Hiram Wilburn’s brush with the law for operating an illegal game farm apparently is over.
Snohomish County prosecutors this week dismissed felony and misdemeanor charges against the 82-year-old Granite Falls man because he promised to destroy his herd of exotic deer.
Wilburn has two weeks to destroy several sika deer, which are native to Japan. If he doesn’t, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife will come in and do the job, deputy prosecutor Diane Nipert said.
The case was dismissed because Wilburn agreed to destroy the deer on Monday, the day his trial was to start.
In late 2002, he was charged with a misdemeanor for operating an illegal game farm, and a felony for releasing exotic wildlife. The deer occasionally got out of Wilburn’s 25-acre parcel on the edge of Granite Falls.
Nipert said wildlife agents feared the deer would breed with local elk and deer, and also pass diseases to the native animals.