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HB 189: NEW Protecting Poachers – 2019

Summary: HB 189 would make it harder for law enforcement to nab poachers.

ICL's position: Support

Current Bill Status: To Governor

Issue Areas: Fish and Wildlife

Official Legislative Site

House Bill 189 would strip fish and game conservation officers of their ability to search a suspect when they have probable cause of poaching or illegal activities regarding wildlife – unless they have a warrant.

Currently, officers can search suspects when they have probable cause that either fish or game were unlawfully taken or if the suspects are in position of equipment to take such wildlife. Under this bill, the standard for probable cause would be modified, officers would need to have a warrant, and weaponry would not be sufficient to establish probable cause. These would be different standards than any other law enforcement officer in the state has.

Poaching has a significant impact on wildlife populations and is quite common in Idaho and this bill would make a poacher … harder to catch.

On March 15, HB189 the bill was amended to simply strip all the language from Idaho Code 36-1303. After all, it’s up to a judge to determine whether an officer had probable cause to conduct a search. Based on the amendment, ICL changed its position and now supports the bill.