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HB 528: Closing the Poacher’s Loophole—2020

Summary: HB 528 would clarify that it is a felony to poach an animal with a value of $1,000 or more.

ICL's position: Support

Current Bill Status: Law

Issue Areas: Fish and Wildlife

Official Legislative Site

Representative Fred Wood (R-Burley) and Senator Steve Bair (R-Blackfoot) introduced a simple measure that closes a loophole that allowed a moose poacher to walk free earlier this month.

In 2018, a jury convicted Coeur d’Alene resident John Huckabay of poaching a cow moose without a tag.

He successfully appealed, arguing that the wording of the law limited felony prosecution to instances where you had more than one poached animal in possession. The law currently states it is a felony to poach “any combination of numbers or species” that exceeds a certain value.

Rep. Wood’s and Sen. Bair’s proposal would amend the law to clarify that a single poaching event, where the value exceeds $1,000 to be worthy of a felony.