By Kurt Repanshek
If you're going to poach in a national park, that last thing you ever, ever, ever want to do is keep written records of your hunts. That was one of the key mistakes a trio of California men apparently made in going after trophy mule deer in a remote corner of Yosemite National Park.
As a result, the three are facing a series of federal and state poaching charges, likely will have their bows and arrows confiscated, and likely will be banned from entering a national park for the foreseeable future.
“This is the most egregious case of illegal hunting we have uncovered here in Yosemite National Park," Chief Ranger Steve Shackelton said Tuesday. "Wildlife in Yosemite is as important as Half Dome or Yosemite Falls. We take this activity very seriously and will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute anybody found to be partaking in this activity. This is a very serious offense and we want to send a clear message that we will not tolerate illegal hunting in Yosemite National Park.”
Park officials identified the trio as Chad Gierlich, Chris Gierlich, and Kyle Narasky, all of Riverside County in southern California. The investigation "uncovered a complex, concerted effort by these individuals to illegally hunt within the park and kill trophy size bucks. Search warrants resulted in the seizure of items such as bows and arrows, GIS devices, mounted kills, and several items that led to the charges being filed," a park release said.
“There is proof that they have killed six deer in the park, and probably more that we don’t know about," said park spokeswoman Kari Cobb. "But we know they’ve killed at least six.” More....