North Bend Man Faces 32 Criminal Charges Over Alleged Illegal Hunting Activities

The Attorney General’s Office has filed 32 criminal charges against a resident of North Bend for a series of alleged illegal hunting activities spanning two seasons.

The man is accused of unlawfully baiting and killing bears, elk, and deer, resulting in the death of 13 animals. The charges include two felonies, 27 gross misdemeanors, and three misdemeanors. View the charging documents here.

Details of the Allegations

According to the charging documents, the North Bend man allegedly committed the following illegal activities:

  1. Baiting and killing bears and elk on his property in 2021 and then again in 2022, near his home.
  2. Killing a bear that was potentially a mother to cubs.
  3. Hunting during the closed seasons.
  4. Hunting beyond the legally allowed bag limit.
  5. Retrieving animals from private properties without acquiring the required permissions.
  6. Wasting wildlife by leaving carcasses without retrieving edible portions.
Photo by Pete Nuij on Unsplash

For his alleged crimes, he may face a potential maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine for each of the felony charges. The gross misdemeanor charges could result in up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine for each charge. Meanwhile, the misdemeanor charges can bring about a penalty of up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine for each.

However, it’s important to note that the charges are based on allegations, and he remains innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Background on Hunting Regulations

In Washington State, hunting regulations are managed and set by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). The agency has established seasons for hunting various animals, including deer, elk, and bear.

There are rules about when hunters can hunt and the methods they can use. Hunters must also purchase and immediately attach tags to animals they’ve hunted. The state is divided into Game Management Units (GMUs), with North Bend in GMU 460 in King County.

State laws and WDFW regulations include the following requirements:

  • Hunters are required to purchase tags prior to hunting an animal and immediately place them on dead animals (WAC 220-413-020). 
  • Hunters cannot hunt at night (WAC 220-413-060(2)(a)). 
  • Hunters may only hunt during designated seasons (WAC 220-415-020, WAC 220‑415-050).
  • Hunters must abide by bag limits for the specified animal and cannot hunt in excess of the allowable limit (WAC 220-415-020, WAC 415-050). 
  • Hunters must mail in the premolar tooth located behind the canine tooth of the upper jaw of any killed black bears to WDFW (WAC 220-415-090). 
  • Hunters cannot bait black bears (WAC 220-415-090). 
  • Hunters can only use 10 gallons of bait to hunt for elk (WAC 220-414-030). 
  • Hunters cannot trespass onto property to hunt and retrieve wildlife (RCW 77.15.435).
  • Hunters must not waste a wildlife carcass (RCW 77.15.170).   

Evidence According to the Attorney General

One of the tools used by hunters is the onXmaps GPS tracking application, which he utilized. This application provides crucial data, such as marking and labeling trails, helping hunters avoid trespassing by showing property lines.

Evidence primarily comes from the man’s social media postings on Instagram, where he showcased images of dead animals and data from onXmaps, which showed his movements and activities.

For instance, in September 2021, the man shared photos of a dead elk but only purchased the required elk tag in October. The subsequent months had more instances where he allegedly baited animals, hunted at night, hunted more animals than allowed by the bag limit, and trespassed onto private properties.

In 2022, similar behavior patterns were observed: he hunted on private properties without permission, baited animals exceeding the allowed limit, and left carcasses without retrieving edible portions.

On a September 2022 evening, the man took a photo of a bear eating from a pile of apples outside his North Bend house. The following morning, he photographed a dead bear about 38 yards from the bait pile. He then posted a photo of himself with the dead bear on Instagram. He included a caption stating:

“I wanted this bear bad, especially after my failed attempt a week prior. Persistence in the mountains pays. If you quit, the hunt is over. I love that there are no participation trophies in the mountains. You get what you earn. Nothing more, nothing less.”

If you see something, say something

According to the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Enforcement Program, they encourage any citizen who witnesses a fish and wildlife offense to report the violation.

Reward program

Violator information that leads to a conviction could be eligible for a cash reward (up to $500) or hunting bonus points (up to 10 points). Hunting bonus points provide a greatly improved chance for drawing special permits for hunting. About $8,000.00 is paid annually, and about 90 individuals receive special hunt drawing bonus points.

There are multiple ways to report a poaching violation:

  • Call 911 to report poaching in progress, a dangerous wildlife complaint, or an emergency.
  • Call 877-933-9847 for non-emergency poaching/violation reports. 
  • Send an email to reportpoaching@dfw.wa.gov.
  • Send a text tip to 847411 (TIP411) by entering WDFWTIP, followed by a space, and then entering your report. If you wish to remain anonymous, please send a text tip to 847411 (TIP411) by entering WDFWTIP, followed by a space, and then entering your report. Messages are submitted through a third-party operating system, and WDFW has no access to any identifiable information.
  • Use the online reporting form. 

You always have the choice to remain anonymous when reporting.

All poaching/violation reports are important. Due to limited staffing, providing an immediate response to every call is not always possible. WDFW officers routinely follow up with individuals, making reports to clarify and gather further information.

WDFW communications (WILDCOMM) is open daily, from 7 AM to 5 PM, and closed on select holidays. If you are texting outside these hours of operation, please contact your local state patrol, as they dispatch for WDFW when closed. 

What to look for when reporting violations

  1. If you believe you have just witnessed a fish/wildlife violation, gather all the necessary information to report:
  2. Automobile license number, make, color, model, year, general condition (4×4, camper/canopy, etc.).
  3. Description of person(s) that committed the violation (sex, general age, race, hair color, general build, name/address if known).
  4. Type of violation, where and when it occurred (time, Game Management Unit, GPS coordinates, road junctions), and species involved.

Immediate reporting will significantly increase the ability of an Officer to respond. In addition, never confront a poacher. 

The charges against this local man highlight the importance of adhering to hunting regulations and ensuring the ethical treatment of wildlife. As the case progresses, more information and details may emerge. For now, he awaits legal proceedings to determine the veracity of the allegations against him.

Comments are closed.

Comments

  • Good. Now if only they’d enforce the fishing regulations on the Middle Fork. Catch and release. Single barbless hook. No bait. Knotless net. That’s goes for Taylor River, too.

  • Melissa do your feet hurt at night goose-stepping around all day? Not even an attempt at writing a balanced article?

    1. Hi Erika,
      The only facts out there at this point are the ones from the Attorney Generals office and those are the only ones in the article. None of my personal opinions are stated in this article. If this man comes out and gives his side, I’ll be happy to report what he says.

    2. I read the charging documents and it’s pretty clear this is someone who makes it a regular practice to disregard the laws. Taking multiple animals out of season, out of bag limit, baiting illegally and killing a bear sow knowing she had cubs.

      I hunt and hate it when people like this jerk make us all look bad. No ethics whatsoever. Erika, please explain to me how I’m wrong in coming to the conclusion that he’s cruel person that is also a thief.

  • Discover more from Living Snoqualmie

    Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

    Continue reading