MILL CREEK — The hunting trip apparently was illegal from the get-go.
A Mill Creek man, 36, is under investigation for allegedly breaking laws in multiple states during a hunting trip he took in October. He reportedly used an illegal hunting license and killed more elk than allowed.
He is expected to face felony charges in Idaho, court papers show.
Fish and Wildlife agents from Washington and Idaho paid the man a visit at his home in November. They seized his rifle, plus animal bones, and elk and deer meat from his freezer. In all, roughly 230 packages of game meat were taken from the man and his friends who went on the trip, according to a search warrant filed in Everett District Court.
Police believe the man killed four elk during a single morning in Idaho when he only had a tag to take one animal. He reportedly had his friends put their hunting tags on the other three animals to avoid scrutiny. If convicted, that may be a felony offense because it exceeds legal hunting limits. Possessing illegally obtained meat is a crime.
The man also is accused of lying about his residence to obtain cheaper hunting licenses in Idaho and Oregon. He moved to Washington in 2011 but has obtained an Idaho resident hunting license every year since, investigators allege.
When agents went to his house Nov. 1, he reportedly denied hunting in Idaho this year. Witnesses had seen him coming out of the canyon alone. They said he seemed surprised to see them, declined their offer of help and drove off quickly.
It was suspicious enough that they took down a license plate from a truck the man’s friends were using.
The man then told agents that he had shot one elk, and his three friends took three elk with one gunshot each.
When agents interviewed the man’s hunting friends, they told different stories. At least two of them said they were setting up camp when the Mill Creek man came back and said he’d killed three elk and wounded a fourth. They said the man killed the fourth elk when they went to help him pack out the meat.
The suspect’s deer meat from 2013 and 2014 also was seized because it, too, reportedly was obtained illegally.
The Herald is not naming the man because he has not been charged. The case is expected to be prosecuted in Idaho.
Rikki King: 425-339-3449; firstname.lastname@example.org.