September 25, 2023

Bull Elk Shot Inside Rex Rammell's Ranch

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Just when you think the whole fiasco is about to quiet down at the Chief Joseph ranch in eastern Idaho, another stupid event fans the flames again.

A hunter, who has not been identified and is supposedly one that is participating in Governor Risch’s depredation hunt, shot a bull elk inside the fencing at the Rammell ranch. Reports say that when the hunter went to retrieve his trophy, he ran into the fencing. The elk was dead, about 50 feet inside the fence.

The hunter, upon realizing what he had done, notified the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. They in turn instructed him to call the Fremont Country Sheriff. They are now investigating the shooting.

An article in the Great Falls Tribune has one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard and shows the bias against elk farming that has mired itself in this debacle. According to this report, Paul Faulkner, a landowner and sportsmen’s coordinator for the Idaho Fish and Game, said this:

….the fence is hard to see from a distance, and Rammell’s domestic elk don’t have the required large, brightly colored ear tags to distinguish them from wild elk.

“Because the ear tags are so hard to see, they’ve been shooting anything in that immediate area,” Faulkner said.

Excuse me!?!? Would this same argument work if a hunter accidentally shot into someone’s house because it is “hard to see from a distance”? “I’m sorry Mrs. Jones. I didn’t mean to shoot your husband while I was elk hunting. He was ‘hard to see from a distance'”.

Hunters and hunting organizations, along with state fish and game departments, have worked tirelessly to make hunting the safe sport it is today. One of the things most emphasized in hunting safety classes is to know your target and to know exactly where you are shooting.

I don’t know who Paul Faulkner is or what a sportsman’s coordinator is but if he is somehow connected with the Idaho Fish and Game, they better either lose this guy or haul him into a back office someplace and tell him to either keep his mouth shut or buy a clue.

Faulkner then goes on to say hunters are “shooting anything in that area”. Nice, real nice comment. One can only assume this guy is working for Rex Rammell.

Is it somehow acceptable to shoot an elk inside Rammell’s enclosure because he and/or his business isn’t liked? Is Faulkner making excuses for the hunter who violated one of the biggest safety codes of hunters? It doesn’t matter whether you think Rammell’s business is poorly run, which I do, or whether you disapprove of “canned hunting” or elk farming, a hunter made a mistake. He shot game not knowing where he was. He discharged his weapon without knowing he was that close to the Chief Joseph ranch fencing. The bottom line is, the hunter made a mistake. Let’s not make poor excuses for him.

Rammell is trying to find out who the hunter was that killed his elk and make him pay for it – as much as $5,000. If not, he plans legal action.

At one point in time, Governor Jim Risch assured all participants that they would not be held legally responsible for any lawsuits brought against them or the state by the owner of the Chief Joseph ranch, if they participated in the depredation hunt. I wonder if the Governor was thinking about hunter negligence when he made that statement?

It would now appear to me that the Governor’s plan has given Rammell ammunition in a court of law. We will see.

*All posts on the topic*:

Wyoming Governor Asks Idaho Governor To Ban Game Farms
Escaped Idaho Elk Shot In Wyoming
Rex Rammell Arrested
Governor Jim Risch Defends His Decision To Shoot Escaped Elk
Idaho Gubernatorial Candidates Have A Say About Elk Farming
Rammell For Governor, Ranch Sold, Elk Still Being Hunted
Wyoming Governor Freudenthal Says Interior Department Not Doing Enough About Escaped ElkIdaho’s Escaped Elk Now Getting National Attention
Idaho Elk Farmer Says All His Elk Accounted For
Idaho Governor Expands Hunt For Escaped Elk
More Elk Killed In Idaho – Some By Hunters
Idaho Elk Farmer Plans To Sue The State
Scientists Will Test Killed Idaho Elk For Disease And Genetic Make-up
A Helicopter, A Plane And 25 Agents Can’t Find 160 Domestic Elk
Escaped Idaho Elk Being Slaughtered. Wyoming Ordered To Kill Elk Also
Domestic Elk Crash The Gate – Escape!

Tom Remington