Tag Archives: poaching

More Details Come Out On 2 Poached NE WA Wolves

Washington wildlife managers are adding and correcting details from the weekend’s story that two female wolves have been found shot dead in Northeast Washington in recent weeks and are the subject of poaching investigations.

WDFW this afternoon reports that one was retrieved last Tuesday, Dec., 5, 15 miles southwest of the town of Republic in Ferry County.

A TRAIL CAM SHOT CAPTURED A MEMBER OF THE PROFANITY PEAK PACK. (WDFW)

It had been part of the Profanity Peak Pack in the northern portions of the county when it was radio-collared in fall 2016, but wasn’t associated with any group of wolves this fall, according to the agency.

The animal’s collar had quit transmitting early last month.

The other wolf was classified as a breeding female, and it was discovered by hunters 10 miles southeast of Colville in Stevens County on Nov. 12.

WDFW is assuming that since it was within the range of the Dirty Shirt Pack, it was a member.

Earlier press reports listed the wolves as belonging to that pack and the Smackouts, the latter of which drew outrage from Conservation Northwest, which has worked closely to prevent the pack from tangling with a local producer’s livestock over the years.

Still, it along with two other organizations subsequently, are offering up to $20,000 in reward for info on the cases.

Anyone with information is being asked to call (877) 933-9847 or (360)902-2936.

Killing a wolf in the federally delisted part of the state is listed as a gross misdemeanor, with a penalty of as much as a year in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000, according to WDFW.

Judge Hammers Elgin Man For Poaching, Wasting 2 Northeast Oregon Bull Elk

A Northeast Oregon man must serve two months in jail, has lost his hunting license for eight years and will have to pay $17,000 in fines and restitution after pleading guilty to poaching two bull elk at night from a road and with the aid of a light in mid-November 2016, wasting both animals completely.

NATHAN CROUCH AND THE TWO NORTHEAST OREGON BULL ELK HE POACHED AT NIGHT IN MID-NOVEMBER 2016 AND LEFT TO WASTE. (OSP)

Nathan Crouch, 27, who was on the lam in Nevada until last month, was recently sentenced by Union County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Powers for the four wildlife misdemeanors, according to local news outlets.

The case outraged Elgin-area residents, who provided Oregon State Police fish and wildlife troopers with “overwhelming support” in identifying Crouch as well as Dylan Crouch, then 22, and Briana Black, then 18, as suspects.

According to a report today on My Columbia Basin, Nathan Crouch admitted to shooting both elk, six- and five-point bulls.

The La Grande Observer reports that as Dylan Crouch held a spotlight on the bulls, Nathan Crouch shot them.

Black was in the vehicle.

All three are from Elgin.

Last winter Black and Nathan Crouch pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor wildlife violation and were sentenced to five days in jail, three months of probation and a loss of hunting privileges until mid-2020, the Observer‘s Cherise Kaechele reported.

Under Oregon law, poachers who kill a bull elk with six or more points on a side are on the hook for a $15,000 penalty payable to the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“The defendants in this case just left these animals to rot,” My Columbia Basin reports Union County Senior Deputy District Attorney Christopher L. Storz said. “They took nothing and, by the time they were found, no meat was salvageable. Cases like this one emphasize the need for felonies in the Oregon Game Code, something that currently just isn’t provided for under Oregon law.”

OSP Looking For Suspect(s) Who Shot 3 Mule Deer, Drove Over 2

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

The Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division in Baker City is asking for the public’s assistance in locating the person(s) responsible for the unlawful taking and waste of three mule deer (one buck, two does) that were discovered on private property off of Hunt Mountain Lane.

(OSP)

A Fish and Wildlife Officer responded to the call on Saturday November 25th and believes this happened after dark on Friday night November 24th. The officer located two mule deer does that were shot, driven over by a vehicle, and left to waste. The officer also located a buck that was shot, had the antlers removed, and was left to waste.

A reward is being offered by the Oregon Hunters Association through the Turn-In-Poachers (T.I.P.) program for any information leading to an arrest in this or any other wildlife case. Callers can remain anonymous. The T.I.P. program number is 1-800-452-7888.

Anyone with any information is encouraged to contact either the TIP hotline or by calling Sergeant Cyr at the Oregon State Police Worksite in Baker City at 541-523-5867 extension 4170.

Wardens Have ‘Multiple Leads’ On Moose Poached Near Lake Wenatchee

Word that a moose was poached, had its head chopped off and was mostly wasted in Chelan County earlier this fall enraged many on Facebook, and they shared the call for tips widely, helping game wardens searching for whomever illegally killed the locally rare big game animal.

“We are currently following up on multiple leads obtained by hunters and citizens that were in the area around the time of the poaching,” says WDFW Officer Blake Tucker today. “We have had quite a bit of help from the public, which is what is going to get this case solved.”

As a hunter, I know it’s the health of the herd that matters the most, not so much the individual animal, and that critters at the edge of their range are naturally few and far between. But this one particularly galls me.

Though there’s not a hunting season here now, one day we’ll be able to put in for a bull permit or two, yet the illegal kill north of Lake Wenatchee may have pushed that further out into the future.

This is one of two main areas of Central Washington where moose are moving to from the core of their range in the state’s northeast corner, where 178 tags were available for this year.

A WDFW map shows a number of citizen observations in the upper Wenatchee River watershed just last year.

WDFW’S MOOSE OBSERVATION MAP SHOWS THE LOCATIONS OF 329 PUBLIC REPORTS IN 2016, 320 OF WHICH CORRESPOND WITH SIGHTINGS OF ACTUAL MOOSE. THE OTHER NINE REPORTS WERE NONSIGHTINGS, IMPORTANT DATA TO ALSO COLLECT TO BETTER DETERMINE POPULATIONS. (WDFW)

It was here that a decade or more ago I first heard of moose in the area: One of my dad’s old coworkers, Neil B., talked about seeing one up the Chiwawa.

That was a sign, it turned out. Moose are not unlike wolves in that young ones tend to disperse in search of good habitat, and they appear to be finding it — and one another.

In 2013, reader Mike Quinn, who hunts this part of the state, began telling me about moose he’d been spotting then capturing on trail cameras.

CHELAN COUNTY BULL MOOSE. (MIKE QUINN/FLICKR.COM)

Subsequent images from Quinn’s cams captured a couple little moose trains moving through the woods — in a 2014 photo, a cow and its bull calf followed by an adult bull, and in a 2016 shot, a cow and two calves.

The moose that was poached earlier this fall — its carcass was found about 50 yards off a logging road in the Meadow Creek area with only the head and a bit of meat taken — may or may not have been one of those animals. It’s a loss to a budding population either way.

IMAGES FROM THE SCENE WHERE A MOOSE WAS POACHED NEAR LAKE WENATCHEE EARLIER THIS FALL. (WDFW)

(WDFW

The aforementioned WDFW map is part of a two-page synopsis of the agency’s public moose survey program for last year, which suggests a high calf:cow ratio among those colonizing the eastern slopes of the North Cascades.

According to extrapolated data from 20 observations in Okanogan County — to the north of Chelan County — one could expect 83 calves per 100 cows there.

Admittedly, the sample size is small, and state wildlife biologists, aided by aircraft and tracking snow on the ground, might come up with a different ratio.

But for what it’s worth, that figure is four times as high as citizen reports for Pend Oreille County, where moose began filtering into the state in the 1950s and where the first few tags were offered in the 1970s.

If they’re that fecund in Okanogan County, it seems probable that those in Chelan County might be doing similarly well — possibly better with one less predator currently in the portfolio.

While Alces alces is often photographed belly deep in ponds, those in this part of the state are actually benefiting from changes on dry land.

The large-scale wildfires of recent decades “have improved moose habitat,” says WDFW, and that’s included the eruption of willows and other browse across blaze-scarred landscapes.

Last month, as we pulled a mule deer buck out of an area that has seen two major fires, there on the ground were the telltale round doots of a moose. A friend found the first such pellets not far away several years ago.

While moose numbers are clearly growing, it’s unknown how many are actually in Chelan and Okanogan Counties. Ironically, biologists need more data from people who don’t actually see any to get a better idea of how many there might be.

“To obtain accurate data, we need more dedicated participants who will not only submit a report when they see a moose, but also report hours afield when they do not see any moose. For example, if you plan to deer hunt for four consecutive days, submit a report for each day you are hunting, whether you see a moose or not,” says WDFW’s moose man, Jared Oyster, in the annual survey report for 2016.

Year-over-year trends are helpful, but knowing how many bulls, cows and calves are in the area will go a long way towards setting up a limited hunt once a big enough herd has established itself.

Unfortunately, there’s now one fewer moose around Lake Wenatchee because some jackass or jackasses poached it, stealing the future from legitimate hunters.

Anyone with information on the case can contact WDFW’s regional office at (509) 662-0452 and ask for Officer Tucker.

Whomever’s guilty faces as much as $9,000 in fines and penalties and up to a year in jail.

Tips Sought About Moose Poached, Wasted Near Lake Wenatchee

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS FROM WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE LAW ENFORCEMENT

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Police are investigating the poaching of an adult moose near Meadow Creek, in the Lake Wenatchee area of Chelan County. Only a small number of Moose exist near Lake Wenatchee and there is no established hunting season for them.  The carcass was found in a clearing not more than 50 yards from the road. Only the head and some portions of meat were taken leaving the rest to waste.

(WDFW)

Officers are examining evidence recovered from the scene and reviewing security footage from roads in the vicinity.  They are asking anyone with information to call the WDFW Wenatchee District Office at 509-662-0452 and ask to speak with Officer Tucker. Those who provide information leading to an arrest may be eligible for a cash reward or bonus points for special permit hunting opportunities.

(WDFW8

Killing a moose out of season carries a maximum penalty of $5000 and up to one year in jail, or both.  It also carries an additional criminal wildlife penalty of $4000.

(WDFW)

 

 

OSP Looking For Tips On Poached Starkey Buck

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

The Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division is asking for the public’s help in locating the subjects who shot and left to waste a mature mule deer buck in the Starkey Wildlife Management Unit in Union County.

(OSP)

On Saturday October 28th, 2017 an elk hunter notified Oregon State Police that he had located the carcass of deer. Senior Trooper Kris Davis responded to the scene to investigate. It is believed the deer was killed on the evening or night of Thursday October 27th or the morning of Friday October 28th. During this time the 1st season Rocky Mountain elk season was open. Only the antlers and skull cap were removed from the deer, all of the meat was left and was wasted. The deer was killed off the 21 road, 500 and 410 spurs. This location is near Dark Canyon, west of the Spring Creek area off I-84 outside of LaGrande.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Senior Trooper Kris Davis at the LaGrande Patrol Office, 541-805-4757. Callers can also stay anonymous by calling the Turn In Poachers (TIP) hotline at 1-800-452-7888.

OSP Looking For Leads In Case Of Buck Gunned Down In Bow Season Near Prineville

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

The Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Division is asking the public’s help to identify the person(s) responsible for the unlawful taking and wasting of a buck deer in Crook County.

(OSP)

On the afternoon of September 16th, 2017, OSP was notified of a dead buck deer north of Prineville located 1 1/2 miles from McKay Creek on McKay Creek Road (USFS 33).

The deer was located approximately 75 yards from the roadway and the 2×3 buck only had a portion of one back-strap removed. The rest of the buck was left to waste.

The buck deer had been shot with a rifle during the archery season. It is believed this occurred September 14th or 15th prior to the poaching discovery.

If you have any information please contact the Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division at your local office or use the below information to report wildlife violators on the TIP Line.

TIP Hotline: 1-800-452-7888 (24/7)

TIP E-Mail: TIP@state.or.us (Monitored M-F 8:00AM – 5:00PM)

‘They Just Want To See Stuff Die’: 10 In SW WA Under Suspicion Of Widespread Poaching

Fury.

That’s all I’m feeling now.

Overnight, news broke that 10 Southwest Washington residents are being investigated for illegally killing a repulsive number of deer, elk, bears and other wildlife over the last 20 months.

“The death toll continues to increase,” says WDFW Deputy Chief Mike Cenci this morning. “We figure around 100 animals taken during closed season, in excess of limits or without proper tags, but the vast majority are closed season.”

TV news coverage shows head upon head upon head of bucks — 26 found during search warrants served by one-third of Washington’s fish and wildlife officers in March, according to Portland station KPTV.

BUCK HEADS AND A RIFLE SEIZED DURING SEARCH WARRANTS SERVED IN COWLITZ COUNTY IN MARCH. (WDFW VIA KPTV)

Also unearthed, multiple videos of hounds baying bears, a style of hunting that was outlawed 20 years ago. The individuals are believed to have killed close to 50 bruins; in one video, a man can be heard to say that a particular flat had yielded four.

 

(WDFW)

(WDFW)

(WDFW)

Another image shows a bobcat that appears to have been chewed up by dogs.

(WDFW)

The animals are believed to have been killed in both Washington and Oregon going back to at least August 2015.

“If not for the efforts of Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division troopers, who knows how long they’d have continued taking deer,” credits Cenci.

During this past winter’s harsh conditions, OSP wildlife officers set up trail cams to catch those responsible for leaving a trail of headless deer in a prime mule deer controlled tag unit, stealing bucks from legitimate hunters.

(WDFW)

It is unclear if the two men OSP asked for help identifying in mid-April about White River Wildlife Area wildlife violations in early February were tied to the case or not.

“It just kept growing,” OSP Lieutenant Ryan Howell told KPTV about the case. “The offenses, not only did they occur in The Dalles, they were all over the state of Oregon and Washington. This was something that was going on a long time, and something that would continue if we didn’t loop in Washington.”

(WDFW)

It left game wardens seething.

“These individuals involved with this case are what I would term the worst of the worst,” WDFW Region 5 Capt. Jeff Wickersham told KPTV. He said they suspects were “going out there and killing to kill.”

Similarly Cenci, who called the suspects “wholesale natural resource murderers” on camera, can’t answer the question why someone would do this.

“Because they’re just killers. They just want to see stuff die. It’s a sick and twisted mentality; you and I will not get it,” he told Northwest Sportsman. “It’s so shocking. Most human beings wouldn’t do this.”

At first glance, the alleged crimes would appear to qualify as spree killing of wildlife, which allows for straight-away first-degree poaching charges to be filed, although some of the suspects may also be repeat offenders and be subject to that anyway.

The case comes as Washington lawmakers considers WDFW’s budget for the next two years.

“We’re really short on staff,” Cenci says. “Our officers are completely frustrated — they were patrolling areas these guys were wholesale poaching. We need to do more to put more officers in the field.”

While the Eyes in the Woods program is successful and hunters and citizens can be rewarded for turning in poaching tips, more needs to be done to combat despicable acts like this.

“As the Legislature considers our budget, I have to hope they’re aware of our relevance to the quality of life in Washington state,” says Cenci.

Upon learning of the case this morning, a friend of mine was mulling an aspect of sharia law, cutting off the hands of the offenders.

We don’t do that in the United States, but so help me, this is so egregious that I hope when county prosecutors on both sides of the Columbia get these charges, they act on them, cut no deals — zero, none, prosecution to the fullest extent of the law — and absolutely nail the perpetrators for these heinous actions.

Killing for the sake of killing cannot be tolerated.