By Emily Schwing, Northwest News Network
Last month, a Washington state resident was fined more than $8,000 for poaching three wolves in 2016.
DNA evidence linked him to three separate kills, but other poaching cases remain unsolved.
Last month, Terry Leroy Fowler of Liberty Lake pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawfully killing wolves in Pend Oreille County in 2016.
A third count was dismissed in a plea agreement.
“It’s no secret that wolves are an endangered species and classified as such in the state of Washington,” Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Police Capt. Dan Rahn said. “I don’t think there was any question there whether the person knew that it was unlawful or not, when you’re taking wolves and trapping and killing them.”
Rahn said evidence at the scene led investigators to Fowler, but that doesn’t happen in every poaching case.
Back in December, two wolves were found dead elsewhere in northeastern Washington. The unlawful kills prompted environmental groups to offer a $20,000 reward, but officials say so far, that hasn’t incentivized anyone to come forward.