Outdoors blog

Poachers keep wildlife officers busy

POACHING PATROL -- Washington Fish and Wildlife Department enforcement officers in the Spokane Region seem to be answering an increased number of serious poaching calls, Capt. Mike Whorton said today.
Recent examples include...

In Whitman County, subjects trespassed onto their neighbor's property to shoot three bull elk. One 6x6 bull was still lying in the pasture off a county road when officer Brendan Vance arrived after a tip. Drag marks from two other bulls were evident. When the officer tracked down the subjects with the two bulls he soon found out that one of the men had purchased his muzzleloader elk tag AFTER his animal in possession was killed.
 
Neither of the two subjects admitted to shooting at or even knowing about the 6x6 left behind.They said they each fired only one shot.  Two days later, the subject who was hunting without a tag called and said he miraculously remembered that he did fire another shot before killing the bull he dragged out, and said he must have killed the 6x6 as well.
 
"Ballistic tests will be performed on both muzzleloaders to ensure his memory is accurate, and he will most likely have more charges coming his way," Whorton said.
 
Zebra mussels were found to be infesting a boat that had been stopped at the Spokane Port of Entry. Officers responded to be sure the vessel was properly decontaminated.
 
Dangerous wildlife calls required officer assistance, including moose in urban areas and rural complaints about depredation.
 
TOTAL ARRESTS in the Spokane region last week: 16, plus six warnings.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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