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SHOCKER: Wildlife advocate pleads guilty to poaching

Let he who has not poached elk cast the first stone.

An outspoken Idaho wildlife advocate pleaded guilty to poaching two elk while on a hunting trip in November. This same man has been a huge critic of the state’s phosphate industry and its impact on wildlife.

Marv Hoyt announced he would leave his job as the Idaho director of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition (GYC) after he plead guilty in court for illegally killing two cow elk, the Idaho State Journal reported.

The state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife said that Hoyt killed three elk and left the meat from two of these elk to waste in a field. However, Hoyt only had one valid elk tag on his hunting trip and lied about taking the other two animals. Hoyt tried to hide his crime, by using tree branches to hide one of the elks he killed.

“Hoyt was dishonest for nearly 30 minutes regarding his knowledge of any additional animals that he may have killed, adamantly denying that he had killed any other elk the day he killed his,” the agency stated in its report.

The irony is that the Greater Yellowstone Coalition’s core mission is protecting elk and other wildlife. Hoyt is currently on vacation and will resign at the end of the year.

“GYC deeply regrets this incident and in no way either condones or excuses Marv Hoyt’s judgment,” Jeff Welsch, communications director for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, told the Associated Press. “As advocates for all lands, waters and wildlife in greater Yellowstone, our credibility depends upon consistently holding ourselves to the highest legal and ethical standards.”

According to GYC’s website, the group “works to ensure that a thoughtful and holistic approach is taken to managing the national and wildlife resources in harmony with people and modern development.”

“We work to shape a future where wildlife populations maintain their full diversity and vitality, where ecological processes function on public lands with minimal intervention, where exceptional recreational opportunities abound for visitors and residents alike, and where communities can enjoy a healthy and diversified economy,” the group’s website adds.

Hoyt has been a vocal critic of mining operations in state for their impact on wildlife, but admitted this was not the first time he illegally killed elk — he admitted to another incident back in 2001.

State officials included that incident in their report, despite the statute of limitations passing, to encourage the judge to punish Hoyt for a “pattern of carelessness.”

Hoyt was sentenced to 30 days in jail last month, but the sentence was suspended. Hoyt was also fined more than $2,100 and ordered to pay $2750 in restitution. The hypocritical wildlife advocate was also placed on four years of supervised probation and ordered to serve 32 hours of community service. He also had his hunting privileges revoked.

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