Tag Archives: poaching

Egregious Sekiu Salmon Poacher Fined, Forfeited Boat

An angler who egregiously violated Washington’s salmon regulations last summer was sentenced to pay more than $3,200 in fines, and he also forfeited his boat.

Mark Heinemann, 75, of Bainbridge Island was caught fishing alone off Sekiu with six lines out — all baited with lures with barbed hooks — off two downriggers, claimed he had only caught one fish but was eventually found to be way over his limit with 10 (half of which were also illegal to retain wild salmon) and hadn’t recorded anything on his punch card.

WDFW OFFICER BRYAN DAVIDSON POSES WITH THE BOAT, TRAILER, DOWNRIGGERS, FISHING ROD AND COMMERCIAL FLASHER-LURE COMBOS SEIZED FOLLOWING AN AT-SEA INSPECTION OF MARK HEINEMANN’S BOAT LAST AUGUST THAT TURNED UP EGREGIOUS FISHING RULES VIOLATIONS. (WDFW)

WDFW Region 6 Capt. Dan Chadwick said his fishing setups looked like what you might find on a commercial boat, though added there wasn’t any evidence he was selling his catch.

In late February, Heineman was convicted of 10 counts in Clallam County District Court, including criminal charges for possessing four wild coho and a king during a closed season, exceeding the bag limit on hatchery coho by three fish, and failing to record his catch.

Another 10 charges were dropped, according to Chadwick.

Heinemann’s 23-foot Maxum Cabin Cruiser, worth approximately $5,000, was initially seized at the dock. Later he did not contest its forfeiture to the state, according to WDFW.

While there are some Washington waters that an angler can run two lines for salmon with the second rod endorsement, Sekiu is not one of them.

Barbless hooks are also required on all of the state’s marine waters for salmon.

Wild Chinook or wild coho open weren’t open at the time either, and civil penalties for keeping unclipped salmon run up to $500 apiece.

CLALLAM COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPUTIES AND A WDFW OFFICER POSE WITH HEINEMANN’S BOAT. (WDFW)

Heinemann was spotted on Tuesday, Aug. 28, during a joint Clallam County Sheriff’s Office-WDFW patrol of the western Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Officers noticed that his second downrigger was deployed but there was not an accompanying rod with it, nor another angler on board.

When they asked Heinemann to reel up his gear for an inspection, he brought in the line of the rod attached to his other downrigger, but left the ‘rigger’s cable and ball down.

So they asked him to bring them up, and he began to but stopped part way, so they had to ask again, after which he complied “reluctantly,” according to WDFW.

As it came up, Heinemann unclipped a leader from the cable and officers saw it had a bungee attached to a flasher and lure, as did a second that came up with the cable and ball.

When they asked him to bring up the other downrigger, it had three more bungee-flasher-lure rigs.

“I’ve been on the marine unit since 2007. I’ve done thousands of boardings in that time. I’ve never seen somebody run that kind of gear off of a recreational boat,” Clallam County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Eric Munger told the Peninsula Daily News last August.

Heinemann volunteered that he had kept one hatchery coho, which he showed to the officers, though he hadn’t put it on his catch card.

Between the good bite in the Straits at the time, all the gear he had down and his claim to have only one fish, the officers were a bit suspicious.

WDFW Officer Bryan Davidson asked him again if he had any more salmon to show, and after Heinemann denied it, Davidson advised him that he thought there were in fact more on the boat.

From the cabin Heinemann brought out two garbage bags containing nine more salmon, most of which had been cleaned.

HEINEMANN WAS IN POSSESSION OF 10 SALMON, INCLUDING A WILD CHINOOK AND FOUR WILD COHO THAT WERE ILLEGAL TO RETAIN, AND FIVE HATCHERY COHO, THREE MORE THAN WERE ALLOWED. (WDFW)

Game wardens have suggested it probably wasn’t Heinemann’s first try running some much gear, but what led him to decide to break the rules so spectacularly that day last summer isn’t clear.

He hadn’t responded to efforts to contact him through Facebook, nor had he returned a message left with a man who answered his home phone this past Friday.

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Shot Fired As WDFW Officers Serve Warrant In Ferry Co.

Updated 5:40 p.m., Friday, June 7, 2019

A standoff appears to have ended in Ferry County where WDFW is now reporting “officers have confirmed one deceased individual in the barricaded residence” where one shot was fired this morning as game wardens served a warrant for alleged illegal wildlife trafficking and hunting violations.

 

That occurred at 10 a.m. and one of two residents left the abode afterwards, but the second did not.

Afterwards the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office flew its SWAT team to the site.

Very little information was initially available on the situation, likely because it was active but also due to the remote location described as near Republic, the county seat.

“Part of the issue is it’s so far out there reception is bad, so we’re not getting a lot of info,” said WDFW spokeswoman Staci Lehman in Spokane.

She reported that a chaplain for her agency and the state patrol, as well as the Ferry County coroner were onsite.

Lehman also thanked the Spokane and Ferry Counties Sheriff’s Offices for assistance.

More details as they emerge.

WDFW Reports 2 Stevens Co. Wolves Killed, 1 in Self-defense

A Stevens County man shot and killed a wolf in self-defense after it turned towards he and his daughter last weekend while they were on a hike, but the death of a collared wolf elsewhere in the county is under investigation.

WDFW Capt. Dan Rahn says the latter animal, a female, was killed off Highway 20 near the Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge.

A WDFW MAP SHOWS THE RANGE OF THE STRANGER PACK IN NORTHEAST WASHINGTON. (WDFW)

“It was transmitting a mortality signal — that’s how we found it,” he said. “We recovered it on May 27.”

He said that any tips can be phoned in to his agency’s regional office in Spokane at (509) 892-1001.

Conservation Northwest is offering a $7,500 reward for info leading to a conviction.

As for the other incident, state wolf specialist Ben Maletzke said the man and girl left their home late Sunday afternoon to go on a hike on an ATV trail onto public land when they encountered the wolf.

“About 30 yards up the trail a wolf came out of the brush,” he says.

The man, who was carrying a shotgun, “felt threatened and shot the wolf at 25 yards,” Maletzke said.

“It’s just one of those things. They just kinda crossed paths at a bad time,” he said.

Maletzke said the duo left the uncollared female wolf and returned to their home and reported the incident to WDFW.

In 20 minutes an officer arrived and began investigating, determining it had been in self-defense.

“The wolf was running at them and they were concerned for their safety,” said Capt. Rahn. “You have the right to protect yourself.”

Both he and Maletzke agreed that calling in the incident immediately was the right thing for the man to have done.

It’s the latest where state residents have been found to have been justified in shooting a wolf.

Other cases include a Blue Mountains cabin owner afraid for his dogs; a northern Ferry County livestock producer who caught a wolf in the act of attacking his cattle; an Adams County ranchhand who observed a wolf chasing cows; and a northeast Okanogan County rancher who saw a wolf approaching his day-old calves.

This most recent incident occurred in the south end of Stevens County, in the range of the Stranger Pack and most likely was a member of that group of wolves, Maltezke said, though it might also have been a wandering Huckleberry wolf.

Wolves in Northeast Washington were delisted in 2011 and this corner of the state is where most packs and individuals live. They remain state listed.

Maletzke also shared some nonlethal ways to deal with wildlife encountered afield.

“Stand tall, make yourself look big to make it go away,” he said.

Raising your voice can also help, Maletzke added.

Last summer, after wandering too close to a wolf pup rendezvous site and drawing the attention of protective parents, a Forest Service worker climbed a tree, twice.

And before he retired, Rich Landers, longtime outdoor columnist at the Spokesman-Review, posted a great video with advice for recreating with dogs where wolves might be encountered.

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.

Deer ‘Poaching’ Call In Central Cascades Turns Up Felon, Firearms

Washington game wardens are investigating a bizarre incident involving a dead blacktail deer literally pumped full of lead, five people found a few miles away, and the recovery of numerous firearms with missing serial numbers or without any at all.

A SCREENSHOT FROM A USGS MAP SHOWS THE GENERAL LOCATION OF WHERE THE DEER WAS KILLED AND THE FIVE INDIVIDUALS ENCOUNTERED NORTH OF NORTH BEND AND SNOQUALMIE. (USGS)

“We still don’t know for sure what happened,” said WDFW Sgt. Kim Chandler this afternoon. “They either flat-out poached a deer or, according to them, hit it with their car and shot it 100 times.”

“I don’t know if it was 100 times, but there were shell casings from three different weapons,” he said.

What is known is that last Friday four men and a woman whose ages and hometowns weren’t immediately available apparently drove up the North Fork Road outside North Bend east of Seattle for whatever reason and at some point 3 to 4 miles from the end of the gravel they encountered the deer.

Chandler said that there was a small crack and some deer hair on the bumper of their car, and that the deer had a broken leg, which might suggest it was run into.

But he also said the leg could have been broken due to the “dozens of dozens of rounds” of .223 and 9mm ammo shot at the animal.

The carcass was butchered — “They obviously didn’t know what they were doing,” the officer said — and put in a cooler, and the quintet apparently continued to the end of the road in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest for the night.

On Saturday, a hiker came upon the remains of the deer “in the middle of the road” and called it in as a poaching, according to Chandler.

A WDFW officer dispatched to the scene found it and in trying to figure out what had happened, called in another warden to help.

As they searched the area past the carcass and shells in the road they came across two men and a woman asleep in a car, with one of the men “on top of all kinds of AR-15s,” said Chandler.

After the trio were woken up, one of the firearms — a 9mm AR-15 pistol — came back as stolen, while others — which Chandler described as “AR-15 build-it-yourself weapons” — didn’t have serial numbers whatsoever.

When they were asked who the vehicle belonged to, they gave a name of a man who was not present and who they said had gone hiking.

As the officers were talking with the three, that man apparently came down the trail while carrying a .380-caliber handgun, along with a fifth person carrying an “assault rifle,” Chandler said.

“They did a double take, saw all the police, and headed into the brush,” he said.

That precipitated a call for backup to the King County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol and a canine unit, which caught the attention Living Snoqualmie, which first reported the incident.

Once the officers were all assembled, a public address system was used to call in the two individuals who’d run off.

The man who allegedly owned the car came out, though not with the handgun he’d been carrying, nor with the fifth person, who never came out, Chandler said.

The end of the North Fork Road is about 24 miles from North Bend.

As things began to get sorted out, it was discovered that one of the men who’d been asleep in the car with all the ARs was a convicted felon who wasn’t supposed to be around guns at all.

He was subsequently booked into King County Jail, Chandler said.

Chandler said he’s seen a lot of cases in his years with WDFW but this turned out to be among the more unusual ones.

“At the very least, it’s a violation of the (roadkill) salvage law. You have to wait for an officer to dispatch” struck and injured animals, he said.

“These guys didn’t have a clue about the salvage law, but now they do.”

While happy that the situation wasn’t anything like it seemed like — the parade of police vehicles heading up the North Fork Road sparked a rumor that a WDFW warden had been shot, Chandler said — and that nobody got hurt, it’s still an active investigation.

“It turned into a whole lot more than a poached deer,” he said. “Some serious stuff there. The ATF is very interested in all the guns without serial numbers.”

He said the state crime lab might also be able to raise those that had been filed off one weapon.

Another Southwest Washington Poacher Sentenced

The third of four major members of a loose-knit Southwest Washington poaching ring was sentenced earlier this month.

A Skamania County judge ordered Joseph A. Dills to serve a year and pay $14,000 in fines after he pled guilty to illegal big game hunting, hound hunting and wasting game, according to The Daily News of Longview.

AN IMAGE RECOVERED DURING AN INVESTIGATION OF A SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON POACHING RING SHOWS A BEAR SURROUNDED BY HOUNDS. HOUND HUNTING HAS BEEN BANNED IN THE STATE SINCE THE MID-1990S. (WDFW)

Dills was also told to stay away from other members of the group, including his father, for half a decade, and he cannot own hunting dogs.

The newspaper reported that the 32-year-old can do his time on work release to pay the fine, but noncompliance could bring even heavier fines and result in hard time instead.

It’s at least the second time in the past dozen years that Dills has been sentenced for poaching. He was a member of the “Kill ’Em All Boyz” and in 2007 pled guilty to second-degree hunting violations and illegally baiting bears. He was sentenced to over two months in jail and to pay more than $2,000 in fines.

His most recent conviction came out of a December 2016 traffic stop by Oregon State Police wildlife troopers investigating a string of headless bucks shot and left on winter range near Mt. Hood.

They matched a trail cam photo of a truck with one spotted in The Dalles and pulled it over.

Inside were William J. Haynes and Erik C. Martin, whose cell phones led to a treasure trove of evidence linking that duo with Joseph Dills and his father, Eddy Dills, and accusations they and others were complicit in the illegal killings of dozens upon dozens of deer, elk, bears and bobcats in Washington and Oregon.

Since pleading guilty to 15 counts, including five felonies, in January (Northwest Sportsman, March 2019), Haynes was sentenced to a year in jail and fined $14,800, according to The Daily News. Eddy Dills received three-plus weeks of home detention.

As for Martin, per the paper, he is scheduled to go on trial in Skamania County on May 13 for 28 wildlife violations.

Once again, hat tip to prosecutors for following such a massive case through.

Cannon Beach Ocean Patrol Finds Big Overlimit Of Lings

Five people stopped off Oregon’s North Coast were criminally cited for going way over the limit on lingcod and rockfish as well as retaining undersized fish, and apparently it wasn’t their first time doing so.

A CROPPED OREGON STATE POLICE IMAGE SHOWS THE OVERLIMIT CATCH OF LINGCOD AND ROCKFISH. (OSP)

“The boat owner said that they had done this before, and if he had seen the troopers coming from further away, he would have dumped all of the extra fish overboard,” reported state fish and wildlife troopers in their latest newsletter.

The incident occurred during a joint OSP-WDFW ocean patrol from the mouth of the Columbia River south to Cannon Beach.

Somewhere off the popular seaside destination, the crew spotted a fishing boat and decided to make contact with it.

As they approached, one occupant of the boat tossed a couple lings overboard, according to OSP, and when they came alongside troopers also saw “multiple undersized lingcod on the deck.”

The quintet claimed that those fish and some in a cooler were the only catch of the day, but a consent search turned up many more.

In the holds were 37 lings, 16 of which were under the size limit – the daily limit is two, 22 inches or better – and 22 rockfish, according to troopers.

“The anglers were found to be 27 lingcod over their daily limit and six rockfish over their limit,” OSP reports.

The five received criminal citations for exceeding daily limits on lingcod and marine fish, and retaining undersized lings. The fish were seized.

The case is similar to one reported here last year in which four individuals checked at the Hammond Marina were criminally cited for being 54 over the limit on rockfish, and one of them for keeping a too-short ling and an off-limits cabezon.

Seized fish are typically donated to local food banks.

Willamina Cow Elk Poaching Update: Tip Leads To Citations For 3 People

OSP update  1:50 p.m., March 28, 2019

Thanks to a tip from the public, Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Troopers cited three subjects for Unlawful Take/Possession of Antlerless Elk.  The elk meat was seized and donated to local charities.

Oregon State Police would like to thank the public and media for assistance in bringing this case to a resolution.

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

Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Troopers are seeking the public’s help in identifying suspect(s) involved in the killing of 3 cow elk on Willamina Creek Rd, just past mile post 8 near the upper bridge.

OREGON STATE FISH AND WILDLIFE TROOPERS BELIEVE THE THREE COW ELK WERE SHOT ABOUT 8 MILES NORTH OF WILLAMINA. (OSP)

Troopers found evidence of 3 elk that had been shot with high powered rifles on private timber property and pulled out to Willamina Creek Rd with ATV’s. A tip later the next day led Troopers to three cow elk hides dumped on NW Fir Crest Rd just west of the town of Carlton. Based on the evidence found at both sites, the elk were most likely killed between March 20, 2019 and March 23, 2019.

THE HIDES OF THREE ELK WERE FOUND DUMPED SOUTHWEST OF CARLTON. (OSP)

Please see the attached maps for precise location information of the kill sites and the dump site. Anyone who may have information that will help identify suspect(s) is asked to call the TIP line at 1-800-452-7888 or dial *OSP and refer information to Senior Trooper Boeholt or Trooper Tayler Jerome.

GOOGLE MAPS SHOW THE LOCATION THE HIDES WERE DUMPED. (OSP)

Information leading to an arrest is eligible for either a cash reward or up to 6 Preference Points. Oregon Hunter’s Association (OHA) has pledged an additional cash reward for a total cash reward option of $2500.

4 Elk Poached, Wasted In 2 Oregon Coast Counties

Oregon wildlife troopers are asking for the public’s help to solve a trio of recent poaching cases involving four elk and a hawk.

TWO OF THREE COW ELK FOUND DEAD EAST OF TILLAMOOK EARLIER THIS MONTH. (OSP)

They say that the three cows and five-point bull were found earlier this month in Tillamook and Lincoln Counties, all shot by a rifle, and they say a redtail found injured in Jackson County had been shot as well.

The cow elk were investigated Jan. 12 and were found in a clear-cut 2.5 miles up a road off Highway 6 in the Fox Creek area east of Tillamook. OSP reported that they had been killed with a high-powered rifle and left to waste, but said that evidence was gathered at the scene.

Tipsters are being asked to call OSP Dispatch (503-842-4433) and reference case number SP19-013862.

As for the bull, it was found by a landowner on Jan. 8 near Hidden Valley Road just west of Toledo.

It too was left to waste, OSP reported. Informants are being told to contact Trooper Jason Adkins (800-452-7888; 541-961-8859; TIP@state.or.us) and to reference case SP19-022825.

And the hawk was found Jan. 16 in Central Point behaving oddly and determined to have been shot. It was captured and taken to a local wildlife rehab center but died from its injury.

Anyone with info can call OSP dispatch (541-776-6111) and reference case SP19-018083.

OSP Looking For Tips In Whitetail, Elk Poaching Cases

Oregon state troopers are looking for information on whomever killed three deer and an elk in different parts of the state recently.

They say three whitetails were illegally shot in Baker County and their heads and hides were dumped northeast of Keating.

It wasn’t clear when the deer were shot or their sex, but their remains were located on Mother Lode Road.

OSP is asking anyone with info to call their dispatch center (800-442-2068) or dial *OSP and ask for Sergeant Cyr.

As for the elk, the cow was shot with a rifle and left to waste the morning of Thursday, Dec. 27, in a clearcut northwest of Roseburg by Douglas County’s Wolf Creek Ranch.

(OSP)

“A vehicle of interest is a compact truck occupied by two or more adult males (late teens or early 20’s) which traveled from Bullock Road to Tyee Access Road that morning,” OSP said in a press release.

Informants are asked to call (800)-442-2068) or dial *OSP and reference Senior Troopers Stone or Weaver.

Those whose tips lead to an arrest or citation stand to collect a reward or preference points.