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For the week of  October 24 - 30, 2001


Cow and calf moose gunned down

Information leading to arrests sought

"Both shots were well-placed. They were killing shots. Itís not like they were shot from a half mile away. They should not have been mistaken for anything."

- Roger Olson, Fish and Game conservation officer

Express Staff Writer

A cow and calf moose were illegally shot in the Corral Creek area east of Sun Valley late last week, and Idaho Department of Fish and Game officers are seeking information leading to the arrest of those responsible.

Ross Youngman, left, and Idaho Department of Fish and Game Conservation Officer Roger Olson examine a yearling moose that was illegally shot in the Corral Creek area east of Sun Valley late last week. Express photo by Willy Cook

Deer hunter Ross Youngman found the dead animals Oct. 22 early in the morning and reported the incident to Fish and Game. Youngman, who frequents Corral Creek during snow-free months, said he has seen moose in the valley for between five and 10 years. The two animals destroyed last week may have been a mother and calf, he said.

"The theory is that people thought they were elk," Youngman said during a visit to the site.

The animals were found three and a half miles up Corral Creek on a sagebrush bench on the northeast side of Corral Creek Road. From the road, only one of the cowís leg was visible, sticking into the autumn sky about 75 yards from the road.

"Both shots were well-placed," said Fish and Game Conservation Officer Roger Olson. "They were killing shots. Itís not like they were shot from a half mile away. They should not have been mistaken for anything.

"This is not a moose hunter who did this."

For the first time since moose were reintroduced into the region in the 1970s, Fish and Game is holding a moose hunt this fall in the Wood River Valley and surrounding mountains. Two bull permits were issued.

Olson said the animals were clearly shot intentionally. But he said why the animals were shot is unclear. It could have been a case of mistaken identity or of blatantly breaking the law.

The crime is punishable by a civil penalty of $1,000, a Fish and Game minimum fine of $1,500, and a minimum hunting license suspension of one year.

Because there is typically a lot of car, bicycle and foot traffic in the Corral Creek area, Olson said he hopes someone saw or heard something that could help lead to an arrest.

"More than likely, somebodyís going to see something," Youngman said. "Thatís the only way weíre going to find anybody."

Olson said anyone with information about the dead moose should call him at 788-2824, or Conservation Officer Lee Garwood at 788-2824 or the Citizens Against Poaching hotline at 1-800-632-5999.

Olson said most of the infractions heís investigating during this fallís hunting seasons deal with private property issues and tag infractions. Just on Sunday, however, he investigated an incident involving a mule deer buck shot in the Parker Gulch area east of Elkhorn. A hunter had killed the animal, cut off the head and left over 60 pounds of meat.

Itís illegal to waste the meat of a game animal, he pointed out.

Various Wood River Valley deer and elk hunting seasons will continue through the end of November, Olson said.

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.