An alert citizen in Caribou County made a difference when he heard gunshots during an archery only season. His call to Citizens Against Poaching lead to the citation of a hunter suspected of shooting a bull moose with a rifle.
When Senior Conservation Officer Randy Sullivan arrived in the area, armed with a valuable description of the suspect vehicle, the investigation was on. Sullivan followed fresh tire tracks, eventually leading to a truck coming out of Idaho Ranch Canyon. Sullivan questioned the driver who claimed he fired rifle shots at a coyote. Knowing most skilled hunters would not risk scaring off big game by firing shots, Sullivan went up the canyon to investigate further. It was only with the help of the concerned citizen who stayed in the area that Sullivan was able to find a bull moose lying dead with evidence of two gunshots to the chest.
During a subsequent interview Ross Loertscher of Preston, Idaho, admitted to shooting the moose. He eventually pleaded guilty to failing to retrieve the bull moose, and obstructing and delaying an investigation. He lost his hunting privileges for six months, lost his once-in-a- lifetime Idaho bull moose tag and was ordered to pay $2,145 in fines, civil penalty and meat processing. The head and antlers were forfeited to Idaho Fish and Game, and the meat was salvaged for donation to a local food bank. The alert citizen added a nice reward to the satisfaction of helping Fish and Game bring a poacher to justice.
“This case and so many more are not always made through routine patrol,” said Sullivan. “They are made by concerned citizen’s ‘Making The Call’ to Citizens Against Poaching. So if you see (or hear) something that is not right, please call 1-800-632-5999.”