§ Time Running out to Apply for Bear Tags
§ Wildlife Summit Video Available Online
§ Fish and Game Seeks Comments on Big Game Seasons
§ Fish and Game Commission to Meet in Boise in March
§ Poachers Get Stiff Sentences in Custer County
§ Come Learn About Winter Survival of Deer and Elk
§ Citizen Ups Reward in Hawk Killing
§ Ask Fish and Game: Turkey Hunts
Time Running out to Apply for Bear Tags
Hunters have a few days left to apply for this spring’s controlled bear hunts.
The application period ends Wednesday, February 15.
Spring black bear seasons start April 15 – some controlled hunts open later. Leftover tags for spring bear controlled hunts go on sale April 1.
Hunters may apply for controlled hunts at any hunting and fishing license vendor, Fish and Game office; with a credit card by calling 1-800-55HUNT5 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-55HUNT5 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or 1-800-824-3729 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-824-3729 end_of_the_skype_highlighting; or online at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov. The application fee is $6.25 per person for residents. The nonresident application fee is $14.75 per person. An additional fee is charged for telephone and Internet applications.
Hunters who want to apply must have a 2012 hunting license.
Wildlife Summit Video Available Online
Idaho Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore’s video statement about the planned Idaho Wildlife Summit August 24 – 26 is available online.
“We want to facilitate a conversation about the current status and direction of wildlife management in Idaho in order to keep it responsive to changing needs and interests,” Moore says.
The video goes on to explain why Fish and Game is planning this meeting, what it hopes to accomplish, and Fish and Game’s responsibilities under the public trust doctrine. Moore also notes the importance of involving the public in the future of wildlife management in Idaho.
Watch the video on the Fish and Game Wildlife Summit webpage at:http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/summit/.
· Monday, February 27, at the Senior Citizens Center, County Road, Grangeville.
· Thursday, March 1, at the Fish and Game Clearwater Hatchery, 18 Hatchery Roe Drive (downstream of the North Fork Clearwater River), Orofino.
· Wednesday, February 29,, at the Latah County Fairground Exhibit Bldg, 1021 Harold, Moscow.
· Thursday, March 8, at the Fish and Game regional office, 3316 16th St., Lewiston.
The Salmon Region will host two open house meetings from 4 to 7 p.m. on:
· Tuesday, February 28, at the Idaho Fish and Game Salmon regional office, 99 U.S. Highway 93 N, Salmon.
· Wednesday, February 29, at the U.S. Forest Service office, U.S. Highway 93, Challis.
The Southwest Region plans public meetings at five locations to discuss big game seasons as well as the 2012 salmon season and fishing rules for 2013 and 2014. Except where noted, the meetings begin at 6 p.m. on:
· Tuesday, February 21, at the Fish and Game McCall Office 555 Deinhard Lane, McCall. For salmon and steelhead issues only.
· Thursday, February 23, at the Best Western Salmon Rapids Lodge, 1010 S. Main St., Riggins.
· Wednesday, February 29, at the Fish and Game Headquarters, 600 South Walnut, Boise.
· Wednesday, February 29, at the he Fish and Game McCall Office 555 Deinhard Lane, McCall. Big Game open house from 4 to 7 p.m.
· Thursday, March 1, at the Fish and Game office, 3101 S. Powerline Road, Nampa.
· Monday, March 5, at the Weiser High School library, 690 W. Indianhead Road, Weiser. Big game open house from 4 to 7 p.m.
The Magic Valley Regionplans three public open house meetings on big game seasons and fishing seasons and rules, each from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
· Tuesday, February 28, at the Hailey Community Campus, Rooms 301 & 302, 1050 Fox Acres Rd., Hailey.
· Wednesday, February 29, at the Burley Inn Patio Room #2 800 N Overland Ave. Burley.
· Thursday, March 1, at the Fish and Game Magic Valley Region office, 319 South 417 East, Highway Business Park, 2.5 miles north of the Flying J, Jerome.
The Southeast Region plans six public meetings to discuss big game seasons, each beginning at 6:30 pm.
· Monday, February 27, at the Little Wood River Room, ISU Student Union, Pocatello.
· Tuesday, February 28, at the City Hall Council Chambers,157 North Broadway, Blackfoot.
· Wednesday, February 29, at the Senior Citizens Center,26 North Main Street, Malad City.
· Thursday, March 1, at theLarsen-Sant Library, 109 South 1st East, Preston.
· Monday, March 5, at the Soda Springs Senior Center, 60 South Main Street, Soda Springs.
· Tuesday, March 6, in Montpelier. Location to be determined.
The Upper Snake Region plans two meetings and an online video about big game seasons and fisheries. The video can be viewed at http://tinyurl.com/89ld988. The public meetings start at 7 p.m. on:
· Tuesday, February 28, at the Fish and Game regional office, Idaho Falls.
· Thursday, March 1, at the Madison Middle School Media Center, Rexburg.
Fish and Game Commission to Meet in Boise in March
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will meet March 21 – 23 in Boise.
A public hearing will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, in the Trophy Room at Fish and Game headquarters 600 S. Walnut St., Boise.
The meeting starts at 8 a.m. Thursday; routine agenda items include a legislative update and season settings for deer, elk, pronghorn, black bear, mountain lion and gray wolf.
A complete agenda will be posted online when available at:http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/about/commission/?getPage=184.
Poachers Get Stiff Sentences in Custer County
Four men were jailed and fined thousands of dollars Monday, February 6, in Custer County after pleading guilty to charges stemming from an investigation into illegal hunting activity in the Yankee Fork drainage.
A fifth man was sentenced in January. Two others were warned.
Jailed and fined were Juan Pasillas-Garcia, 44, of Hailey; Sergio Pasillas-Garcia, 39, andBernardo Amaya, 38, both of Phoenix; and Martin Pasillas-Garcia, 45, of Torrence, Calif.
Jose Pasillas-Garcia, 30, of Hailey, had his jail sentenced suspended.
The sentences were some of the most severe for wildlife crimes that the state of Idaho has seen in a case that began on October 14, when an Idaho Fish and Game conservation officer watched two hunters leave their truck and hike up the mountain.
“I hid in the brush and ended up waiting nine hours for them to return,” Regional Investigator Ryan Hilton said. “It was a long, cold day, but by being out there I was able to hear the shots that we later confirmed illegally killed a six-point bull elk closed season and also took a video of them loading an illegal deer into their truck,”
Hilton was among Idaho Fish and Game conservation officers who had been investigating suspicious activities of two local men, two Arizona residents and one California resident, after receiving tips regarding the groups’ taking over-limits of deer and elk and hunting while the season was closed.
“We set up a camp in the same drainage to track their activities and either dispel or confirm the allegations,” Conservation Officer Andy Smith said.
Dressed like other hunters and carrying rifles of their own, the conservation officers followed the group around the clock for nearly a week listening for gunshots and documenting deer and elk being transported by the hunters.
The officers spent little time sleeping during the investigation because of the possibility of missing something.
“We suspected that they were transporting the animals to Hailey at night so we took turns sleeping so one of us could always be watching their camp,” Smith said.
Their persistence paid off. On the morning of October 15, the opening day of elk season, the suspects transported a six-point bull elk off the mountain from the location where Hilton had heard shots the day before.
After the suspects left the area, Smith and Sorensen headed up the mountain.
“We knew our chances were slim, but we had to find where the elk had been killed and verify that it was killed before the season had opened,” Smith said. A few hours later in a soaking rain storm they discovered that the individuals had done what they suspected.
Knowing that the group had an elk that had been killed before the season had opened; officers secured search warrants for the camp and vehicles. Officers from the Jerome and Salmon regions served warrants in the Yankee Fork drainage and on a vehicle near Hailey. The illegal elk and four illegal mule deer bucks were recovered.
From there, the scope of the investigation grew as the officers realized that most of the hunters involved were nonresidents that had been using their brothers’ address in Hailey to claim residency and illegally purchasing resident hunting licenses and tags. Some of the individuals had been doing this since 2001.
The officers issued a combined 49 citations and 21 warnings to seven individuals.
On Monday, February 6, Custer County Magistrate Judge Charles L. Roos sentenced the five men to a total of 2,910 days of jail time. Four of them were ordered to serve 200 days; the fifth had his jail time suspended. The total fines amounted to $25,223. One life time revocation of hunting, fishing, and trapping was handed down with 65 years of hunting, fishing, and trapping split among the other four:
Sergio Pasillas-Garcia pleaded guilty to 10 charges, including unlawfully taking two or more big game animals within a twelve month period, taking big game in a closed season, exceeding the big game bag limit, failing to produce game for inspection upon request, and six countsof purchase or possession of the wrong class of license/tag.
Sergio Pasillas-Garcia killed a 6X6 bull elk in the Sawtooth elk zone the night before the elk season opened in that zone. The elk was tagged by Juan Pasillas-Garcia using a Salmon zone tag, not valid in the Sawtooth zone. Sergio Pasillas-Garcia was not a legal resident of Idaho but had purchased resident tags and licenses since 2001. He also unlawfully killed two mule deer bucks, one of which was tagged by another member of the hunting party.
Sergio Pasillas-Garcia was sentenced to 900 days in jail, with 860 of those suspended and ordered to serve 10 days immediately and 10 days a year starting October 1 for the next three years. He also lost his hunting, fishing, and trapping privileges for life and was ordered to pay $8271.75 in fines and restitution. He was placed on four years probation, during which time he may not accompany anyone hunting, fishing or trapping.
Martin Pasillas-Garcia, pleaded guilty to 10 charges, including failure to tag big game, using tag of another, failure to produce game for inspection upon request, and seven counts of purchase or possession of the wrong class of license and tag. He had hunted illegally in Idaho using resident tags for eight years. He killed a mule deer buck and tagged it with another hunter’s tag.
He was sentenced to 900 days in jail and ordered to serve 80 of those days, 10 days to be served immediately and 10 days a year starting October 1 for the next seven years. He was ordered to pay $8,562 in fines and restitution. He lost his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for 30 years as well as forfeiting his firearm to the Fish and Game. He was placed on eight years probation, during which time he may not accompany anyone hunting, fishing or trapping.
Bernardo Amaya pleaded guilty to two counts of possession-transportation of game taken unlawfully, and four counts of possession or purchase of the wrong class of license and tag. Amaya killed a deer on the opening day of deer season. He tagged the deer and then transported it to a residence, took the tag off and returned to camp to put the tag on another deer killed by Sergio Pasillas-Garcia. Amaya illegally purchased Idaho resident licenses and tags for three years.
He was sentenced to 540 days jail and ordered to serve 40 days, 10 days immediately and 10 days a year starting October 1 for the next three years. He was ordered to pay $4556.75 in fines and restitution. Amaya lost his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for 18 years. He was placed on four years probation, during which time he may not accompany anyone hunting, fishing or trapping.
Juan Pasillas-Garcia pleaded guilty to six charges, including two counts of using the tag of another, failure to produce game for inspection, criminal conspiracy, possession of improperly tagged wildlife and possession of big game taken unlawfully. He tagged a 6x6 bull elk killed by Sergio Pasillas-Garcia in the Sawtooth elk zone before the season opened with a Salmon zone tag. Juan Pasillas-Garcia also tagged a deer killed by Martin Pasillas-Garcia. He stored the untagged deer killed by Bernardo Amaya at his residence.
Juan Pasillas-Garcia was sentenced to 540 days jail and ordered to serve 40 days, 10 days immediately and 10 days each year starting October 1 for the next three years. He was ordered to pay $3262 in fines and restitution. His hunting, fishing and trapping privileges were revoked for 15 years, and he forfeited two firearms to the Fish and Game. He was placed on four years probation, during which time he may not accompany anyone hunting, fishing or trapping.
Jose Pasillas-Garcia pleaded guilty in January to failing to produce game for inspection. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail with 30 days suspended. He was fined $570 and sentenced to two years probation, 40 hours community service, and he lost his hunting privileges for two years. During his probation he may not be in the field with anyone that is hunting.
In addition, warnings were issued to Salvador Garcia, 42, of Inglewood, Calif., for failing to produce game animals for inspection and for possession of game taken unlawfully; and to Alejandro Pasillas-Garcia, 28, of Caillou, Agua Caliente, Mexico, for possession of game taken unlawfully.
For information call Regional Conservation Officer David Silcock at the Salmon Region Fish and Game office at 208-756-2271 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 208-756-2271 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
The MK Nature Center continues the Winter Wednesdays Lunch and Learn series from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.on Wednesday, February 22, with “Winter Survival of Deer and Elk.”
Boise River Wildlife Management Area Coordinator Ed Bottum will lead an education session about how deer and elk species survive winter conditions in Idaho and how they have adapted to living alongside humans. Topics will include the construction of the wildlife underpass on Highway 21, survival in urban environments, and best practices for safe viewing of wild species for foothills trail users.
The class will be in the MK Nature Center auditorium, and the ticket price of $16.50 includes the class and a catered soup, salad, and bread lunch, provided by Open Table Catering of Boise.
Tickets with lunch are available until February 21 or until sold out atwww.brownpapertickets.com or at the MK Nature Center Gift Shop, 600 S. Walnut St., Boise, Idaho. Tickets are also available without the catered lunch for $8 at the MK Nature Center Gift Shop.
Please contact Cass Meissner firstname.lastname@example.org or 208-334-2225 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 208-334-2225 end_of_the_skype_highlighting with questions.
Citizen Ups Reward in Hawk Killing
A concerned citizen has offered a reward for information about the killing of hawks near Ola in addition to any reward offered by Citizens Against Poaching.
Sometime during the last of January and first of February, a red-tailed hawk was shot and killed in a deciduous tree a couple of miles south of Ola, about 100 yards east of the Sweet-Ola Highway.
Last winter a rough-legged hawk was shot and killed in a large Douglas hawthorn next to the Sweet-Ola highway on the west side, not far from where the red-tailed hawk was killed recently.
CAP offers a $100 reward for information leading to a citation. In addition, a concerned citizens wishes to increase the CAP reward by another $150 – for a total potential reward of $250.
Anyone with information may call 1-800-632-5999 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-632-5999 end_of_the_skype_highlighting. Callers may remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.
Ask Fish and Game: Turkey Hunts
Q. I applied for a spring turkey controlled hunt. When will I know if I draw?
A. Successful applicants for spring turkey and bear hunts will be notified by postcard
by March 20. You can also check your status at the Idaho Fish and Game website:http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/licenses/controlledHunts/?getPage=81. It is the hunter’s responsibility to check whether they were drawn.