After several days of intense investigation, Fish and Game conservation officers descended on a "hunting" camp in Hazard Creek, between New Meadows and Riggins in central Idaho, to interview suspects and issue citations.
When the dust settled, 16 citations and five warnings were issued to seven poachers from Nevada, Minnesota and the Idaho community of Harrison. Two elk and two deer were also seized in the largest poaching operation taken down so far this season.
Despite the violations occurring in Idaho County, arrangements were made for the nonresidents to appear in Adams County court on Monday, October 22 while on their way home. The resident suspect will appear in Idaho County court at Grangeville on November 6.
Each of the poachers pleaded guilty to the following charges and was sentenced as noted.
Scott Seidenstricker, 55, of Reno, Nevada, pleaded guilty to the unlawful killing of two or more elk in a 12-month period, transfer of a deer tag to another and two counts of use of an elk tag of another. Fines, court costs, civil restitution and other penalties totaled $6,160. Seidenstricker's hunting privileges also were revoked for 10 years.
Andrew Havens, 32, also of Reno, pleaded guilty to transferring an elk tag to another, use of a deer tag of another, and possession of an unlawfully taken deer. Fines, court costs, civil restitution and other penalties totaled $3,350. Havens's hunting privileges also were revoked for two years.
Paul Seidenstricker, 52, of East Gull Lake, Minnesota, pleaded guilty to possession of an unlawfully taken elk, transfer of an elk tag to another, wasteful destruction of an elk and littering. Fines totaled $2,300, and his hunting privileges also were revoked for two years.
Brian Redican, 44, of Carson City, Nevada, pleaded guilty to hunting elk without a valid tag. Fines totaled $1,000, and Redican's hunting privileges also were revoked for three years. Because he was a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing firearms, Redican forfeited a .308 caliber hunting rifle to Idaho Fish and Game.
Carl Keller, 71, of Carson City, Nevada, pleaded guilty to hunting elk without a valid tag. Fines totaled $600, and Keller's hunting privileges also were revoked for two years.
Eric Keller, 43, also of Carson City, pleaded guilty to possession of an unlawfully taken mule deer. Fines, court costs and civil restitution totaled $875.
Evin Oneale is the regional conservation educator in the Southwest Region.