With money like this on offer, it may not be too long before bounty hunters come sniffing around Northwest Washington’s woods.
Word this afternoon that the reward for info on early January’s killing of four eagles in Snohomish County has grown to over $20,000.
WDFW deputy chief Mike Cenci says that the Campbell Group, a large timberland owner based in Portland, just added $6,500 to the pot.
That’s on top of the Stillaguamish Tribe’s $10,000 and $3,750 from WDFW, Conservation Northwest and another organization.
The birds — three white-headed adults and one juvenile — are believed to have been shot out of trees above an undisclosed lake not far from Granite Falls by someone firing a small-caliber rifle. Their carcasses were fished out of the water Jan. 10 by fish and wildlife officers; they were found there they day before.
The case was initially posted on WDFW Law Enforcement’s Facebook page and got massive sharing and comment.
Still, it’s proven to be a tough case to crack.
“We’ve received some leads from well-meaning people, but nothing of substance yet,” says Cenci.
Bald eagles are protected by state and federal law. Those convicted of illegally killing one face fines of up to $1,000 and three months in jail; there’s also a $2,000 penalty per bird that can be collected, WDFW has stated.
Cenci notes that it’s not the only raptor case he’s working on; another involves the killing of a dozen and a half hawks by one individual.
And then there’s the maddening spree killing of big game in North-central Washington for which he would love to have more money to offer as a reward.
“If I could just muster ($20,000) for trophy bucks getting whacked in Okanogan County, that would be great,” he said.