Four young men from the Cathlamet area are scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow (Dec. 17) in Wahkiakum County District Court for allegedly poaching three Columbian whitetailed deer listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) officers arrested the suspects, who range in age from 16 to 20, last week after receiving a tip from a citizen that a buck whitetailed deer had been shot on Puget Island. After investigating and discovering one dead four-point buck deer, the officers found two additional whitetailed buck deer that had been shot and left nearby.
The suspects were cited with taking and/or possessing endangered wildlife. Two of the suspects also were cited for wastage and one was cited for hunting with the aid of artificial light. On the state level, the offenses are gross misdemeanors, each carrying maximum penalties of up to $5,000 in fines and a year in jail.
WDFW officers have contacted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concerning the incidents, and say the suspects could face additional federal penalties. Columbian white-tailed deer were federally listed as endangered in 1967.