Founder Charged With Felony Poaching

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Back in October Tony Mayer the owner of, an anti-wolf website, was charged with felony poaching. However the initial felony charged was dismissed because the judge ruled the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IFG) had not properly measured the rack of the bull elk that was allegedly poached. However after the required drying period the IFG measured again and came out with a score of 303 which in Idaho is classified as a trophy. has the complete story.

Mayer, founder of the anti-wolf website SaveElk .com, was accused of elk poaching in northern Blaine County on Oct. 3, 2009, three days after the close of the bow hunting season. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game started an investigation after Mayer posted photos of the elk on some websites.


hawkeye270's picture

I like the laws that

I like the laws that differentiate between poachers who take animals for meat and those that poach animals just for thier antlers. Obviously it can swing either way in certain circumstances (a meat poacher might take a big one and a trophy/thrill killer might kill a small one) but I think it is good to treat them as different levels of a crime based on the motives. Here in Colorado we have our own version of the law. It is called the Sampson surcharge and it is an additional 10,000 dollar fine that gets tacked onto a poacher that poaches a "trophy" animal. It takes a 22 inch wide mule deer, a 6x6 elk or a 14 inch pronghorn to qualify for the sampson surcharge. The measurement cut offs seem to be a bit strange but you have to draw the line somewhere.

As far as this guy... he obviously is not helpping his cause. His site was OK but I have seen some serious mis- information on it as well. Hopefully the new measurement they took will work. I can just see his argument now. "My bull didn't get scored after the drying period and therefore you can't charge me." Give me a break... hit this guy with the felony and close the story.

gatorfan's picture

I totally agree with the added $

I totally agree with the added money to the charge but to make the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?  That's what I don't get.  I think they should all be either a misdemeanor OR a felony and then add money to the fine for trophy status.  Just my opinion of course!

gatorfan's picture

I'm a little confused!

What difference does it make if the elk is a "trophy" elk or not?  That doesn't make any sense to me at all!  So, if that elk would have been 299 inches, it would have been a misdemeanor?  What if it was a 1 1/2 year old 299 bull?  I've always thought that the classification of a "trophy" was in the eyes of the hunter.  Sounds like they should either make them all felonies or misdemeanors.

Poaching is poaching, is poaching!  This guy should lose his hunting privileges for 10+ years!


CVC's picture

I guess it is analogous to a

I guess it is analogous to a theft charge.  I think if the property is worth X then it is a felony as opposed to a misdemeanor.  Or drugs where the amount determines if it is a felony.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

Does not make him look very

Does not make him look very good and really puts a hamper on his cause for saving the elk.

Another bites the bus

How does it seem like that the mos brillant hunters amoung us are the ones making the news. Every little episode like this adds to the anit-hunting arsenal.  We are hurting our own cause, sad to say.  What will they come up with next.  We are still throwing rocks from our glass porch.