Idaho Officials Nab Aussie Hunters For Taking Antlers, Leaving Meat To Rot

Thanks to a group of wildlife officers who tracked their movements for days, three Austrialian hunters who used the idaho backcountry as their personal no-limit killing ground and garbage dump have been banned for life from hunting in Idaho.

From this story in the UK Daily Telegraph:

Dressed in camouflage, the three officers from Idaho Department of Fish and Game were deep undercover in the rugged mountains, living on rations, camping rough and for nine days intently watching their quarry: A group of Australian hunters. The game wardens were aware that Anton Kapeller, 58, from central Tasmania, had for 20 years been bringing other Australians and New Zealanders to Idaho to hunt elk, deer and wolves. They had long suspected him of illegally hunting elk out of season. But what really motivated them was that Kapeller left his camps, high in the beautiful mountains, littered with rubbish.

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There was also a suspicion he was committing the ultimate sin: Taking antlers and leaving the meat to rot._ _This year game officers Marshall Haynes, Brian Flatter and Brian Marek were determined. With the help of various agencies, they knew Kapeller's travel movements well in advance. He was travelling with his long-time friend and neighbour Darren Tubb, 43, and Tubb's nephew Samuel Henley, 18, both first-time guests on his hunt. Tubb and Henley bought tags which allowed them each to shoot one elk, one deer and one wolf. But for Kapeller, the rules didn't really matter. The place he was taking them to was so remote they could do as they pleased.

The officers positioned themselves in Kapeller's favourite spot - high in the Sawtooth National Forest. "We were dressed like hunters, in full camo, carrying rifles," Mr Flatter said. "So, if we were seen, it wouldn't be too surprising. But we worked extra hard not to be detected. We were hiking in the dark, and by day we were watching them." On October 26, the wardens watched as the party (which included another Tasmanian and a New Zealander, who were not convicted of any offence) set up base camp. Kapeller knew a spot where the elk liked to graze. He put Tubb and Henley in position and, on October 28 just before nightfall, a prized six-point bull elk appeared. So did the game wardens._

The elk was shot, the horns taken, the meat left to rot. Over the course of the next few days the officers watched as the three slobs dragged the elk carcass into a clearing to attract bears and wolves, illegally shooting two wolves. After their arrest the men spent six days in jail, were fined $5,000 apiece, lost their $75,000 bail bonds and their rifles, and two of the men were permanently banned from ever hunting or fishing in Idaho again--a punishment that thanks to the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact--means they won't ever be allowed to hunt in 35 other states as well.

Thoughts? Comments? Think we should just go ahead and permanently revoke their visas while we're at it?