OLYMPIA – Nearly a thousand antlers seized from poachers over the last decade by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) police officers can be purchased during an online auction currently under way through June 5.
Items that will be available during the auction include:
- 33 trophy elk racks.
- 22 trophy deer racks.
- Five trophy moose racks.
- About 450 pounds of single large and medium elk antlers (large size antlers - 3 bundles; medium size antlers - 18 bundles).
- About 250 pounds of single small elk antlers in one lot (tote).
- About 120 pounds of single large size deer antlers (10 bundles).
- About 140 pounds of single small/medium deer antlers in one lot (tote).
- About 40 pounds of single moose antlers (2 bundles).
The auction, conducted by the State Department of Enterprise Services (DES), will conclude the afternoon of June 5. Photos of the antlers and other information about the auction, including how to view the items in person, are available online at http://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/state,wa/browse/home?tm=m.
People who would like to participate in the online auction must first register at http://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/login/login?&dst=/browse/home.
Mike Cenci, deputy chief of enforcement for WDFW, said this auction is a great opportunity for people to own trophy elk, deer and moose racks.
“Unfortunately, this auction also highlights the fact that poaching is a serious problem in Washington,” Cenci said. “Poachers steal directly from the citizens, and disadvantage hunters in Washington – the vast majority of which follow the law.”
Many legal hunters wait years to draw a special permit allowing them to harvest trophy animals, said Cenci. “Ethical hunters’ chances of harvesting a trophy animal can be greatly reduced by poachers, especially those that kill multiple animals.”
WDFW’s Enforcement Program includes 134 Fish and Wildlife police officers stationed throughout Washington. Those officers are working to stop wildlife poaching, as well as the illegal harvest of fish and shellfish.
However, WDFW still relies on tips from the public, said Cenci.
“Because our officers can’t be everywhere, all of the time, we appreciate any help we can get from the public,” Cenci said. “We encourage people who witness fish and wildlife violations to contact the department.”
People who witness a fish and wildlife offense can report the violation by phone (1-877-933-9847), email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or text message (847411 TIP411).
Funds from the antler auction will be used in the fight against poaching, which includes paying rewards to people who report fish and wildlife violations that lead to a conviction, said Cenci.