Updated 12:20 p.m.
HUNTING -- A southwest Idaho man who illegally killed a trophy bighorn sheep has been sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $10,000.
Paul Cortez, 53, of Nampa also received a lifetime hunting ban and four years of probation at his sentencing on June 6 in Idaho County Court and must pay court costs totaling $753.
Idaho Fish and Game Department conservation officers on patrol on the Salmon River on Nov. 6 discovered the poaching of the bighorn and confronted Cortez about four miles upstream from the Vinegar Creek river access.
Cortez in April pleaded guilty to one felony of unlawfully killing a trophy big game animal.
A remnant herd of bighorn sheep now traverse the rocky canyons above Idaho’s Salmon River. Hunting is highly regulated, with only four bighorn tags allotted in Hunt Unit 19.
“Only a handful of those applying for one of these coveted tags got their chance at a bighorn sheep during the 2015 hunting season,” Brian Perkes, one of the arresting officers, noted. “This poaching crime robs legal hunters of next year’s opportunity to pursue this prized nine-and-one-half-year-old ram.”
The ban from hunting could apply to all of the 44 states in the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, an agreement among participating states to share information regarding sportsman fishing, hunting, and trapping violations honor at their discretion each other's suspensions.