Local man faces poaching charge after photos with deerPublished at | Updated at
BLACKFOOT — Prosecutors charged a Blackfoot man with a felony after Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials say he poached a trophy deer in 2016.
Gage Lee Allen, 34, is charged with felony unlawful possession of a trophy mule deer. According to charging documents obtained by EastIdahoNews.com, Fish and Game say Allen shot and killed the deer before the 2016 hunting season.
The discovery into the reportedly poached deer came as Fish and Game conducted a lengthy investigation into Allen. The hunter, who had been featured in multiple hunting magazines over the years, had already lost his hunting and trapping license in 2020 after pleading guilty to more than a decade of hunting violations.
Allen posted on Facebook on Aug. 30, 2016, claiming to have killed a deer earlier in the morning. According to a probable cause affidavit, that was the first day a hunter could legally take a deer during the archery season. Fish and Game says evidence indicated Allen shot the deer earlier.
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Allen posted two pictures on Facebook that day — one of the deer in the field and another of the deer skinned. Investigators say Allen had significant facial hair growth between the time the two photos were taken.
The first one was uploaded to Allen’s computer 38 minutes after the legal opening of the hunting season. The deer showed signs of rigor mortis, and Fish and Game experts say rigor mortis does not happen until at least an hour after death.
The new felony charge against Allen was filed on Aug. 11 in Bingham County. Despite a warrant being issued for his arrest, a judge quashed the warrant and ordered him to be summoned to court.
An initial appearance for Allen is scheduled for Thursday at the Bingham County Courthouse.
Although Allen is accused of a crime, it does not necessarily mean he committed it. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.