Fairview Canyon Poacher Apologizes

An East Wenatchee, Wash., man has issued an apology for a poaching incident in late January.

In a letter to the Wenatchee World, Joe Ells, a local school teacher, admits to illegally shooting a pair of mule deer in Fairview Canyon, south of the Wenatchee River near Monitor.

He had been charged with four counts of unlawful hunting in the second degree in Chelan County District Court. No seasons were open at the time.

Two other men, Kenneth McGraw of Leavenworth, Wash. and Michael Pennington of Kent, Wash., were also charged.

Ells letter also says:

My action caused many people to be upset, and I can understand why they were. I have offended the sensibilities of some people in our community, smeared the good name of those who hunt deer legally, shamed my profession and caused my family much undue stress.

There is no excuse for my actions that day. What I did was wrong, and I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to Officer Graham Grant of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the people of Chelan County, my family, friends, and coworkers, my students and their parents.

My only salvation is in knowing that this will never happen again, and that with time, people may not forget, but they will forgive my moment of weakness.


According to WDFW, Ells, McGraw and Pennington had been out coyote hunting when they came across deer gathered on the winter range. They opened fire, killing three does and one yearling. Three of the deer were found in the back of Pennington’s Toyota Tundra. The truck and four rifles were seized.

The Wenatchee World later reported that Pennington was attempting to become a Master Hunter at the time.

One Response to “Fairview Canyon Poacher Apologizes”

  1. Fairview Canyon Poachers All Plead Guilty « Northwest Sportsman Says:

    […] a school teacher, sent a letter of apology to the Wenatchee World last week apologizing for the incident. There is no excuse for my actions […]

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