Idaho Elk Poachers Fined and Lose Hunting Privileges
Two California residents and a north Idaho man have pleaded guilty in a case of elk illegally killed over bait in Boundary County.
Idaho Fish and Game officers began working the suspected elk baiting case in December 2009. Suspects were observed setting out bait to attract elk, but they didn't kill any elk.
This year Fish and Game officers staked out the site again. The suspects returned.
On property belonging to Richard Raine, of Bonners Ferry, enforcement officers observed Raine's daughter Barbera Johnson, 40, of Sacramento, Calif., hunt and kill a six-by-seven point bull elk from a tree stand at the bait site.
Boundary County Prosecutor Jack Douglas applied for a search warrant for Raine's property. Magistrate Judge Justin Julien issued the warrant on December 11.
Idaho Fish and Game officers assisted by US Border Patrol and Idaho State Police served the warrant on December 12. They found a female elk killed by Robert Johnson, 41, also of Sacramento, hanging in a shop with the bull elk killed by Barbera Johnson.
Fish and Game officers arrested Robert Johnson and issued citations to Barbera Johnson and Raine.
All three suspects appeared in court in Boundary County on Monday, December 13.
Robert Johnson pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of unlawfully taken elk and one count of taking an elk over bait. He was fined $3,000 and assessed $2,250 in civil penalties and $350 in court costs. Barbera Johnson pleaded guilty to hunting elk without a license, hunting elk without a tag and taking elk over bait. She was fined $3,000.
Both lost their hunting privileges five years.
Raine pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of unlawfully taken elk. He was fined $1,000 and lost his hunting privileges for two years.