Police arrested three Washington teenagers suspected of killing deer to use as bait to hunt eagles.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Police said in a press release that a sheriff’s deputyfound a loaded rifle, fresh blood and deer hair in a car near the Klickitat River in Klickitat County Monday:
Officer Dan Bolton responded to assist a Klickitat County Sheriff’s Deputy who had detained three juvenile tribal members near the Klickitat River with a loaded rifle in their vehicle. The deputy was planning to give a warning to the fifteen year old for the loaded rifle, but found that none of the occupants even had a drivers license. Fresh blood and deer hair was also found in the car.
Officer Bolton and the deputy searched the area for downed wildlife and soon discovered a relatively fresh doe deer on the hillside near where the suspects had parked. Four older deer carcasses in various stages of decomposition were found in the same location. The officers learned that one of the young men shot the doe the night before by using a high powered spot light.
The animal was then placed near the other carcasses in an effort to bait in and shoot eagles.
During this piece of the investigation, another juvenile was detected hiding on the hillside above the officers. After disarming the 17 year old, investigators learned he had been looking for an eagle that he admitted to shooting. The eagle was not recovered. Two rifles were seized for intended forfeiture and criminal charges will be referred to the County Prosecutors Office.