TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — A hunter accused of poaching a well-known and well-liked buck in Twin Falls last winter has reached a plea deal with prosecutors.
Jacob Pool, 34, pleaded guilty last week to a felony count of killing or wasting a trophy mule deer during a closed season and a reduced misdemeanor count of destructing or concealing evidence, The Times-News reported (http://bit.ly/1HoKBg8).
As part of the plea agreement, the state has recommended a 90-day jail sentence for the misdemeanor charge, probation for the felony charge, a roughly $3,100 fine and a lifetime suspension of his hunting license.
"This is just one example of what goes on with some regularity," Idaho Department of Fish and Game Regional Conservation Officer Josh Royse said. "These animals are owned by the state of Idaho. Any animal that is illegally harvested is stolen from a lawful hunter. We work to investigate and prevent these things when we can, but we need the help of the public."
The case has helped raise awareness of illegal hunting, Royse added.
At his hearing, Pool said he killed the deer to provide food for his family and did not mean to kill a trophy deer.
"I put it all into bags and went and threw it away in the spot I thought it wouldn't be found," Pool said. "I freaked out. A buddy came over and showed me a newspaper article saying they're treating this like a homicide . I hate myself for it because I respect animals a lot. I respect deer a lot. That was food for my family. I wish I would have continued packing the meat, put it in my freezer and ate it."
Pool is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 21.
Information from: The Times-News, http://www.magicvalley.com