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March 5, 2013

Deer Poachings Bring Reward Offer

The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information on those responsible for the poaching of deer in Dalton Gardens last month.

The information must lead to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible. The reward adds to an existing reward provided by Citizens Against Poaching.

Eight deer - including three does carrying fawns - were shot with a small-caliber gun during the night or early morning hours of a roughly week-long period last month, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game said.

"Shooting deer in a neighborhood setting is a serious violation of the laws in place to protect wildlife and is a threat to community safety," said Lisa Kauffman, Idaho state director for The Humane Society of the U.S. "The Humane Society of the United States applauds the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Citizens Against Poaching for their work to find those responsible for these senseless killings."

Phil Cooper, a spokesman for Fish and Game's North Idaho office, said, "Hopefully this additional reward opportunity will be enough to encourage someone with knowledge about this situation to come forward."

Anyone with information concerning the killings is asked to call Fish and Game at (208) 769-1414 or the Citizens Against Poaching hotline at (800) 632-5999.

According to the Humane Society, it is estimated that only 1 percent to 5 percent of poached animals come to the attention of law enforcement.

The deer population has been a long-standing issue in Dalton Gardens, a town with a population of more than 2,300 that sits next to Canfield Mountain. The homes, which typically sit on one-acre parcels, have ample gardens, trees and lawns which some residents say deer trample and destroy.

In 2011, the city explored ways to reduce the number of deer in the city and one suggestion floated at the time was letting hunters thin the population. But that idea never got off the ground.

Instead, the city is exploring looking at its fencing ordinance and promoting education when it comes to deer.

The unlawful killing of one deer in Idaho is a misdemeanor with a possible fine of up to $1,000 and a potential six-month jail term. If someone kills more than one deer unlawfully within a 12-month period they can be charged with a felony.


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