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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Local hunting group raising money to bust Fairfield elk poachers

UPDATED: Tue., Jan. 18, 2022

A group of cow elk and their calves heads back for the hills after getting a drink in the South Fork of the Clearwater River.  (Eric Barker)
A group of cow elk and their calves heads back for the hills after getting a drink in the South Fork of the Clearwater River. (Eric Barker)

A local hunting advocacy and conservation group is raising money to try and help bust whoever illegally killed three elk in late December near Spokane.

Marie Neumiller, the Inland Northwest Wildlife Council’s executive director, is accepting monetary commitments, although she prefers those who donate don’t hand over their money until the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife police have apprehended a suspect.

Neumiller said there have been poaching incidents in the same area in the past, raising concerns that “there might be a group of people doing this.”

So far, five  people have donated $100 each toward the fund, Neumiller said. To donate, email

Two bulls were illegally killed, had their heads removed and the meat wasted, on or around the weekend of Dec. 31.

A third bull elk was shot, left injured and paralyzed in the frozen conditions. The animals were illegally shot outside the town of Fairfield, in Spokane County, in a privately owned field off east Adams and Marsh roads, approximately 5 miles from the Idaho border.

“This is an appalling act of poaching large, branch-antlered elk – a blatant disrespect of natural resource rules, ethics, and conservation,” WDFW Police Sergeant Tony Leonetti said in a news release.

The animals were found Jan. 2 by a witness who reported it to WDFW police.

The paralyzed elk was humanely lethally dispatched, and the two headless bodies were recovered by officers.

“The loss of these mature elk is a blow to the local population and for future opportunities for ethical hunters who are following the rules,” Leonetti said. “We rely on tips from the public as they are often our eyes and ears that lead to arrests on cases like this.”

The department asks anyone with information on the case to report in one of several ways. Call 877-933-9847, email WDFW’s poaching tip email or send a text tip to 847411.

The public can also report online on WDFW’s website. Tips can be provided anonymously. A monetary reward or bonus points toward special hunts are available for information leading to an arrest.

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