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WDFW Enforcement is divided into two patrol sections, Marine and Land, although responsibilities often overlap and the two sections commonly assist each other. The following are real life events that provide a snapshot of fish and wildlife enforcement activity in Washington State. These examples show the diversity of issues that Fish and Wildlife Police Officers ("Game Wardens") encounter while protecting your natural resources, but are by no means all encompassing of our many accomplishments. All violations are considered alleged unless a conviction has been secured.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Weekly Highlights

No, Bull!
Officers Beauchene and Mosman responded to a report of a bull moose entangled in a rope near Nine Mile Falls. They arrived to find a very irritated bull solidly attached to a small pine tree by way of a long rope that was wrapped in its antlers and somehow tied in a secure knot to the tree. The rope had about 25-30’ of slack, which allowed the bull a fairly large range of movement, which seemed like even more when standing near it. Officer Mosman used an extendable limb-pruning tool to cut the rope near the antlers, and was thanked for his efforts by a very angry bull lowering his head, stomping the ground, and contemplating charging him… After a brief standoff, the bull decided discretion was the better part of valor and headed the other way, while Officer Mosman hastily vacated the area!

Not-So-Dynamic Duo Busted
Officers Horn and Fulton received information from an Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish and Wildlife Trooper concerning two Washington residents who were allegedly trapping in Oregon. One of the trappers was contacted in Oregon and was found to be in possession of trapped bobcats. Further investigation found that the father and son team had previously unlawfully trapped and transported unsealed bobcats from Oregon to Washington. Officers Horn and Fulton assisted OSP in the investigation, and contacted the son at his residence in Mesa, Washington. A consent search found the pair to be in possession of eight raw bobcat pelts. The son admitted that he had unlawfully trapped five of them without an Oregon fur-bearer’s license. Although the father was licensed in Oregon, none of the eight bobcats were sealed before they were transported into Washington. All of the bobcat pelts were seized along with the skulls. A report will be forwarded to OSP and the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office for consideration of charges at a later date.

Ring-Tail Cougar Sighting!
Officer Grant responded to a midnight report of a cougar in a tree at a residence in Leavenworth. The resident stated they heard screaming and saw a cougar in their tree. Officer Grant searched the area, only to find five large raccoons staring at him from the tree branches. No evidence of a cougar was found… but five angry raccoons can sure sound like one!

More Than Meets the Eye
It’s bad enough that he falsified his Washington residency status to get a break on license fees. But when Officer Alexander and other Officers arrived at the subject’s house in McCleary with a search warrant, they discovered his method of hunting was illegal too. The subject had harvested at least two elk (you can only have one per year) and poached a deer. One of the elk, a four-point bull, was located hanging on the wall as a shoulder mount and was seized, along with packaged deer and elk meat and a Matthews Z7 bow. There was additional evidence of bear baiting and illegal hound hunting for cougar and bobcat.

Hot Boxing Burglary Suspect Busted
While checking areas for smelt at night, Officers Chamberlin and Hughes contacted a car full of young adults at the WDFW’s South Pekin access to the Lewis River. With night vision, they observed a blacked-out car parked at the boat ramp. The occupants appeared to be lighting up a bowl. When our Officers contacted the vehicle, there was a strong odor of marijuana, no access decal, and one of its four occupants told our Officers “watch out, the smoke’s coming out.” The four individuals were found in possession of marijuana and a pipe, which they were using to ‘hot box’ in the car. A background check of the occupants revealed that one of the passengers had a no bail warrant in Cowlitz County, and was arrested. The driver was also arrested on drug charges.

Woodland PD overheard our radio traffic and realized the vehicle we had contacted was the same one they had been searching for all day in relation to a recent burglary case. Two Woodland PD units and a Sergeant arrived on scene to question all four subjects. The driver of the vehicle was additionally arrested on burglary charges and transported to county jail. The vehicle was impounded and towed. Charges were issued for the drugs and access violation.

Night Poacher Nixed
Sgt. Nixon rolled out of bed at 1:00 am after a Sergeant at Ocean Shores PD called to report a deer poaching. Local police responded to a “shots fired” call and located a man from Seattle who had shot a deer with an AR-15 near the local elementary school. The subject was just loading the deer into a one-ton Dodge pick-up when he was arrested. Officer Do came out to assist Sgt. Nixon. The poacher was booked, and his truck, rifle and a handgun were seized for forfeiture proceedings.

Wanted Felon Taken Into Custody:
Officer Vance received information from a Klickitat County Detective that a subject with a $50,000 felony warrant was staying in the Anatone area. Officers Vance and Myers went to the residence and took the subject into custody without incident on the warrant for 1st Degree Burglary, four counts of Theft of a Firearm and two counts of 1st Degree Theft.

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