By ROBERT S. MERRILL
Idaho Fish and Game officer Korey Owens is seeking information from the public related to vandalism, illegal taking of wildlife and wasting game at an archery range off U.S. 36 just one mile east of the Franklin County line in Bear Lake County.
Owens, the resident IDFG officer in Franklin County, is the investigating officer in the incident he said occurred sometime from Sept. 28-30. Owens said an individual or individuals vandalized the archery range and camping area in Emigration Canyon near the Midland Trail Bridge in the Cache National Forest.
He said 20 pine squirrels, eight chipmunks and three-five forest grouse were shot and displayed like trophies. Officials said a one-gallon plastic bag full of grouse meat was found floating in a creek. An archery range sign and four highway markers were used as targets. Glass bottles, pieces of highway sings and other garbage were scattered in the creek, officials added.
An initial investigation was conducted by the Caribou-Targhee Forest District in Montpelier and the IDFG.
Owens said pine squirrels and chipmunks are protected non-game animals. It is illegal to shoot them at any time. Forest grouse are a game species. Those responsible for these crimes also face waste-of-game charges because the grouse were left to waste.
“These individuals were likely camped near the area at a motorized vehicle trailhead visible from Highway 36,” he said. “We are asking help from the public.”
Anyone who may have scene folks camping at this location from Sept. 28-30 are asked to contact Owens at 208-251-1923 or the Citizens Against Poaching hotline at 1-800-632-5999. Callers may remain anonymous and they may be eligible for a reward, said officials.
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