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Boise, ID


Date: September 8, 2003
Contact: Ed Mitchell
(208) 334-3700

Fake Animals Readied for Annual Workout

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game reminds hunters that in areas where the department receives complaints of spotlighting or other suspicious activity, enforcement officers may use artificial simulated animals (ASAs).

These life-like models of deer, elk, and other game species have been used for more than a decade to apprehend unlawful shooters in Idaho and other states. The use of such tools has been upheld in the court systems across the country as a legitimate method of catching violators and has aided in reducing illegal activities. About 48 states and several Canadian provinces have made use of ASAs since the late 1980s.

Aside from the inherent danger in shooting from a vehicle or road, road hunting for wildlife brings to question the ethical behavior of some hunters. Even though the vast majority of hunters conduct themselves ethically and abide by the laws, those who do not continue to create a negative image for hunters.
"Road hunters are the visible minority. They are what everyone sees, and many of their activities are bad for the image of all hunters," Clearwater Region Conservation Officer Dave Cadwallader of Lewiston said.

Many of the citations issued to road hunters who violate game laws include spotlighting, trespassing, shooting from a motorized vehicle, shooting across the road and waste of game. The penalties for shooting an ASA can include a mandatory license revocation, fines of up to $1,000 and jail sentence of up to six months.   

To check for law compliance, Fish and Game enforcement officers will also conduct impromptu enforcement check stations where all hunters and anglers, successful or not, must stop. Usually conducted on less-traveled roads and set up at any time day or night, impromptu check stations are another tool officers use to detect wildlife crimes.




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