Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game using decoys to catch illegal hunters

Moose Decoy
Credit: IDFG

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is cracking down on illegal hunters by using decoys.

In a release, IDFG said they are deploying life-like copies of deer, elk, moose and other game species to areas where there is a history of illegal hunting. The decoys, commonly called ASAs, not only look, but act like the real animals.

“Officers watch the animals and respond if someone violates the law,” said Chief of Enforcement Greg Wooten. “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 their license, face a fine of up to $1,000 and a possible serve up to six months in jail. There is also a $50 minimum restriction penalty for shooting an ASA to help maintain the decoys.

Officers can also cite people for shooting from a road, trespassing, shooting from a motorized vehicle and other related infractions that can increase penalties and fines.

According to IDFG, though the ASAs are not really animals, judges across the country have upheld the use of them and treat ASA cases the same as shooting real animals.

Since the start of the month, IDFG has launched three separate investigations into illegal hunting cases after an elk calf, mule deer and grizzly were all found shot and left to waste.