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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

Some poachers can’t be overlooked

WILDLIFE ENFORCEMENT – While patrolling the Horseshoe Lake area, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department Officer Paul Mosman had one of those rare “game warden moments.”

“It started when he pulled in behind a likely looking truck parked at an access gate and just happened to notice a man nearby quickly toss a turkey carcass into the wood line before walking down to greet the officer,” reported Capt. Mike Whorton in Spokane. “Officer Mosman utilized his years of training and experience to deduce that this might be a clue to follow up on.

“After a few minutes of license checks and discussion about archery deer hunting, Officer Mosman made his way up to the turkey and found not one but four steaming hot turkeys in various stages of field dressing.  One of the men ultimately confessed to shooting all four.

“His excuse was that he only meant to poach one (and then go into town to buy a turkey tag) and had been surprised when four birds started flopping around after he shot.”

He was cited on several counts and his shotgun was seized for forfeiture.

Read on for other highlights from last weeks wildlife enforcement patrols.

Fishing was so good at Lake Roosevelt last week, some anglers became as greedy as Wall Street crooks.

Three over-limit arrests were made at Roosevelt by Washington Fish and Wildlife Department enforcement Officer Curt Wood.  He issued 15 warnings for various reasons.

Here’s a sampling of what other enforcement officers were doing last week:

  • Officer Jim Nelson in Garfield County responded to a bird hunter who slipped and fell, discharging his shotgun into his left leg.  The subject suffered severe trauma. He was rushed to Lewiston by ambulance and then by chopper to Spokane.
  • When a burglary-in-progress was reported in Newport, the closest officers were from Washington Fish and Game and the Colville National Forest. They responded and caught and held the two culprits before turning them over to local sheriff’s deputies who arrived later.
  • Officer Mosman found a whole cow elk, two heads, and a boned out elk carcass dumped near Newman Lake.  All the elk appear to have come from a captive Elk farm in Idaho.  Officer Mosman will be following up to see why an Idaho farm would take the time and trouble to dump their dead elk in Washington.  State veterinarians are concerned about the possibility of introducing pathogens from game-farm animals to wild elk.
  • Officer Don Weatherman responded to a complaint of a bear carcass dumped east of Colville.  Carcass turned out to be that of a domestic cow.
  • Officer Ron Cram finished up the late archery deer season in unit #101 and an illegal cougar kill in Stevens County. Charges will be referred to Prosecutors office.
  • One angler checked by Officer Brendan Vance in Asotin County forgot his license in his vehicle, and unfortunately for him he also forgot he left his marijuana pipe out in plain view next to his license.
  • Officer Cram investigated an incident on Flat Creek Road in which an archery/Christmas tree hunter shot Mickey the Moose with an arrow to protect his two small children. He was unaware of the tame moose being turned loose in the area and thought they were being charged rather than the moose wanting a handout and petting. The seriousness of the injury to the moose is not known.
  • Officer Lennie Hahn cut a deer free that was stuck in a fence in Spokane County.
  • Officer Severin Erickson responded to an elk damage complaint in Pend Oreille County, where 43 elk were eating the complainants hay stacks but the total loss so far has been minimal. The landowner was given advice on putting up electric fence to prevent future loss of hay.
  • Officer Wood received a report from a subject regarding haystack damage from deer.  The subject requested some landowner access permits, but Wood learned that he does not allow any hunters on his property.  Wood advised the rancher that we would not be able to help him with permits or money, because of his not allowing public hunting on his property.  The rancher was less than happy, and vowed to contact his local senators and congressmen regarding the state law.
  • Sgt. Dan Rahn gave presentation before 35 students at Shadle Park High School regarding wildlife and wildlife enforcement.

Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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