Up In The Sky, It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's A Violation!
Man and his technology have come a long way since Idaho became a state. Hunting today isn't about survival; it's about pursuing a form of recreation, a sport. Like all sports, hunting has its rules. In mid-October of this year, Idaho Department of Fish and Game conservation officers came across three individuals who were attempting to use a combination of modern technologies to gain an unfair advantage in their pursuit of wild game. Their actions not only violated the concept of fair chase, but a number of actual hunting regulations.
On October 18, 2014, Senior Conservation Officers Tim Klucken and Josh Leal responded to reports of a powered parachute flying low over the Mud Lake Wildlife Management Area. On the way to the WMA, officers could hear someone giving location instructions about some deer over the FRS radio. The officers were able to make contact with Jake Tanner and Neil Wood who were carrying shotguns and who admitted that they had been communicating with the person in the powered parachute about locating deer. It also turned out that Tanner lacked a tag to hunt deer at all.
Upon further investigation, officers were able to determine that the individual in the powered parachute, Braxton Tomlinson was trying to locate deer hiding in the reeds of the WMA marsh and then communicate their location by radio to Tanner and Woods, on the ground. Use of aircraft to locate wildlife and communicating this information to someone on the ground is against Idaho Code and specifically mentioned on page 97 of this year's Big Game Regulations.
In Jefferson County Court, all three pleaded guilty and were fined $500 with $400 suspended, plus court costs, sentenced to 10 days in jail, suspended. Judge Crowley also sentenced them to one year unsupervised probation and revocation of hunting for one year.
To learn more about the concept of fair chase, visit the website of Orion The Hunter's Institute at www.huntright.org.