Idaho Hunter Gets $500 Reward for Busting Motorized Gate Crashers

BHA OHV Reward Fund rewards citizens whose reports of illegal OHV use result in a conviction

Idaho Hunter Gets $500 Reward for Busting Motorized Gate Crashers
Idaho Hunter Gets $500 Reward for Busting Motorized Gate Crashers

Backcountry Hunters and AnglersBOISE-(Ammoland.com)- A public land hunter in Idaho recently collected a $500 reward from Backcountry Hunters & Anglers after reporting illegal use of an off-road vehicle in the Third Fork drainage on the Emmett Ranger District of the Boise National Forest.

As a result of this action, an Ada County resident pleaded guilty to two counts of violating the Motor Vehicle Use map on public lands, which carries a fine of $225 for each count. These areas are closed to protect wildlife from motorized disturbance during spring calving and fall hunting. BHA offers rewards of up to $500 for public land users who provide a report of illegal OHV use leading to a conviction.

Daniel Garringer, the hunter who reported the lawbreakers, acknowledged the challenges of enforcement in the area.

“The use of ATVs and off-road vehicles in the area has always been prohibited, but in the recent years, due to the rise in popularity, things have really gotten out of hand,” said Garringer. “I have no issue with riding your ATVs on the main road that is open to traffic to get to your favorite spot to hunt; however, I do have an issue with people abusing and pushing the limits to get to areas that are off limits to motorized vehicles.”

At the time of the incident, Garringer was on his family’s annual elk hunt, a longstanding tradition. He’d hiked into a non-motorized area where he’d seen elk before when two ATVs drove up the trail behind him.

“The rules are the rules, and I hunt this area by walking every year,” Garringer stated. “I have seen the impact of illegal ATVs on the ground. The area is very popular, and the use of illegal ATVs is extremely hard on the animals. This is why I chose to turn the individual in: because I want to be able to take my 6-month-old daughter hunting just like my father took me with him at a young age. If we can get the word out that we are tired of people using ATVs in an illegal fashion, I truly believe the number of people willing to take the chance of not getting caught will drastically decline.”

Since launching the rewards program in 2011, BHA has written checks to numerous sportsmen for their efforts to help ensure motorized vehicles are used legally and responsibly.

“Sportsmen have a long history of policing our own ranks,” said BHA State Policy Director Tim Brass. “As enforcement budgets for public land managers continue to decline, this represents one small way we can help fill the gap.

“When sportsmen head afield,” Brass remarked, “most are looking to get away from the noise and commotion of daily life and to experience the solitude available only in non-motorized areas. When illegal OHV users rob us of those opportunities, we all lose.”

In recent years, great strides have been made by public land managers to curtail illegal use of motorized vehicles through improved travel management planning, signage projects and educational efforts; however, enforcement of illegal OHV use remains a challenge.

Cecilia Seesholtz, forest supervisor of the Boise National Forest, commended the efforts by Garringer – and BHA.

“While it may seem like a small thing to some, I see it as a great effort by a member of our public to do the ‘right thing’ and take ownership of the management of their natural resources,” Seesholtz said. “Thanks to the Backcountry Hunters & Anglers too for recognizing his good stewardship.”

BHA reminds sportsmen to help maintain intact habitat and quality hunting opportunities by reporting illegal OHV use. Learn more about BHA’s OHV Reward Fund.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the sportsmen’s voice for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.

  • 7 thoughts on “Idaho Hunter Gets $500 Reward for Busting Motorized Gate Crashers

    1. I was in 32a on a late deer hunt years back. Hiked a couple miles west off the main road near mill creek summit and get passed by a dude on an atv on a closed/gated road. I asked what he was doing and if he knew the road was closed. His response was “me and a buddy got two elk down back here trying to get them out” He took off. I immediately called the poacher hotline and reported location and contact info. Hiked down and found their rig took photos of the plates and atv tracks in snow going around the gate. 2-3 days later warden shows up. I just got done packing a buck out by myself quartered in bags. Warden acted like he wasn’t going to do anything about it. Then the warden wanted to harass me because I had not left evidence of sex on my bagged skinned quarters. I admitted to my mistake but had also gotten injured in the process of packing that deer out. I asked if he would update me on the outcome of the atv incident and he never did. Left a bad taste in my mouth toward both parties.

      1. Thank you for trying to do the right thing with the ATV riders. I know you aren’t going to want to hear it, but you have to include evidence of sex to keep the game warden from giving you a hard time. I hope he just jaw jacked with you and didn’t give you a ticket for that.

      1. Hunting depends on habitat. Support responsible hunters, informed land management, and balanced development. Don’t kid yourself: big multi-national corporations are paying politicians big bucks to make it easier for them to steal YOUR wildlife habitat. Every single day. The more you obsess over left and right instead of protecting habitat, the easier it is for them to do it.

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