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Central Washington Pronghorn Management Subject Of 2 Meetings, Survey

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) wants to hear from residents on how to manage pronghorns on portions of central Washington. The agency will host two public listening sessions to gather stakeholder feedback on pronghorn antelope management.

PRONGHORN WANDER ACROSS FRIGID DOUGLAS COUNTY FIELDS IN LATE 2016 FOLLOWING COLVILLE TRIBES TRANSLOCATIONS TO THE RESERVATION ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER FROM THERE. (ERIC BRAATEN, WDFW)

“Pronghorn are some of the rarest and least-known large mammals in Washington. Historically, they’ve been a natural part of our ecosystems across the flat grassland areas of eastern Washington, though loss of habitat and changes in climate have made it difficult for a sustainable population to survive,” said Rich Harris, game division section manager. “I think they’re great to have on the landscape, and we’re working with local communities to produce an effective plan to manage them.”

The first meeting is 7 p.m. Monday, June 3 at Pioneer Hall in Mansfield. The second meeting is 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 4 at the Benton Rural Electric Association, 402 7th St, Prosser.

WDFW is seeking the public’s feedback to develop a pronghorn antelope management plan. At the meeting, WDFW staff will give a background of pronghorn in Washington, address issues and concerns, and identify opportunities for pronghorn management.

In addition to the two public listening meetings, we invite the public to provide their feedback in our online pronghorn survey (https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/at-risk/species-recovery/pronghorn-antelope-management). The survey will go live later this week.

Pronghorn antelope are small, between 70 and 150 pounds, and eat small flowering plants. They coexist with livestock, but can cause damage to crops. Unlike mule deer, pronghorns do not jump well, so fencing can cause problems when they try to escape predators.

Pronghorn antelope populations declined significantly in Washington prior to the 19th century, when they were extirpated or locally extinct in Washington.

Washington state officials previously attempted to reintroduce pronghorns on several occasions in the 1900s. In 2011, the Yakama Tribe reintroduced 99 pronghorns onto their reservation. In 2016 and 2017, the Colville Confederation Tribes reintroduced roughly 150 pronghorns onto their reservation.

Since these reintroductions, the pronghorns have migrated from the reservations onto state-managed lands. WDFW is working with local communities to create a pronghorn management plan for Washington.

Corvallis Man Loses Hunting Privileges For 8 Years After Wildlife Crimes

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON STATE POLICE FISH AND WILDLIFE DIVISION

Anthony A. Coleman, age 33, from Corvallis, pleaded guilty in the Benton County Circuit Court to two counts of Taking, Angling, Hunting, or Trapping in Violation in Wildlife Law or Rule and Possession of Prohibited Firearm as Class A Misdemeanors.

ANTHONY A. COLEMAN. (OSP)

He was sentenced to:

· Hunting privileges suspended for a period of 8 years

· 36 months bench probation to include no participation in hunting, trapping, or shed hunting activities

· $20,400 in fines, fees, and restitution

· 30 days of work crew

· Forfeiture of all seized rifles, bows and animal parts

· 10 days in jail

AN IMAGE ACCOMPANYING AN OREGON STATE POLICE PRESS RELEASE ON THE CASE SHOWS NUMEROUS TROPHY MOUNTS AS WELL AS A BOW. (OSP)

The charges stemmed from an investigation which resulted in the service of several search warrants by the Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division Mid-Valley Team last year.

The investigation began when an anonymous person advised Troopers of Coleman killing two bull elk on the same day. The search warrants served led to multiple other charges to include a buck deer that was killed out of season and a short-barreled rifle found in possession of Coleman.

The three charges Coleman plead guilty to was part of a plea agreement offered by the Benton County DA’s Office. Multiple charges relating to the unlawful taking of big game animals were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Salem Couple, Others Cited For Poaching Multiple Bucks, Other Animals

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON STATE POLICE FISH AND WILDLIFE DIVISION

On February 14, 2018, the LaPine Office of the Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division completed a four month investigation into the unlawful killing of several Winter Range Trophy Class Mule Deer Bucks. They were assisted by Fish and Wildlife Troopers from both the Klamath Falls and Salem offices.

(OSP)

The investigation originated when a trooper located a trophy class buck deer shot near Cabin Lake Road in Lake County with the assistance from the OSP Fish and Wildlife Aircraft during winter range patrol. That incident led to a search warrant being executed at the residence of G.W. Todd FULFER, age 40, and his wife Samantha GERMAN-FULFER, age 27, in Salem, on January 31, 2018. Evidence at the residence, along with additional information, led Fish and Wildlife Troopers to the Albany home of Scott Allan HARRIS, age 55. Upon the service of a second search warrant, additional evidence was seized including several trophy class antlers.

A fourth suspect, Jacen Todd FULFER, age 19, was contacted at his residence in Lebanon, as officers conducted their investigations in Salem and Albany.

All four suspects were cited into Lake County Circuit Court on a variety of charges ranging from Take/Possession-Buck Deer (Felony), Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Waste of Game Mammal, and Hunting Game Mammal Prohibited Method.

The investigation produced evidence indicating both Samantha GERMAN-FULFER and her husband, GW Todd FULFER, committed wildlife crimes in Lake, Jefferson, Benton, Linn, and Marion Counties. In addition to the multiple deer suspected to have been poached by the FULFERS in 2017, evidence at the residence suggested that a wild turkey and pheasant were also harvested illegally. The suspects were also cited into the other counties for Felon in Possession of a Firearm and various Wildlife Crimes.

Anyone with any information is encouraged to contact either the TIP hotline at 1-800-452-7888, *OSP (*677) or by calling Oregon State Police Dispatch at 541-776-6111.

Rising Cougar Numbers In Oregon Coast Range Spurs Alsea WMU Research Project

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

A few decades ago, cougars in the coast range were practically unheard of. But as Oregon’s healthy cougar population has expanded into northwest Oregon from population strongholds in the Blue Mountains and south Cascades, ODFW is observing  more cougar harvest, sightings and damage complaints along the coast.

(ODFW)

Researchers have studied cougar home range sizes, population densities and diet  in the Cascades and eastern Oregon, but not along the coast. A new study aims to change that through a research effort that will collar 10 adult cougars in  the Alsea Wildlife Management Unit, which includes parts of Lincoln and Benton counties.

ODFW will work with volunteer agents who have hounds to tree cougars in the study area so ODFW can immobilize them, take samples including blood and DNA, and get them fitted with a GPS collar. Location data collected from the collars will be used to calculate home range size and habitat selection.

Like similar research in other parts of the state, the study will also use scat detection dogs to refine a cougar population estimate for the unit and to analyze their diet. The scat provides DNA data used in capture-recapture models that estimate population size and density. The diet analysis provides important information on what percent of common prey items (deer, elk or small mammal) are making up area cougars’ diets.

Collaring of the cougars will begin this month and  will continue until 10 adults are collared or April 1, 2019.  Once a cougar is collared the GPS unit will collect location data for 17 months.

It is legal to harvest a collared cougar but ODFW prefers that hunters not shoot a cougar with a collar if possible. Hunters who do will need to contact ODFW and return the collar so the data can be retrieved and the collar reused, plus complete the normal check-in process that is required whenever a hunter takes a cougar or bear in Oregon.

“Better  data means better science based management decisions, and this data will help refine our cougar population estimates for this region,” says Jason Kirchner, district wildlife biologist in Newport. “This research will help ODFW manage for a viable population of cougars and assess effects on their prey populations, so we can improve management and conservation decisions for both cougars and ungulate species on the coast.”

Oregon’s statewide cougar population is estimated at 6,400. The Alsea Unit is part of Zone A, the Coast/North Cascades Zone, which has an estimated population of 950 cougars of all age classes.

The research is being funded through federal grants from the Wildlife Restoration Act and donations from Oregon Wildlife Foundation and the Oregon Hunters Association.