Big Game Decoys Used in Law Enforcement

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The Idaho Department of Fish and Game reminds hunters that in areas where the department has received complaints of spotlighting or other suspicious activity, enforcement officers will be using artificial simulated animals.

Also known as ASAs, these life-like specimens of deer, elk, and other game species, aid conservation officers in apprehending violators of Idaho law. The use of such tools has been upheld in court systems across the country as a legitimate method of apprehending violators and has aided in reducing illegal hunting activities. At least 30 states and several Canadian provinces have been using ASAs since the late 1980s.

Aside from the inherent danger in shooting from a vehicle or road, road hunting for wildlife brings to question the ethical behavior of some. Even though the vast majority of hunters conduct themselves ethically and abide by the laws, those who do not can create a negative image for hunters.

"Road hunters are the visible minority. They are what everyone sees, and many of their activities are bad for the image of all hunters," said regional conservation officer Dave Cadwallader of Lewiston.

Many of the citations issued to road hunters who violate game laws include spotlighting, trespassing, shooting from a motorized vehicle, shooting across the road and waste of game. The penalties for shooting an ASA can include a mandatory license revocation, fine up to $1,000 and a jail sentence of up to six months.