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Poachers hit Clearwater Valley

A mule deer buck was left to waste with only its antlers removed — apparently with an axe.

A mule deer buck was left to waste with only its antlers removed — apparently with an axe.

Several deer and elk have been shot and left to waste in the Clearwater valley this fall. All of the cases started with calls from concerned citizens, and investigating Idaho Department of Fish and Game officers found some evidence at the scene, but they still need help to solve these crimes.

In late October, two mule deer bucks were shot along the old Nez Perce Grade. Both of these were less than 200 yards above the highway and evidence shows they were shot from the road.

One was a young spike and nothing was removed from the animal. The other was a large bodied buck with only the antlers removed. These antlers were not sawed off, but appeared to have been chopped off with an axe.

The next report came in on Veterans Day: a young cow elk had been recently shot and left in a field near Woodland. Another report came in this past weekend when a young white-tailed buck was shot and left next to a driveway along the Ridgewood Road.

All these animals were shot through the vitals, and within a short distance of a public road.

Officers are sure they were not just hunters losing track of the animal they shot, but unethical poachers driving around the valley shooting at anything they feel like regardless of land ownership or safety concerns.

If you have any information about these crimes or any other illegal activity you are encouraged to call Citizens Against Poaching at 1-800-632-5999. By calling CAP line you can remain anonymous and you could receive a reward of up to $300 if your information leads to a citation being issued.

Roger Westfall is an IDFG conservation officer in the Clearwater Valley.


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