58 replies [Last post]
Joined: 01/21/2004
Posts: 3
Idaho Sheriff's Deputy poaches whitetail buck while ON DUTY.

I respectfully submit this reply. There was not an arrest made due to the fact the contact was made after the incident happened. This is not a charge that can be arrested on unless it is committed in your presence. It was treated as a misdemeanor from the start due to the fact the bucks score was unknown at the time. It is true the score could have made the charge be amended to a felony. Again, this was unknown at the time. The felony was not charged, and I thank God for that. Please read this next part carefully......... I am NOT making excuses. I take FULL responsibility. I am only addressing this matter here because I dont want people to think I am being treated differently than anyone else would have been. I have been an outdoorsman all of my life. I am SICK about the poor judgement call I made. I have always been a true sportsman and have in no way EVER done anything of this sort before. Trust me when I tell you, I am going to be hard on myself about this incident for the rest of my life. I will be paying for this inside of myself for years after everyone else has forgotten about it. I accept that, I deserve it.

Heath Gustafson

Location: Florida,USA
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 1585
Idaho Sheriff's Deputy poaches whitetail buck while ON DUTY.

Mr. Gustafson,
While your admission of guilt and resignation are admirable surely you can understand the lashing out against you that you are recieving.
The "Average Joe" has also made some "bad judgement calls" and we were never afforded the sympathy or "breaks" that you, yourself, seems to be enjoying. As written here earlier we are handcuffed, roughed up(you call it "body search"), treated with zero respect or dignity, talked down too and then thrown into the back of a patrol car. We are all sick and tired of it all. I am sure you have felt the disrespect shown toward LEO's by average citizens. Incidents such as this are the reasons why.
Do I sound alittle pissed? You betcha I am. See I was shoved to the ground, had a shotgun barrel almost push my nose off of my face, had a knee slammed into my back, arm almost broken off when I was handcuffed, thrown against the trunk of a patrol car, had my private parts squeezed till I almost passed out while the officer ran his silly mouth at me(things like "tough guy now huh?"), face smashed into the patrol car trunk for telling him that his grip on my nuts hurt, thrown into the back of a patrol car(they must only tell you to watch your head on TV) then carted off to jail for the night and most of the next day.
My crime? I beat the crap outta some scum bag that was giving my lil sister drugs despite complaints from my mother that your fellow officers chose to ignore. My arrest record before that? Not even a speeding ticket.
There were no Police wittness to my crime but I was treated like this and charged with a felony. Eventually all charges were dropped.
Would I do it again? Under the same circumstances you bet your life I would, only next time I'm gonna get some all over a smart mouthed cops butt also!!!

Location: Idaho
Joined: 09/20/2003
Posts: 138
Idaho Sheriff's Deputy poaches whitetail buck while ON DUTY.

Well mmmmm guy I will say this to many things do not add up.
First. As a son of a IDFGCO/biologist of 27 years I find it more then covenant that the local CO would turn this over to your office Especially after the complain was about “in so many words” your office in the first place.
Second. I find it more then covenant that having an eye witness and knowing full well the vehicle in question was in you possession, along with other evidence I will not mention, the investigation did not proceed to you door within hours if not minutes of the crime.
Lets also not forget you IMO did not turn yourself in.
Lastly IMO you have been let off easy.
Not only are you guilty of this crime by your own admittance and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. You have violated the trust of the very citizens you swore to protect and serve and that should be worth even more of a sentence. You are very lucky that my father or I were not the local CO of your area
To this point you have gotten off easy do not forget that.

Joined: 01/21/2004
Posts: 3
Idaho Sheriff's Deputy poaches whitetail buck while ON DUTY.

Again, I make no excuses and take full responsibility. I agree wholeheartedly that I violated the trust of my community, my family and my fellow Law Enforcement Officers. I truly will spend the rest of my career trying to make up for or atone for this incident.

Location: Idaho
Joined: 12/29/2003
Posts: 74
Idaho Sheriff's Deputy poaches whitetail buck while ON DUTY.

Career? What career? Don't tell me Voyles is going to hire you back?

I wish you no ill-will, Heath. But it really IRKS me that you have the audacity to claim you haven't received preferential treatment...and Pigs fly!

I believe you are remorseful...remorseful because you got CAUGHT. Remorseful that you've embarrassed yourself and your family. That's what I believe.

I am SO tempted to go to the Boundary County Courthouse and research the Stats on Poaching. And I may just do that...after you are sentenced on February 12.

Until we meet again....

Location: "on loan" to San Diego
Joined: 01/17/2004
Posts: 20
Idaho Sheriff's Deputy poaches whitetail buck while ON DUTY.


I guess the laws for poaching have gotten softer in Idaho since I went to college there.
I had a roommate that purchased a license and tags as a Resident before the correct amount of time had elapsed and he was both CUFFED AND JAILED WITHIN 1 HOUR after the wardens*** had entered our home!!!!(*** One of the wardens even had me over to his home some months later. The next year I even put some of these wardens on some Honkers and they could'nt believe that I was'nt upset with them but I told them that I understood that they were just doing their jobs. No problem for me.


Misdemeanor INSTEAD of a Felony???

Mr. Gustafson, was this AFTER a Pleadown or some bargin???

I myself have "made a mistake" once and mine was out of IGNORANCE and DID MY TIME. But never mind that, I've ALSO paid for my ignorance in not being able to get a GREAT law enforcement CAREER like the one you just so capriciously threw away. YOU ON THE OTHER HAND as a person from that neck of the woods WOULD and DID know that YOUR CHOICE OF BLATANT DISREGARD was in DIRECT VIOLATION OF THE FISH AND GAME LAWS!!

I WILL NOT refer to you as a HUNTER because that cheapens what true hunting is all about. Geez, I can bang deer and fish all night long (ALL DAY LONG) but so can any other incompetent slob as long as they can pull a trigger and put a bait on the line and even if its not out of season or in a closed area!!!( I've EVEN had law enforcement(PATHETIC ISN'T IT FOLKS), ranchers and other "hunters" and "fishermen" tell me that they WOULD HAVE "shot or caught" the size game I've come across even WITHOUT it being a legal situation!!!(Is it any wonder that the big bucks and bulls have been dissappearing at an alarming rate?)"Of course Idaho and Wyoming have ALWAYS had two legged wolves.I've seen their damage and they did'nt have to be REINTRODUCED but unfortunately "BOUNTIES" don't seem to have an effect on their "POPULATIONS"."

Mr. Gustafson, never mind that you have further tarnished the images of some of those ALREADY HELD IN CONTEMPT in the law enforcement community in general.(as witnessed by Jtapia's comments dated 01-23-04 above).

Why DO YOU THINK the good God fearing law enforcement professionals have image problems with the public?

AND NOW the IDFG gets TO DETERMINE(i.e. cronyism?) who goes free and who does the time?

In my college studies of law enforcement, I thought law enforcement was to do just that, ENFORCE THE LAW, AND THE JUDICIAL BRANCH hands out the sentences.
Are there STILL any other Americans out there in Idaho?
Or has Idaho turned into the California of the Rockies in my short 24 year absence?


GEEZ, is it any wonder that my friends STILL in Idaho say that the IDFG have done NOTHING BUT RUIN the hunting and fishing as I once knew it??? Heck I was PROUDLY (I MIGHT ADD) referred to as one of the POCATELLO RADICALS(ISU) because we kept fighting to keep the BIG OIL & GAS out of the Overthrust Belt specifically to minimize the damage for Elk and Grizzly habitat at the time!

MAYBE(UNFORTUNATELY)we SHOULD go back to Frontier Justice. That way at least, the WONDERFUL citizens of IDAHO(as I knew them and PROUDLY ONCE WAS AND SOMEDAY HOPEFULLY AGAIN WILL BE)at least won't be wasting their hard earned money on SOME of the incompetent AND ungrateful LAW ENFORCEMENT employees of the IDFG who are there SPECIFICALLY to look after THEIR(our)WILDLIFE.

In closing, law enforcement officers, YOU ARE TO BE HELD TO A HIGHER STANDARD.

YOU knew this and KNOW this PRIOR to applying for the position.

You (just as IN GOOD CONSCIENCE AND ALL FAIRNESS) SHOULD NOT WRITE A PERSON FOR SPEEDING IF YOU SPEED OFF DUTY nor write them for any other offense that you yourself break habitually OR OCCASIONALLY!!(why do you think a man like Jtapia and others lose respect and get frustrated by you. YOU ARE HIDING BEHIND COLOR OF AUTHORITY (A BADGE)



"Others may, YOU CAN NOT!"

As for Mr. Gustafson and ANYONE ELSE(at ANY IDAHO GOVERNMENT OFFICE or LEVEL) INVOLVED with CUTTING this former deputy ANY KIND OF break in this instance.....


Location: Idaho
Joined: 09/20/2003
Posts: 138
Idaho Sheriff's Deputy poaches whitetail buck while ON DUTY.

here here . maybe we should send a copy of this string to the director of the IDFG dept and another to the governor. certified mail of course not that it will do much good other then to show there is some of us left that find this as out of hand

Location: Idaho
Joined: 12/29/2003
Posts: 74
Idaho Sheriff's Deputy poaches whitetail buck while ON DUTY.

This is somewhat off-topic, but it accurately reflects the errosion of trust regarding LEOs:

It's very TELLING that recently, a six-member Boundary County jury failed to reach a verdict in a DUI case last week when a Bonners Ferry man had allegedly failed three sobriety tests during a patrol stop, had an opened can of beer in his vehicle and confessed to the arresting Sheriff's deputy he had a "couple of beers a couple of hours ago."

Both the deputy and a back-up officer testified that the defendant--who was stopped for speeding--appeared too intoxicated to drive with alcohol detected on his breath.

So why do you suppose the Jury was hung? I wasn't there, but clearly one or more jurists had a problem with the truthfulness of the testimony.

Needless to say, the undercurrent of distrust is very strong here in Boundary County. Now, with the shenanigans surrounding Gustafson's Poaching misdemeanor, why am I not surprised?

Quicksilver's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 05/03/2003
Posts: 238
Idaho Sheriff's Deputy poaches whitetail buck while ON DUTY.

Wow, this is one of the most heated topics that I’ve ever seen on BGH!!

Mr. Gustafson has now found himself on this board with some fire breathing members ready to shoot, lynch, and twist his balls off… While mismary, as valid as her points may be, she “if a lady at all” is ready to be part of the solution to save the world.

Mismary quote “If you are not part of the solution, You are part of the problem…”

Poaching, as a topic, is extremely volatile and stirs adrenaline-pumping emotions amongst the hunting community. Mismary, looking for a rise out of members, has come to the right place. She has successfully stirred the coals of some of the members into a raging fire and is now looking to burn holes in Boundary County Sheriffs.

I’m not anti government, anti sheriff, anti cop, or even anti mismary, but I am pro hunting. Mr. Gustafson has taken his bashing, had is nuts verbally twisted, resigned, and publicly apologized for his enormous fallacy of logical reasoning, noted that he was a disgrace to hunting, and a larger than life idiot. A lucky idiot but an idiot non-the-less.

To me, the way that I see it, “Mr. Gustafson” is no-longer the issue…

So, “MISMARY”, since you are new to the board and have a lot to say; What do you believe is the most important issue at hand: Poaching in the hunting community or that Boundary County Sheriff’s, like other government employees across the nation, receive preferential treatment?

Note – I’m pro hunting, if you pick the latter of the two, I might have to poach you!! :eek:
Never take life to seriously... You'll never get out alive!!

[ This Message was edited by: Quicksilver on 2004-01-26 10:04 ]

Location: Idaho
Joined: 12/29/2003
Posts: 74
Idaho Sheriff's Deputy poaches whitetail buck while ON DUTY.

Quicksilver, I believe this thread was dying a calm, natural death until Heath Gustafson breathed fresh life into it. Possibly that was another error in judgment, but the Man has every right to be heard.

If you consider my comments inflammatory, well...you know what they say about the heat and the kitchen.

Now, if the truth gives you a rise, Quicksilver, thats ultimately personal and I'll refrain from commenting. Wink

I believe any "lynching" comments were said Tongue in Cheek, but they were cathartic, nonetheless.

And UNlike you, Quicksilver, I will not presume to be so omnipotent as to suggest that some the opinions expressed here are born of thinly-disguised Anti-Governement sentimentality.

People have opinions! 8-/

As for my personal opinion, I believe I used the phrase "Justice for All", if that helps refresh your memory.

For you to suggest that as a "newbie" I've broken some unspoken rule and disturbed the inner sanctum of this Forum, let me remind you this is still the good ol' US of A and last time I looked Freedom of Speech was a Constitutional Right.

(However, I do apologize to any and all Members who find this topic too upsetting.)

Forgive me, Quicksilver, but asking me to seperate the issues regarding the importance of Poaching vs. Corruption is like telling me I can't have my Cake and eat it, too. LOL! By Golly, I sure can! Wink In this incident, they go hand in hand and both are reprehensible. ;-/

Put your noose back in the closet.
Allow me to assure you I'm a hunting advocate. My home is glorified by legally taken Elk, Deer, and other various mounts. The meat tasted good, too!

Sidenote: I personally subscribe to the theory "If you have to say you're a Lady, you ain't." You'll get no rhetoric from me on that subject.
But aren't you glad you asked? Wink


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