Authorities are looking for two Idaho snowmobilers caught on video while harassing a deer herd on private land last month.
Idaho Fish and Game conservation officers say they need the public’s help after two people chased a large herd of mule deer on private land near Heise. USA Today identified the incident on the Cress Creek Trail.
Heise is a 30-minute drive northeast of Idaho Falls.
Video Shows Deer Harassment
Conservation Officer Spencer Wesche said snowmobilers frequent that area, but it’s also a key area for wintering mule deer.
The video shows the two messing with ten or more deer for several minutes on Jan. 9. According to Mossy Oak, a good wintering deer area helps these animals flee predators. The animals like the area because humans can scare away wolves.
Chasing deer can get them exhausted and lead to death in the wintertime. At the same time, a deer’s metabolism slows, and they use less energy. Stressed deer are hurt when they have to use more energy.
According to the Jefferson Star, more than 90 percent of adult deer and elk survive during a “normal” winter without severely frigid temperatures or deep snow. The newspaper also urged people not to feed big game during the winter months.
Anonymous Tips Can Lead Authorities To Snowmobilers
Idaho authorities hope to reach out to the snowmobilers to correct their behaviors.
“I would appreciate any information concerning the identity of the two drivers so I can follow up with them,” Wesche said.
The officer included still phones from the video here.
Anonymous tipsters can go online and or call officers. There’s an undisclosed reward for any information. For the online link, go here.
Anyone with information regarding the identity of these individuals can also call Officer Wesche at 208-220-9073, the Upper Snake Fish and Game Office at 208-525-7290, or the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) hotline at 800-632-5999.
Social Media Reacts To Snowmobiler Report
Hunters and nature lovers didn’t take too kindly to the news of deer harassment this week.
“Confiscate the snowmobiles and auction them off and use the money to buy feed and pellets for these animals,” an anonymous East Idaho News commenter said. “Make an example of these jerks.”
Another website reader offered up another reasonable solution.
“They should issue season tags and permits on the people that do things like that,” James Haynie said. “Or maybe just close the area to snowmobiles and other motorized off-road machines.?”
“What jerks,” commenter Idaho Outdoorsman said. “Deer burning up precious calories because of these idiots that might mean life or death. Not sure if they can legally do it. But the courts should seize the snowmobiles. If children can’t play nice while using their toys, the toys should be taken away from them.”