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Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS > 2005

Man convicted of trapping violations

By KEITH KINNAIRD

News editor

SANDPOINT -- A Bonner County jury convicted a Priest Lake man Thursday of setting bobcat traps out of season in the Beaver Creek drainage.

The jury of five women and one man found Vincent Del Aguirre guilty of two counts of placing bobcat traps outside the three-month season, rejecting his argument that the trap sets were for coyote and raccoon.

Judge Barbara Buchanan fined Aguirre $1,000, but suspended all but $200. Two 10-day jail sentences were also suspended. Aguirre was placed on probation for two years and his trapping privileges were suspended for one year.

Aguirre, a 69-year-old from Nordman, was cited for placing traps on Nov. 25, 2004 and March 28. The Panhandle bobcat season lasts from Dec. 14 to Feb. 16, according to Idaho Department of Fish and Game regulations.

Delbert Wayne Jeppson, a trapper from Goose Creek, told jurors he was alerted to the sets by somebody who thought they were his. Jeppson said he checked the traps and suspected they were primed for bobcat because of their location and the way they were baited.

Jeppeson testified he hasn't spotted raccoon or skunks at Beaver Creek, but said he has seen bobcat in the area of the sets.

A Fish and Game officer testified that the flashers were placed in a tree near the sets, which is a method of attracting bobcats.

Aguirre, who acted as his own legal counsel during the trial, called two defense witnesses, one of whom testified raccoons are a problem at Beaver Creek. The other witness, trapper Pete Ellsworth, told jurors its not uncommon to snare raccoon, mink or coyote using bobcat sets.

Aguirre moved to dismiss the charges before trial on grounds the prosecution failed to produce documents in a timely manner during the discovery phase of the proceedings. He called the charges a waste of time and taxpayer money.

 

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