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Fish and Game asking for public help in wasted mule deer investigation

Posted at 5:31 PM, Nov 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-15 16:21:58-05

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — On November 10, conservation officers discovered a wasted mule deer in the Magic Valley.

Now the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) needs your help in their investigation. The deer was found lying next to a BLM road on the east side of Black Butte in unit 52. It is suspected the deer was shot either November 9 or in the morning on November 10.

“A lot of the information for poaching incidents or any type of wildlife violations does come from the public. We have a citizens against poaching hotline that folks can call into, or any regional office and we do rely on those folks to get us that information,” said Regional Wildlife Biologist Miranda Reinson.

IDFG officials have yet to confirm if the incident was poaching or an accident. Any information on this case can be giving to either the regional Magic Valley offices or to the citizens against poaching hotline.

“We’re asking for this specific incident if someone or anyone could call into the Magic Valley regional office, or the cap hotline and you can remain anonymous for any tips or inside information you may have,” said Reinson.

As a prominent sport and recreation in Idaho, hunting is a large part of the gem state's culture and many here do what they can to make sure the practice is done ethically. Hunting opportunity is something Idaho fish and game directly affects and malpractice like wasting deer can cost not only IDFG but hunters in Idaho.

“When that resource is then wasted, when a deer is shot and left in the ditch so to speak, that is sort of another level I think of breach of ethics,” said Ford Van Fossen, director for brand at First Lite Performance Hunting Apparel.

IDFG takes poaching and other wildlife infractions very seriously as many of these acts can directly impact ecosystems in Idaho. One animal may seem like a small part of Idaho’s wildlife but Van Fossen sees hunting as a privilege this state gets to enjoy because of the regulations placed.

“I think that’s the way we need to look at it. It’s not a minor crime it is stealing in the most basic definition of that term,” Van Fossen said.

If you have information on the incident, call conservation officer Cody Smith at (208) 539-4416 or contact the Citizens Against Poaching hotline at 1-800-632-5999. For the press release, click here.