Earlier this week, former Republican candidate for governor Rex Rammell was nabbed by a warden for the Idaho Fish and Game Department (IDFG), suspected of illegally killing an elk near Idaho Falls.
IDFG announced Rammell will likely face charges stemming from the incident, but the former gubernatorial candidate Thursday in a letter to supporters that he did nothing wrong. Rammell also referred to IDFG officials as “Nazis” in the message and said he will fight for more local control of hunting areas.
The agency says that Rammell had a tag for the elk, but that he killed the animal in the wrong zone and that the tag was ultimately expired. The former candidate was confronted in the Tex Creek hunting zone and IDFG says his tag was for the Middlefork area and that it expired in October.
Here is part of Rammell’s note to supporters, in which he complains about gaming officials taking his elk:
I should have read the rules closer, all 96 pages of them, but I didn’t. But what really angers me is their “guilty till proven innocent” attitude. I had an “A” tag that was required to hunt in Tex Creek. My greatest crime could only be hunting in the wrong zone. Can that possibly be grounds for confiscation of my elk? Shouldn’t I have the right to argue my case before being found guilty by a game warden on the trail? What is it with these Nazis? Honest mistakes are treated as harshly as blatant violations. And wouldn’t a suitable fine be sufficient if I actually did break the law by mistake? Why do they need to take my elk?
I think it is time to turn management of the PEOPLE’S fish and game back to local control by fishermen and hunters at the county level. After all, they actually know what is going on with the fish and game and would like them to be plentiful. To that end I will continue to fight.
The agency, in a new release, said Rammell made a “threatening statement” to the official who confronted him about the allegedly illegal kill. Rammell says it wasn’t a threat, but rather a statement defending his take. “I said ‘you better get your gun out, because you’re going to have to shoot me if you want this elk,’” wrote the eastern Idaho Republican. “I then explained to him, if he wanted the elk he would need a warrant.”
Rammell wanted the officer to take a picture of the elk, but the official demanded that the dead animal be confiscated as evidence. After arguing for at least an hour, Rammell finally relented and the game warden, aided by two state troopers, took the elk.
The IDFG news release says Rammell will be charged with illegally killing the elk, though the content of the statement indicates the investigation is ongoing.