For the second time in two weeks and third time this year, there’s been an apparent spree deer poaching in the eastern Columbia Basin.
The latest was reported yesterday and involved three bucks and two does discovered in or near a northern Lincoln County alfalfa field, according to WDFW.
The five whitetails were apparently shot last week on either Oct. 4 or 5 and with a small caliber rifle.
All were left to rot; no meat was taken, the agency reports.
The incident occurred in the Little Falls area, north of Reardan in the Harrington Game Management Unit. The rifle hunt there opens this Saturday with a three-point minimum for whitetail and mule deer bucks.
With a cash reward or bonus permit points being offered for information leading to an arrest, the public is being asked to call WDFW Officer Curtis Wood (509-892-1001) with tips.
Just the week before five more whitetails were jacklighted early on the morning of Sept. 28 between Mead and Newman Lake in eastern Spokane County. Two fawns in the group appear to have been run over.
What the hell?
Again, all five were wasted — no meat was taken.
A reward of up to $2,500 is being offered in that case.
Then there was the spree killing of at least six mule deer down in Adams County last March.
I’m not saying it’s teenagers/young men with too much time and bullets on their hands, but I’m starting to wonder if what might be going on is anything like a recent case in Wisconsin where three jackasses shot 100 deer. One of them, a Nathan Blaha, explained his rationale thusly:
“The reason I was doing this was because we all kind of had bets who could get the most deer.”
For more, see this article.
WDFW Enforcement Division deputy chief Mike Cenci doesn’t think the three cases are related, “but I don’t think they’re the only incidents from these individuals.”
“You don’t just wake up in the middle of the night and decide you’re going to be a spree poacher and we get lucky and find the animals,” he says.
Cenci suspects it’s probably a group of individuals in each case.
“Usually it’s not a lone ranger,” he says.
The jacklighters from the Spokane County case were particularly “bold,” he says.
“They lit up the farm house.”