Trophy elk hunter tagged for lying, hiring helicopter

 HUNTING — Outback Outfitters guide Jon C. Wick, 46, of Summerville, Ore., and Tod L. Reichert, 72, of Salkum, Wash., have pleaded guilty to criminal violations in a 2007 Blue Mountains elk hunt involving Washington’s coveted “Governor’s tag.”

Reichert purchased the Eastern Washington Any Bull Elk-Governor's Auction Tag for approximately $47,000. Reichert hired Wick for scouting and guiding services.

Reichert also hired a helicopter service to spot elk for the hunt, which is unlawful in Washington and most other states.

In December 2007, Reichert killed a trophy elk in the Umatilla National Forest with Wick's assistance outside the area the Forest Service had authorized Wick to provide outfitter-guiding services.

Reichert later falsely claimed that Wick had provided no professional services during the hunt or been paid any money for his services.

In 2008, Wick again provided professional outfitter-guiding services in the Umatilla National Forest to the purchaser of the 2008 Governor's Tag, which cost approximately $65,000. At that time, Wick did not have Forest Service authorization to provide the guiding services.

Reichert’s sentence includes a $5,000 fine and two years probation during which he cannot enter a national forest.

Described as “a strong supporter of elk hunting and improving elk habitat,” he has killed several record-book bulls by outbidding other rich trophy hunters to get coveted tags, including $40,000 for the 2007-08 New Mexico Governor's Tag, $19,000 for the 2001 Oregon Governor's Tag, $16,000 for the 2003 edition, and an unpublished amount for the 1999 California tule bull elk tag.

 Read more details about this man's debatable contributions to the sport of  elk hunting in this report by Andy Walgamott of Northwest Sportsman Magazine.

Wick’s sentencing is set for Sept. 13.

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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog

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.

By Rich Landers richl@spokesman.com (509) 459-5508

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