The list of illegal activity by poachers is as long as it is disgusting: unlawful taking or possession of wildlife, waste of wildlife, hunting with an artificial light, illegal use of dogs, criminal conspiracy, illegal use of bait, aiding or sharing in a wildlife violation, and changing or borrowing a hunting permit.
At least 17 people are implicated in Washington and Oregon. So far, they face 190 wildlife violations including 33 felonies. And more charges are on the way.
“For some of these people, it was kind of a demented social club. For some, it was about ego and bravado — who could kill the biggest, the most,” Craig Gunderson, Oregon senior trooper, told the Seattle Times. “For some people, it’s what their family did.”
Some of the species illegally taken, with most left to rot, include black bears, squirrels, bobcats, deer and mountain lions.
“They all knew what they were doing was illegal. They all thought it out ahead of time and had plans. Some of them had been doing it for years,” Gunderson told the Seattle Times.
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(Photo source: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)