POACHING — Officers from three enforcement agencies worked together to make a case and a male suspect has been charged for illegally killing a trophy bull elk in Pend Oreille County.
Charles I. Fraley, 27, of Ione has been charged by the county prosecutor with unlawful big game hunting in the second degree, according to District Court clerks. Fraley's arrainment is set for Friday, Oct. 11, at 1 p.m.
- Fraley is not a new face to officers investigating wildlife crimes. In 2009, he was charged for killing a common loon.
While the illegal killing of a bull other hunters dream a lifetime of tagging is upsetting, the interesting part of the story is the teamwork of three agencies to make the citation.
According to a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife enforcement report:
WDFW Officer Don Weatherman responded to a report of a trophy bull elk being shot with a rifle during the archery season near Ione. A Pend Oreille County Sheriff's Deputy already had a person of interest standing by to speak with Weatherman when he arrived on scene.
Weatherman interviewed the male subject, who had driven into the area where the 6x6 trophy elk had been shot. In the meantime, the Sheriff's Deputy and Border Patrol Agents, who were also on scene, went in search of shell casings in an area of interest and were successful in locating evidence critical to the case!
The Border Patrol Agents also assisted with the use of a tracking dog to backtrack the subject's activities away from his vehicle.After interviewing the subject, the young male admitted to shooting the bull with his rifle, which was stashed in the woods after the elk was shot and before he returned to his vehicle. The subject then took officers to the rifle as well as the area where he had fired the deadly shot.
Charges have been filed.All of the meat was salvaged and donated to the Ione Food Bank.