Renegade outfitter faces decade in federal prison

By John Miller

Associated Press

Published: Friday, May 27 2011 9:48 p.m. MDT

BOISE — A renegade Idaho hunting outfitter who once accused an NBA player of bribery is back in the news, this time for operating an unlicensed guiding business and misrepresenting important information in a bankruptcy filing six years ago.

Sidney R. Davis of Soda Springs pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court and faces up to 10 years in prison when he's sentenced Aug. 31.

In 2006, he garnered national attention by accusing his one-time business partner, former Utah Jazz basketball star Karl "The Mailman" Malone, of bribery.

Davis has operated Trail Creek Lodge near Soda Springs since 1993, but he had his outfitting and guiding license revoked in 1996 after violating Idaho regulations.

In this latest case, Davis admitted he illegally guided a mule deer hunt in October 2008.

He also acknowledged omitting material information from his 2005 Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, in what federal prosecutors say was a bid to shield his assets from people to whom he owed money.

"Sid Davis sought to continue making a profit from work as a hunting guide despite the fact that he knew he no longer held a license," said U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson. "And he sought to keep those profits at the expense of his creditors by making false statement in his bankruptcy proceedings."

Davis didn't return a phone call Thursday seeking comment on his guilty plea.

Idaho law requires that hunting guides be properly licensed by the state.

One of Davis' employees at Trail Creek Lodge, Jeffrey Dickman of Islamorada, Fla., also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for helping guide customers from Nevada during the 2008 hunt, in which the hunters killed a mule deer.

Over the years, Davis has been the center of controversy at his hunting lodge on the fringes of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, a 3 million acre expanse of timber, grassland and sagebrush that stretches from the Montana, Utah, and Wyoming borders and is home to elk, mule deer and grizzly bears.

He went after Malone in 2006, alleging the two-time NBA most-valuable player offered Davis $25,000 to cover for him in a federal investigation into a 1998 hunt. Malone took part in the allegedly illegal hunt, but was never charged

An Idaho judge threw out the bribery case against Malone in 2006.

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