May 1, 2006
MOSCOW - The quick actions of a concerned citizen who discovered two elk left to
waste and remains from another, resulted in a $6,851 fine, loss of hunting
privileges for five years, probation for four years and 21 days in jail for Mike
J. Edwards, age 29, of Troy, Idaho.
On April 20, 2006, Latah County Judge John Stegner sentenced Edwards with
killing three elk during closed season. Micah W. Cox, age 22 of Pullman, WA, was
charged with transfer of tag to another and fined $380. Both men were
represented by Mark Morrer of Moscow.
The case began November 3, 2005 when Idaho Fish and Game Conservation Officers,
Barry Cummings and Pat Hylton responded to an anonymous tip of two elk shot and
another gut pile found together on private land near Troy, Idaho. Evidence at
the scene indicated that each elk had been killed the day before and dragged
from a cultivated field with an ATV. Two elk, an adult cow and spike bull were
left to waste. Drag marks from a gut pile of a third elk led the officers to a
grassy area behind a house occupied by Edwards.
When the officers contacted Edwards, he initially denied killing an elk or even
going elk hunting that season. He mentioned in detail that he observed another
vehicle with a loaded ATV in the same area the day before. After further
questioning and a search of his garage revealed no evidence, both officers
decided to investigate other possible leads.
But the next day, Cummings drove to a Moscow-area butcher shop and discovered an
elk had been recently checked in with a Washington elk tag issued to Micah Cox.
The next day, Cummings interviewed Edwards who confessed to killing all three
elk and wasting two of them. He admitted that the elk at the butcher shop was
one of the three he killed and that he contacted Cox and asked him to bring his
Washington elk tag because the Idaho general elk season in the area had closed.
At the same time District Conservation Officer Mark Hill interviewed Cox, who
confirmed the same information.
According to Cummings, this case is a good example of how sportsmen can get
involved to help deter wildlife crimes. "Without the call from the concerned
citizen, it is likely that this violation would have gone undetected," he said.
"This was a serious wildlife violation and I think the penalties reflect that."
Anyone with information about wildlife violations are urged to contact any local
law enforcement authority or call the Citizens Against Poaching Hotline at
1-800-632-5999. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash