By Bob Brown
No state has enough wildlife enforcement officers to curtail poaching, and Washington is no exception. Although those officers try hard, the greatest difficulty in stopping poaching is apprehending the violator or violators. Most of the time it takes a fantastic number of hours of waiting and patrolling to catch a single poacher.
Sometimes the effort is not successful. Sometimes it is. Case in point:
In early winter of 2011, Pierce County fish and wildlife officers were given anonymous information regarding elk poaching on private timber land. The information was two males had a campsite several miles inside the timber land and were poaching elk and other animals. The reporting party also stated both males lived over a hundred miles away from the campsite and poached elk at night. A vehicle description and possible names were also given.
Due to heavy snow fall, officers had to wait until late spring in 2012 to hike into the area. After making several treks into the area, the campsite was finally located in early summer. The camp site was photographed and surveillance equipment installed so officers could establish the poacher’s patterns.
Prior to opening day of archery elk season, officers returned to the camp site and observed it had been stocked and was being used by the two subjects. Surveillance equipment showed the subjects were entering the private property at night.
Just prior to opening day of archery elk season, information was obtained that one of the subjects was going to the campsite to hunt elk. Detachment officers combined their information and put together a plan to monitor the area.
On opening day of archery season, one of the subject’s vehicles was observed parked on a forest road. More....