A tip last week led Washington game wardens to the residence of a central King County man who they allege illegally killed a cow elk as well as several mule deer in Okanogan County last fall after hunting season closed.
The case began when WDFW Officer Jason Capelli got a fourth-hand report of a possible elk poaching in the Selleck area of the upper Cedar River watershed. That eventually led to wildlife officers obtaining and serving a search warrant on the suspect at his house.
According to Deputy Chief Mike Cenci, the search and interrogation by five officers turned up more on the closed-season cow killing and “an attempted closed season elk, possession of wildlife found dead, and five illegal mule deer harvested in the Okanogan in November of 2010.”
Four of the five deer were bucks. Their racks were seized as was elk meat, a van and six firearms.
“One of the most telling pieces of evidence was the loaded .22 rifle and spotlight on the seat of the van that was parked next to the house but the owner of the van didn’t know anything about those items,” Cenci says.