3 Charged In Deer Poaching

The deer were gathered on their wintering grounds not far from Wenatchee in late January when two local men and one from the Westside allegedly started shooting, killing three does and a yearling.

After a local resident heard gunfire, he drove up Fairview Canyon to investigate, then called a WDFW enforcement officer. And as Officer Grant and three county deputies sped to the scene, they allegedly found the men leaving the area with three deer in the back of a 2000 Toyota Tundra.

Earlier this week, the suspects — Kenneth McGraw of Leavenworth, Wash.; Michael Pennington of Kent, Wash.; and Joe Ells of East Wenatchee, Wash. — were charged in Chelan County District Court with 14 gross misdemeanors.

McGraw was charged with five counts of unlawful hunting of big game in the second degree.

Pennington and Ells were both charged with four counts of unlawful hunting of big game in the second degree.

First-degree counts are basically reserved for repeat offenders, and are felonies.

One of the deer was left behind, and Pennington was charged with wastage.

Two of the animals were salvaged and donated to charity, wrote Leroy Ledeboer when he first reported on this incident for Northwest Sportsman.

WDFW Sgt. Doug Ward told him the shooters had been out on an unsuccessful coyote hunt.

“Those three does most likely were all carrying fetuses, but we couldn’t prove this because the coyotes and ravens had already been at the gut piles before we were on the scene,” Ward told Ledeboer.

In addition to Pennington’s truck, four rifles were seized.

“When people ask if they can lose ownership of their rigs when they do something like this, the answer is yes,” Ward told Ledeboer.

Arraignment for the three defendants has been scheduled for March 29 at 9:30 a.m.

One Wenatchee Valley resident told Ledeboer, “I hope they throw the book at them.”

UPDATE MARCH 18, 2010: THE WENATCHEE WORLD REPORTS ON THE CASE TODAY, NOTING THAT PENNINGTON IS TRYING TO BECOME A WDFW-CERTIFIED MASTER HUNTER.

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One Response to “3 Charged In Deer Poaching”

  1. Fairview Canyon Poacher Apologizes « Northwest Sportsman Says:

    […] Poacher Apologizes By Andy Walgamott An East Wenatchee, Wash., man has issued an apology for a poaching incident in late […]

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