Failure to check in at a Fish and Game check station is a crime in Idaho. Here's why.
The rule, as read by conservation officer Barry Cummings, states clearly, "It is unlawful to fail to stop--with or without fish or wildlife--at any Fish and Game check station encountered, even if your hunting, fishing, or trapping activity occurred outside of Idaho."
Enforcement checkpoints such as these are the heart and soul of wildlife conservation management by law enforcement officers around the country, and in this particular region it's being used to its fullest.
While the main focus is for wildlife biologists to collect data concerning the wildlife in question, these checkpoints keep officials in contact with the hunting community. Knowing that everyone is properly licensed is only part of their function. Making sure that game management laws are enforced keeps everyone ahead of the game.
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This kind of game management data gives biologists a leap ahead in predicting game populations, and an up close look at the health of the animals.
Better decisions on wildlife health, and overall seasons and limits can be made only when everyone takes part and gets their harvest into a check station.
Maybe the best part is when law enforcement gets the chance to step on those who try to skirt the rules for their own selfish gains, leaving legitimate hunters holding the bag.