BOISE, Idaho (CBS2) — Idaho hunters beware... illegally targeting elk, deer, and moose from the road could cost you $1,000.
Idaho Fish and Game says it uses decoy animals in areas where there is a history of illegal hunting.
Artificially simulated animals are real-life copies of deer, elk, and other game species that look and act like a real animal. Conservation officers use these decoys during hunting season to catch law-breaking hunters.
“Officers watch the animal and respond if someone violates the law,” said Greg Wooten, Fish and Game chief of enforcement. “This tool is extremely important in our effort to curtail illegal activity that is otherwise undetectable.”
Anyone found guilty of shooting an artificial animal may lose his or her license, face a fine up to $1,000, and a possible jail sentence up to six months. There is also a $50 minimum restitution penalty for shooting a decoy animal.
Officers can also cite people for shooting from the road, trespassing, shooting from a motorized vehicle, and other related infractions that can increase penalties and fines.
Conservation officers say judges across the country have encouraged the use of artificially simulated animals. Judges and prosecutors typically treat decoy cases the same as shooting a real animal.
Over 48 states and several Canadian provinces have been using artificial animals since the late 1980s.