Posts tagged: poaching
UPDATED 11:41 a.m. with details of arrest from officer's incident report:
FISHING — Last night, a man at the Spokane Fly Fishers program asked me if I'd heard a fishing report from Lake Lenore. I didn't have an answer for him, but I do today.
The fishing for large Lahontan cutthroat trout at the quality fishery is pretty darned good - IF YOU'RE POACHING with GILLNETS.
Washington Fish and Wildlife Department officers arrested four Western Washington men in the early hours of Saturday morning with 242 cutthroats seized in an illegal night-time netting operation at the prized Grant County lake.
The lake is managed as a “quality fishery,” attracting anglers who want to use single barbless hooks and no bait to catch-and-release large fish. Anglers are allowed to keep no more than one fish at day from Lenore.
Arrested were Vitaliy Kachinskiy, 23, of Mount Vernon and three Everett men: Sergey Otroda, 32, Igor Bigun, 26 and Oleg Pavlus, 25.
The Grant County prosecutor's office said today it has not yet begun processing the case.
“We have members of two ethnic groups involved with an annual thing of illegal netting that's causing great concern for our fish program,” said WDFW Capt. Chris Anderson in Ephrata. “One group has been caught targeting mostly whitefish at Banks Lake and this group was targeting the big spawning cutthroats at Lenore. The 242 fish were just one night's catch. We're not sure how many nights or weeks worth of fish they've taken out of the lake.”
WDFW agents also nabbed two Spokane men from another ethnic group for similar illegal netting activity in January. One of the subjects threatened an arresting officer with retribution.
This is a huge bummer for fishermen. Not only do we deal with environmental issues that plague fish, but also with human pond scum that will do this to a fishery that means so much to anglers and the local economy.
Read on for the chilling details about the stake out and arrest.
FISHING — Numerous lakes already are open for fishing, but a few folks apparently like the elbow room they find at waters that aren't officially open.
They kept Spokane Region Wildlife police busy last week. Here are a few excerpts from the regional enforcement weekly report:
Officer Snyder patrolled the Spokane River and lakes in the Medical Lake and Cheney areas. Two groups of anglers were cited for fishing closed season at West Medical Lake.
Officer Snyder checked anglers at Liberty Lake and arrested one on an outstanding warrant out of Lincoln County.
Officer Spurbeck patrolled the Spokane River and contacted two subjects fishing closed waters. The subjects were also using terminal gear and neither subject had a valid fishing license.
Sergeant Charron responded to two fisherman fishing closed waters on Deep Lake. Suspects attempted to hide fishing gear but were unsuccessful.Officer Vance patrolled the Touchet and Tucannon Rivers. One angler was contacted as he was fishing directly at the base of the dam in Dayton on the Touchet River. He said he saw the no fishing signs and knew he was not allowed to fish there, but wanted to catch a steelhead the easy way.
Outdoors and wildlife-related stories recently published in The Spokesman-Review include:
Out & About: Poacher sends $6,000 check to ease conscience; wolf origin hard to peg
WILDLIFE ENFORCEMENT — Saying he’s been burdened with guilt, an anonymous man has mailed Washington wildlife officials $6,000 to compensate for deer he said he killed illegally – more than 40 years ago.
The man visited one of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department’s Eastern Washington offices a few weeks ago and confessed to an officer that he had killed three whitetail does illegally between 1967 and 1970, officials said Wednesday.
Penalties for poaching antlerless deer can range from $200 to $2,000, but the man’s crimes are well past the statute of limitations.
An officer told the man he could sign up with the agency for volunteer jobs to soothe his conscience, but the man said he lived out of the area.
Last week, a $6,000 check was delivered to the department’s Olympia Headquarters as a donation to the enforcement division, confirmed Mike Cenci, deputy chief.
“This doesn’t happen,” Cenci said. “We do get donations, but if any were related to misdeeds or conscience, we’re not aware of it.”
In a letter with the check, the man, identified only as Roy, wrote:
“My conscience has not allowed me to put this sin to rest until now. I know that God has forgiven me and hope that WDFW will as well.”
Cenci told Northwest Sportsman editor Andy Walgamott that he remains curious:
“I’d like to meet the man, frankly. We all repent in different ways…. I’d ask him, ‘What made you turn the corner?’”
POACHING — Up to $5,000 in rewards is being offered for a tip that leads to the conviction of the culprits in the latest spree poaching case in Eastern Washington.
Five white-tailed deer, including two bucks and three does, were discovered in the Grand Coulee area of Lincoln County on Saturday with only the backstrap and hindquarters removed. The deer were shot and left to rot just a few feet from each other, and appeared to be fairly fresh kills.
This is the sixth multiple-deer poaching incident documented in Eastern Washington this winter, including two incidents in Spokane County.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for this spree killing and the Human Society of the United States has pledged another $2,500.
Information can be submitted anonymously:
1. Contact Officer Wood in Lincoln County, (509) 892-1001.
2. Call the state Poaching Hotline, (877) 933-9847.
3. Email the tip to email@example.com.
4. Text the information to TIP411 (847411).
POACHING — The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is seeking information on the illegal shooting of three deer within the boundaries of Dalton Gardens, a small community in Kootenai County just north of Coeur d’Alene.
The incidents occurred between Thursday, February 7 and Saturday February 9.
A buck, a doe and a fawn whitetail deer were each found dead, each shot with a small caliber bullet. The three carcasses were found at two different locations within Dalton Gardens. The deer were all left to waste.
The deer season in northern Idaho is currently closed, so the shooting of a deer is a violation of state wildlife laws.
Discharging a firearm within the city limits of Dalton Gardens is also illegal.
Anyone with information regarding these incidents should contact the Idaho Fish and Game Department at 769-1414; or, the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) hotline, at 1 800 632-5999.
Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a CAP reward if the information provided leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.
POACHING — Two Spokane men were arrested last week at Banks Lake after a nighttime patrol of five Washington Fish and Wildlfie police caught them illegally gillnetting about 50 whitefish.
Maxim Andriyenko, 28, and Vladimir Lebedinski, 33, both of Spokane, were booked into the Grant County Jail, according to a report by the Columbia Basin Herald. The other suspect was a 16-year-old boy. A 14-foot boat was seized.
Police said the men are likely part of a “poaching community.” This is not news to anglers who frequent Banks and other regional lakes, but it's good news that some members of this “poaching community” are getting nailed.
The officers reported the suspects argued throughout the search, never admitting to any wrongdoing. Police said one suspect, a convicted felon, allegedly threatened to cut off the fingers of one officer.
HUNTING - The former head of an Idaho group whose mission it is to protect ducks is being punished for using illegal methods to hunt them.
Charles D. Steele of Hagerman was sentenced today to a year of supervised probation, a $2,000 fine and 25 hours of community service in U.S. District Court, according to the Associated Press.
On Sept. 25, he pleaded guilty to violating federal bird-protection laws by baiting ducks placing corn on private farmland near Gooding to attract waterfowl — and enhance hunting opportunities.
The 48-year-old Steele is the former president of the Hagerman Chapter of Ducks Unlimited.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
While on probation, Steele is forbidden to hunt in the United States.
HUNTING — A national sportsman's conservation group has paid a $500 reward to an Idaho bear hunter who provided the information game wardens needed to cite hunters using all-terrain vehicles in habitat protected from motorized traffic.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is a national group of outdoorsmen and women who value hunting and fishing in the peace and quiet of natural conditions, said Holly Endersby, BHA acting director who lives in Pollock, Idaho, in announcing the reward.
The case dates back to spring of 2011, when Ted Koch and two friends were hunting for black bears on the Nez Perce National Forest. They planned to hike into an area where roads had been closed to vehicles, but hike-in hunters were allowed.
As they hiked in, they observed hunters on ATVs driving around the locked gate. They also found bait stations the hunters had left behind.
“We planned to enjoy a quiet evening looking for bears,” Koch said. “Instead, the evening was shattered by noise and exhaust where it did not belong.”
Koch lived in Boise at the time of the hunt, but has since moved to Reno, Nev. He pointed out that he and his hunting partners own dirt bikes or all-terrain vehicles, but stay within the bounds of the law.
“Hunters and wildlife alike need some places entirely apart from the noise and disturbance of motor traffic,” Koch said. “Owning an ATV does not mean you can re-write the rule book.”
Koch noted the license plate numbers of the hunters’ vehicles, took GPS readings, recorded the date and time and wrote detailed descriptions of the riders. He reported the incident to Roy Kinner, a senior conservation officer from Idaho Department of Fish and Game in Grangeville.
“Mr. Koch gave us exactly the kind of information we needed to launch a successful investigation,” Kinner said. “I don’t usually get that kind of high quality information. It was just priceless.”
In the end, three hunters pleaded guilty to the road closure violations and were fined $500 each. Other charges of leaving bear bait too close to a stream were dismissed.
BHA has a dedicated reward fund for aiding the conviction of law-breakers who abuse public hunting and fishing areas with motorized vehicles.
WILDLIFE ENFORCEMENT — “Sorry, officer, but I thought that llama was an elk — even after I gutted it out and put it in my pickup.”
Sound like a tall tale? Nope. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks employees have seen some doozy cases over the years, as you'll read in Montana game wardens share some of their stranger tales, published in the Missoula Independent.
Indicentally, the 2009 llama incident mentioned above was well reported at the time.
HUNTING — Wyoming lawmakers will decide in coming months whether to follow a growing national trend and allow the use of silencers on hunting guns — a practice already permitted in 39 states.
The law is being promoted by companies that make the silencers, and as you'd expect, they say there's no reason for a ban on silencers.
I beg to differ.
I've read and written hundreds of stories about poaching. A common thread in the successful prosecution of those criminals is that nearby landowners or witnesses were alerted to the illegal activity by hearing the report of the firearms.
The story of a dog killed near Newman Lake recently help's illustrate the point.
The public cannot continue giving poachers the edge on law enforcement and expect officers to hold the tide in the favor of wildlife.
Silencers are unnecessary for hunters, but for poachers, they're a dream come true.
POACHING — Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife enforcement officers are seeking information about a Spokane-area spree killing involving at least three deer.
The poaching incident occurred last week near the intersection of Madison and Thorpe Roads near the Painted Hills Golf Course. Three white-tailed deer were shot from the road in a “no-shooting” area at about 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, says Madonna Luers, department spokeswoman.
Two of the deer were left injured and paralyzed in the field. One of the deer was taken.
Anyone with information about this crime is encouraged to call the Spokane Regional WDFW Office, (509) 892-1001 and ask for Officer Douglas King.
Information can also be called in to the WDFW poaching hotline at 877-933-9847, or texted to TIP411.
Persons providing information that leads to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for these poachings may be eligible for a reward and may remain anonymous.
HUNTING — Normally we're uplifted by parents who take their kids hunting.
Not this time.
No one was injured, physically at least, but a Western Washington hunting incident described by this weekend story in the Olympian might be one of the grimmest stories I've read about parental responsibility and the sport of hunting.
POACHING — Five deer were shot, killed and left to rot north of Reardan around Oct. 4, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife police said today.
It’s the second five-deer spree-poaching case the agency has investigated in the Spokane Region in two weeks.
The Lincoln County deer included three bucks and two does shot with small-caliber firearms in and near an alfalfa field.
In late September, five whitetails were found dead in another case north of Spokane Valley after spotlighting activity was noticed near the intersecton of Farwell and Peck roads. Two fawns in that case had been run over by a vehicle; the others shot.
It's honorable to rat on scumbag poachers, but you can also earn hefty rewards or bonus points offered for information leading to arrests in these cases.
Call the agency’s regional office in Spokane, (509) 892-1001.
WILDLIFE ENFORCEMENT — Five white-tailed deer were killed and left to rot north of Spokane Valley on Sept. 28 in a poaching case state wildlife police are still investigating.
Spotlighting was reported around 1 a.m. near the intersection of Farwell and Peck roads. Two fawns killed in the incident apparently were intentionally run over, officers said.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife police are looking for more tips. Report poaching incidents by phone at (877) 933-9847, or text message to TIP411.
Weekdays, call (509) 892-1001 and ask for Officer Jason Snyder.
Persons providing information that leads to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for these poachings may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,500 from WDFW and Conservation Northwest.
Informants may remain anonymous.
WILDLIFE CRIMES — In a major crackdown on alleged illegal wildlife traffickers today, Washington Fish and Wildlife police served 14 search warrants on businesses — including Walla Walla County restaurants selling illegal elk meat.
A SWAT team was called in to arrest one West Side man officers say provided “two to three big game animals a week” at times to undercover officers.
See the report by Andy Walgamott of Northwest Sportsman.
Here's report by KING 5 TV.
WILDLIFE ENFORCEMENT — Washington Fish and Wildlife police must feel like parents dealing with kids sometimes. I'd like to hear the author of this poaching enforcement report tell the story over a couple of beers.
Sgt. Chadwick contacted a recreational boat returning to the dock in Westport late Sunday evening. The four Idaho men on board the craft were happy to show Sgt. Chadwick their limit of four Chinook. The open bow of their boat was already covered with canvas, however Sgt. Chadwick noticed there were bits of wet grass up underneath, as well as a crab caliper, which indicated they may have been crab fishing. When questioned, they denied having any crab on board and claimed their pots had been stolen.
Despite their denials, Sgt. Chadwick conducted an inspection and found 11 crab in a live well up front. Looking at the live well on the opposite side, he found it was full of rain gear and a life jacket with a couple of fresh scales. Digging a little deeper, Sgt. Chadwick found two extra Chinook hidden under the rain gear.
Officer Do arrived to assist and asked the foursome where they were staying. At that point, the men had already been advised of their rights, and decided to confess to having three more over their limit back at camp. The Officers followed the four men back to camp and found they had a total of five Chinook over the limit. The fish were seized and various citations issued.
POACHING — A Western Washington man has pleaded guilty to 14 counts of luring bears with doughnuts, salmon and other bait so they could be killed for fun by himself and family from the porch of his Methow Valley recreation cabin.
James Erickson, 52, of Eatonville, Wash., has been sentenced to six days in jail on top of a $12,000 fine and 20 days electronically monitored detention at his home. He'll also loose his state hunting privileges for five years. As part of the plea deal, charges against others were dropped.
The case was sealed after years of investigation after Fish and Wildlife police received a tip that led to a remote trail cam with photos that caught Erickson in the act.
See the story and photos from the investigation that led to the arrest.
POACHING – An online auction of confiscated big-game antlers that concluded last week netted the state $21,300 earmarked for anti-poaching enforcement.
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Department sold 1,725 pounds of moose, elk and deer antlers that had been seized from poachers.
Money from the auction will be used to for forensic work and to pay rewards to people who report poaching violatons, officials said.
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:
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.