Marv Hoyt, an advocate for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, is set to retire from his position at the end of this month — following his admissions last month that he illegally killed and wasted two elk.
Jeff Welsch, communications director for GYC in Montana, said Hoyt is currently on vacation, which will last through the end of the month, and is effectively no longer working for the advocacy group. Hoyt had been serving as Idaho director in Idaho Falls.
Hoyt could not be reached Tuesday for comment.
The group also released an official statement about the incident.
“GYC deeply regrets this incident and in no way either condones or excuses Marv Hoyt’s judgment,” said Caroline Byrd, GYC’s executive director. “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. This incident does not in any way reflect our values.”
According to an investigation report from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Hoyt killed three cow elk in the Nate Canyon area near Crow Creek in Caribou County. Permitted and licensed for the
Nov. 2 hunt, Hoyt was only allowed one elk.
Hoyt was charged on Nov. 13 with two misdemeanors, one accusing him of unlawful taking of game and the other of wasteful destruction of wildlife. He pleaded guilty to both charges on Nov. 19.
Sixth District Magistrate David Evans sentenced Hoyt to 30 days in jail, suspended the sentence, fined him more than $2,100 and ordered that he pay $2,750 in restitution. Hoyt was also placed on four years supervised probation, ordered to serve 32 hours of community service and had his hunting privileges revoked for several years. The Idaho Repository of court data was not clear on just how many years his privileges were revoked.
The wasted elk came to the attention of Fish and Game officer Blake Phillips on Nov. 9, when he was on a hunting trip in that same Nate Canyon area. Phillips called in fellow officers Marc Porter and Cody Allen, and the three began their investigation.
They found three elk within 100 yards of one another. The first had been gutted and the meat was taken. But the officers note in their report that there were some unusual circumstances with that elk, because its ivory teeth, typically taken by hunters, were left behind.
Almost 100 yards from that first cow elk, the officers found a second, which had not been harvested. About 65 yards from that second elk, they found a third cow elk, which had also not been harvested.
The officers wrote that both elk appeared to have been shot initially in the hindquarter and finished off by being shot in the head at close range. All three still had their ivory teeth in place.
In their investigation, the officers went to the landowner, who had a cabin about one mile from the kill site. The landowner told officers that Hoyt had been hunting in the area on Nov. 2.
The officers then made the trip to Idaho Falls where Hoyt lives to question him about the kills. Hoyt admitted to the one kill, even showing the officers the packed meat. But the report goes on to note that “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.”
In his report, Phillips notes that a resident living where the illegal kills occurred, made reference to past incident’s involving Hoyt, including one in which he had killed two cows and put another hunter’s tag on one of them. That person, who was not identified in the report, said he did not allow Hoyt to hunt on properties he managed.
Hoyt, when explaining that incident to officers, said he shot one of the elk, but was unable to track it down, then later shot a second elk, only to find the first. Hoyt also admitted to officers that in 2001, he had killed a spike elk on a cow tag and “snuck it out.”