Shoot a fake moose, face fines and jail time

Staff Writer | October 8, 2020 1:00 AM

According to Idaho Fish and Game, if you shoot an artificial animal, you can lose your license and face a $1000 fine and up to six months of jail time if found guilty.

Fish and Game has set up decoys in areas where there is a history of illegal hunting.

The F & G has set up fake bucks and bulls near roads to be a tempting target for illegal hunting. Conservation officers deploy “artificial simulated animals” during hunting season to catch potential law violators.

The lifelike copies of deer, elk and other game are known as ASAs; they look and act like real things.

“Officers watch the animal and respond if someone violates the law,” said Fish and Game Chief of Enforcement Greg Wooten. “This tool is extremely important in our effort to curtail illegal activity that is otherwise undetectable.”

“This is similar to other law enforcement agencies watching an intersection based on reports of frequent instances of failing to stop at a stop sign, or monitoring speed compliance using radar,” Wooten said.

There is also a $50 minimum restitution penalty for shooting an ASA to help maintain the decoys on top of the fine and jail times.

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

Judges and prosecutors have historically treated shooting an ASA as the illegal shooting of a real-life animal; 48 states and several Canadian provinces have been using artificial animals since the late 1980s.