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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

March 11, 2012 at 8:08 AM

State Fish and Wildlife enforcement officers keeping busy in the woods and on the water

Here are the Weekly Highlights from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife facebook website page.

Specialized Training… Fun?

Officer Day recently spent a week at the Law Enforcement Mountain Operations School (LEMOS) at Priest Lake, Idaho. Activities included day and night land navigation, cold weather survival skills, emergency medical procedures, and team operations planning. The entire outdoor portion of the class was performed on snowshoes. Although snowshoeing can be an enjoyable winter recreational activity, Officer Day quickly realized that evacuating a 240-pound victim from deep snow and heavy timber while wearing snowshoes and dodging simulated gunfire (firecrackers being thrown in his general direction), wasn’t very fun…. or easy.

Tool Boxes Have Many Uses (Some Illegal)

While on an evening patrol in the Ahtanum area, Officer Caton contacted a subject near Nasty Creek. While conducting a safety check on guns in the subject’s truck, he spotted blood on the tailgate. There can only be a couple of explanations for this, given that big game season is closed…….. and has been closed for quite some time now. After some questioning by Officer Caton, the closed season deer hunter produced a doe hidden in a toolbox in the bed of the truck. His firearm was seized for forfeiture proceedings, and Officer Caton will be forwarding this case to the prosecutor’s office.

Loose Dogs Bad For Wildlife

Officer Oswald responded to a complaint of dogs chasing bighorn sheep near Chelan last week. Four dogs managed to push a full curl ram off of a cliff, resulting in a broken rear femur. Only one dog remained when Officer Oswald arrived, but took off in haste when he recognized he was at risk of being taken into custody. While Game Wardens can run pretty fast, four legs are definitely better than two.

Jumping the Season (And Teaching the Kids To Do the Same)

Officer Johnson worked Fish Hook Pond prior to its opening debut. This pond is notorious for closed season action because of its remote, walk-in location. Officer Johnson knows he can count on a few cheaters who disadvantage the majority of legal anglers that exercise patience. He contacted three fishermen there with seven fish in the bag, a father and (shame on him) his two sons. Dad was cited for fishing closed season and warned about his boys, including one 15-year-old who had no fishing license.

Felon With a Gun

If you’re a convicted felon who’s not allowed to possess firearms, you might want to think twice about attracting law enforcement attention by using one. Officer Horn was patrolling the Juniper Dunes area on Bureau of Land Management land when he located four guys target shooting with what looked like an illegal sawed-off shotgun. The men appeared to be very nervous when he contacted them, but fortunately all were compliant with Officer Horn’s commands. One claimed ownership of the firearm, and he was later found to be a convicted felon with a previous felony charge of possession of a firearm. A marijuana pipe was also found. A felon who is high and using an illegal gun…… not your typical family outing.

Gun Fight At The OK Corral?

Fish and Wildlife Police Officers stationed in Okanogan County weren’t sure what to expect when they responded to a report of a deranged deer poacher who was shooting at four witnesses in Concunully. Apparently the men were pinned down on a hill above their truck….

So four Okanogan County Sheriff’s Deputies, WDFW Sergeant Brown, and Officers Christensen, McCormick, and Day surrounded the area, but found no one. A citizen then reported to 911 that the suspect was on foot in town. He was subsequently found at a house cooking a roast from a poached deer….

Officers determined that he had poached the deer the night before the shooting was heard, and surmised that at the time the four witnesses found the deer hanging in a tree, there just happened to be someone target shooting at a nearby rock pit… which led them to believe they were being shot at. Officers seized the poached buck that was hanging in a tree and the suspect’s weapons. Given that the man had several outstanding arrest warrants and had illegally possessed a firearm as a convicted felon, he was booked into jail.

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