WILDLIFE — Poachers are contributing to anti-poaching efforts as nearly a thousand antlers seized from wildlife cases over the last decade are being sold by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in an online auction that closes Tuesday (June 5).
At last check, the bid for a 6-point bull elk rack that started two weeks ago at under $30 was up to $227.50.
Items available during the auction include:
- 33 trophy elk racks.
- 22 trophy deer racks.
- Five trophy moose racks.
- About 450 pounds of single large and medium elk antlers (large size antlers - 3 bundles; medium size antlers - 18 bundles).
- About 250 pounds of single small elk antlers in one lot (tote).
- About 120 pounds of single large size deer antlers (10 bundles).
- About 140 pounds of single small/medium deer antlers in one lot (tote).
- About 40 pounds of single moose antlers (2 bundles).
The auction, conducted by the State Department of Enterprise Services (DES), will conclude the afternoon of June 5. Photos of the antlers and other information about the auction, including how to view the items in person, are available online.
Register here to participate in the online auction.
While this is a good opportunity for the public to obtain hard-to-get antlers, the auction also highlights poaching as a serious problem in Washington, said Mike Cenci, the agency's deputy chief of enforcement.
“Poachers steal directly from the citizens, and disadvantage hunters in Washington – the vast majority of which follow the law,” he said.
Many legal hunters wait years to draw a special permit allowing them to harvest trophy animals, said Cenci. “Ethical hunters’ chances of harvesting a trophy animal can be greatly reduced by poachers, especially those that kill multiple animals.”
WDFW’s Enforcement Program includes 134 Fish and Wildlife police officers stationed throughout Washington. However, WDFW still relies on tips from the public, Cenci said.
Report wildlife violation by phone (877) 933-9847), email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or text message (847411 TIP411).
Funds from the antler auction will be used in the fight against poaching, which includes paying rewards to people who report fish and wildlife violations that lead to a conviction, Cenci said.