Washington state wildlife manager accused of poaching

He allegedly illegally killed an animal in Ferry County, then reported the incident, calling it a “mistake.”

Brock Hoenes (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)

Brock Hoenes (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)

Associated Press

SPOKANE — A Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife employee has been accused of poaching.

The Ferry County prosecutor last month charged Fish and Wildlife north-central region director Brock Hoenes with second-degree unlawful hunting of big game, The Spokesman-Review reported.

If convicted, there is a maximum penalty of one year in jail, a $5,000 fine or both.

Hoenes “on or about” Nov. 13 illegally killed an animal in Ferry County, according to court documents provided to the newspaper by environmental advocacy groups Washington Wildlife First and the Kettle Range Conservation Group.

What kind of animal, what kind of weapon used and a more detailed explanation of what happened were not included in court documents.

Hoenes told the newspaper this week that he reported the incident immediately and said he couldn’t comment further because of the court case.

“Yes, I self-reported the incident immediately after I realized I made the mistake and cooperated fully during the investigation,” Hoenes wrote in an email.

A spokesman for Fish and Wildlife declined to comment and referred questions to the Ferry County Prosecutor’s Office. The prosecutor’s office referred questions to the investigatory agency, which in this case was WDFW’s enforcement division.

“To have someone in a management position that is a poacher without any sort of disciplinary action is beyond hypocritical,” said Samantha Bruegger, the executive director of Washington Wildlife First. “It’s irresponsible.”

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