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The Warden's Words

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I only had a few things I really needed to mention in this column, and the first item I really need to get off my chest. I will tell you what has happened and you decide if we wardens are over-reacting. 

As near as Officer Larry Miller can piece the story together, sometime during the early morning hours of March 27th, on Hwy 57 milepost 34, several individuals, riding in their vehicle, spied an elk alongside the road. For some unknown reason these individuals decided that it would be fun to poach this elk. It seems these geniuses did not care that they did not have a suitable weapon. They would use what they had. In this case that happened to be a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with birdshot. 

Can you imagine just how many times an adult elk has to be shot with #8 shot before it goes down? The worst is yet to be told. After repeatedly shooting this elk these individuals, obviously subjects with single-branch family trees, drove off without taking the meat. When Officer Miller responded to the carcass he found that these poachers had killed a cow elk and her unborn calf. Folks, I can not say what I truly want to because the paper could not print it, but poachers such as these should not be allowed to hunt with the rest of us. If you can shed any light on these poachers please call your local warden or the Regional office. Remember that everything will be kept strictly confidential.

For all you anglers starting to get the itch I made a little run through the area checking lakes and fishing holes. The Clark Fork River looked good and quite a few folks were fishing. A few nice rainbows were caught, but the main run has not started yet. I ran up to Antelope Lake and found it still frozen over. The road in is still interesting and as the snow melts one can find various car parts that fell off last year. The lakes south of Sandpoint are all ice-free and many folks are taking advantage of that fact. Some nice holdover trout are being caught in Cocolalla Lake. Let's all remember to purchase a fishing license before I check you.

This month the moose hunters start doing strange things over pieces of paper. Some resort to calling “Miss Cleo” or invoke ancient voodoo rites in an attempt to insure they will be drawn. Still others will refuse to change their lucky socks until the winners are announced. Whatever helps!! May this be your year.

Hopefully I can get back into the swing off things pretty soon. I have been tied up with turning in my old truck and putting together my new department truck. Then my department computer did some absolutely amazing things before I killed it. I am still trying to get this new, stolen unit to function correctly. My wife quickly put a gallon jar on my desk and informed me that each time I cuss it would cost a quarter. She figures she will be able to take another vacation in May!

Well, I have a busy week ahead of me and if the weather continues to improve, then more time in the field. I do need to close and hope that Dennis and Trish will let my article into this week’s addition given I've turned it in so late. I figured I could plead stupid—I know they would believe that. So be safe out there. Enjoy what we have, enjoy it with the family and leave it better than when you found it.                          JJ SCOTT

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Author info

JJ Scott JJ Scott was a Fish & Game warden for the state of Idaho, now retired

Tagged as:

fishing, hunting, poaching

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