Idaho Fish and Game officers set up a sting operation off of a Forest Service Road near Hoodoo Mountain in Bonner County, which resulted in one person’s arrest.
Court documents indicate officers weren't targeting a specific person, but were prepared to catch anyone breaking the law.
That particular law? People hunting and shooting deer from a public road.
In this case, officers had set up a decoy deer off the road and waited in bushes nearby. Around 6 p.m., as someone approached, an officer wrote that he started rolling his camera phone.
Sure enough, someone stopped. Erik Winters, 25, put his headlights on the deer, got out of his car, leveled his rifle on the car door and shot the decoy.
Fish and Game quickly contacted Winters and told him he was cited with shooting a decoy animal and using artificial light to hunt. All are misdemeanors, but Winters could potentially get jail time or his license revoked.
However, it's worth noting that a judge dismissed the charge against Winters using his headlights to hunt. But still, all signs point to this being a sting that Fish and Game would likely call a success.
We wanted to know how often enforcement events like this take place or how common they are. KREM 2 reached out to Fish and Game officials in North Idaho, but we’re still waiting to hear back.
For now, it could serve as a reminder to some that if you're looking to hunt illegally, Fish and Game may be watching, and so too will their fake deer.