk each on Sept. 5 in Priest Lake, the day before the start of archery season.
In a separate incident, a Napavine, Wash., hunter was cited for shooting an elk with a pistol in Shoshone County during archery season, and his friend was cited for putting his tag on the elk. The incident was reported to authorities by an archery hunter who was pursuing the elk and found the carcass.
With 15 officers to patrol Idaho’s five northern counties, the state Department of Fish and Game relies on citizens to report illegal activity, said Craig Walker, the agency’s regional conservation officer.
“These kinds of things wouldn’t be detected if not for the help of the general public,” Walker said. “It’s important to try to keep hunting as clean and ethical as possible.”
A tip to a state poaching hotline helped apprehend Dr. Roland H. Hall, 56, of Bonners Ferry, and Dennis L. Liermann Jr., 32, of Naples, who are charged with poaching elk at Trapper Creek in the upper Priest Lake drainage.
Each was charged with taking an elk before the start of hunting season, which is a felony. Idaho Fish and Game officers weren’t able to file the charges until last week because Hall and Liermann were reportedly in Alaska on a hunting trip, Walker said.
Hall was performing surgery Tuesday afternoon and was not available for comment, according to his staff. Liermann did not return a message left at his home.
If convicted, the two men could face up to five years in prison, $50,000 in fines and a lifetime revocation of their hunting privileges.
The Shoshone County incident occurred Sept. 20 at Hobo Creek, near Clarkia. An archery hunter was calling a bull elk with a bugle when he heard a shot.
The hunter later found the elk carcass, recorded its GPS coordinates and e-mailed the information to Idaho Fish and Game. He also sent Washington license plate information from a four-wheeler that had been in the area.
Game officers determined that the elk had been shot with a firearm. Herman Naumann, 56, of Napavine, Wash., who was in a nearby hunting camp, eventually told officers that he shot the elk with a .357 Magnum pistol, according to Idaho Fish and Game reports. He was cited for killing an elk with a firearm during archery season.
His hunting partner, Corey D. Wilson, 40, also of Napavine, was cited for putting his tag on the elk. Both offenses are misdemeanors, punishable by up to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine and potential loss of hunting privileges, Walker said.
Killing an elk with a firearm during archery season carries an additional $750 fine.