OKANOGAN – State wildlife enforcement continues looking for those responsible for killing trophy deer in the Omak, Okanogan and Malott areas.
“In the past month, we have had at least four large-bodied deer killed, some with only the heads removed,” Sergeant Jim Brown with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife said. “In all the cases, the animal’s bodies were left to go to waste. Each buck killed is one less buck for a legitimate hunter to be able to harvest next year. It is a stolen opportunity.”
Officers are seeking information from anyone witnessing or knowing of the “spree killing” of the deer.
The best way to report is by calling the state DFW Poaching Reporting number at 877-933-9847.
Urgent calls with in-progress violation information should go to the State Patrol dispatch center at 509-422-3800, extension 0.
There is up to a $1,000 dollar reward for anyone coming forward with information that leads to an arrest related to any of these deer.
Investigators can tell by the size of the body, or from statements of persons that have been watching these deer, that they are all four point, or larger, Brown said.
Those charged with taking such deer face $6,000 per animal in additional penalties beyond the fines set by a court,” Brown said. “They may have their vehicles and weapons seized for forfeiture.
“Cases such as these are the types of cases where the highest penalties are most often sought. And due to a new law passed in 2011, the killing of multiple animals as part of a pattern of conduct is classified as a “spree killing” and is now considered a felony.”
Also, possession of these animal parts is a crime, indefinitely, enforcement officers can pursue the cases beyond the normal statute of limitations,” Brown said.
Details of the killings are being withheld pending the outcome of the investigations.
“This is the public’s resource that is being killed and then left to go to waste, and we take these incidents very seriously,” Brown said. “Someone out there knows something and we are again appealing to them for their help. Sometimes even the smallest detail can solve a case. The public has been very helpful to us in the past in solving the theft of their natural resources.”