By Arwyn Rice
PORT ANGELES — A series of gunshots heard in Port Angeles on Sunday may have been poachers taking city-dwelling deer, according to Port Angeles Police.
Three city residents over a roughly half-hour period reported gunshots Sunday night.
At 10:12 p.m., a resident reported two gunshots in the 100 block of Viewcrest Avenue, near South Laurel Street.
Responding officers found a freshly broken antler near the site, indicating that a buck deer may have been shot by poachers, said Deputy Police Chief Brian Smith.
It is illegal to hunt deer in Port Angeles city limits at any time, Smith said.
According to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife website, deer hunting season begins Oct. 11.
A Ford F-150 pickup truck was seen leaving the area, but it is uncertain if the vehicle had any relationship to the gunshots, Smith said.
At 10:34 p.m., residents in the 800 block of East Victoria Street reported hearing eight to 10 shots fired, and at 10:56 p.m., shots were reported by a resident in the 200 block of North Eunice Street, according to the police service log.
Smith said the proximity in time and location to the earlier incident make it likely that the shots were related to poaching.
Poaching within city limits is not a common problem, but it happens occasionally, Smith said.
He noted that hunting is a highly regulated activity, which requires both a state hunting license and adherence to the rules that govern hunting.
“If you’re hunting in city limits, you know you’re engaging in unlawful behavior,” he said.