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ID: Poaching just won't go away

September 22, 2010

Poaching just won't go away

LEWISTON - 22-year-old Mitchell Sisler just might lose his hunting privileges, for life.

He was sentenced to 45 days in jail and five years probation, has a felony record and has to pay part of a $10,000 civil penalty, all because of his role in poaching two years ago.

Roy Wallace, also of Genesee, pleaded guilty earlier this year. The two were charged with poaching a bull moose.

"There were a group of individuals hunting up north of Genesee," said conservation officer Mike Hill of the Idaho Fish and Game. "They came across a bull moose and they took it upon themselves to open the season for themselves. They didn't have any tags and they had no legal authority to be shooting at it. A couple of the individuals shot the moose and killed the moose."

Sisler and Wallace left the moose in the field. They took some of the meat, left most to waste, cut off the head and antlers and hid the remains under a bridge. The moose could have been a trophy animal to a sportsman legally hunting. But poachers take that satisfaction away.

"Poaching, I don't want to say is commonplace, but with that said, it's not going away," said Hill. "We're getting calls regularly. It's very difficult to get a detection on those that we miss. They go unreported. Reports are that we only get a small fraction that are documented."

While this case wasn't the result of a tip from the Fish and Game's Citizen's Against Poaching (CAP) hotline, Hill says that's the best way to stop the poaching.

"Those people that are unlawfully killing wildlife are stealing wildlife from the honest sportsmen and there's only a handful of officers in our region," said Hill. "That's why we rely so heavily on the eyes and ears of the sportsmen that are out there. It makes a huge difference."

Fish and Game encourages anyone who hears about or sees a wildlife crime or suspicious activity to call the CAP hotline at 1-800-632-5999 with detailed information. Rewards are available and callers may remain anonymous.

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