Idaho game wardens are looking for tips on who has been dumping duck carcasses in the greater Boise area, wantonly wasting the perfectly good meat of at least 44 birds in recent days and weeks.
The latest case involves 25-plus unbutchered mallard, pintail and teal found north of Emmett, which is northwest of the Gem State capitol.
“I am very interested in visiting with anyone who has information regarding this wanton waste case,” IDFG conservation officer and lead investigator Josh Leal said in a press release.
Fellow CO Ben Cadwallader is also looking for tips on the dumping of 34 duck carcasses – mostly mallards – behind a Fred Meyer in Garden City, just outside Boise last week.
According to IDFG, 19 were unbutchered, while 15 had at least been breasted out.
Officers are looking for a dark 2008 to 2010 Ford Super Duty Extra Cab with a light-colored running board that was seen in the vicinity where the carcasses were found around 8 p.m., Wednesday, January 20.
Idaho law requires that hunters take the edible portions of harvested ducks and geese, the breasts.
It’s puzzling why anybody would do this but unfortunately they’re far from the only waterfowl wastage cases in the state this season. One of the worst occurred last November when 59 unprocessed ducks were found in a Utah dumpster after the birds had been “harvested” in Idaho. At least one individual had been identified.
So who might be behind the two most recent cases near Boise?
A longtime duck hunter that I brainstormed with thought that if it were people killing ducks just to wantonly kill, there would be more of a mixed bag than primarily mallards with some pintails and teal thrown in. That might rule out someone new to the sport.
Those species, especially the preponderance of greenheads, also suggested to them that the shooter(s) knew what they were doing and they had a pretty good spot to hunt, either public or private.
They saw the high number of whole ducks dumped as a possible sign that the shooter(s) knew they had too many to take care of, but also, that with season wrapping up on Sunday, they probably didn’t want to stop shooting either. The Idaho possession limit is three times the daily limit, or 21.
Now, to be absolutely crystal clear, neither that four-plus-decade veteran of the marsh nor I are FBI profilers, let alone investigators of anything heavier than where the next hot bite or good hunting is going to be.
But the last thought they left me with was that conservation officers might poke around social media looking for recent videos. Undoubtedly they are already.
If you are not going to eat what you kill, don’t kill. If you are throwing out dead ducks to make room to kill more, stop. We didn’t rebuild North American duck populations and raise untold hundreds of millions of dollars to restore their habitat for them to be treated as Pop-Its.
If you’ve seen anything related to these two cases, or any others, or recognize that dark Ford, tipsters are being asked to call IDFG’s Citizens Against Poaching hotline at 1-800-632-5999. It’s available 24 hours a day and you can remain anonymous. According the agency, a reward is on offer.
You can also contact IDFG’s Nampa office (208-465-8465) during business hours on weekdays, or the Idaho State Police (208-846-7550) on the weekend.