NEAR MONTESANO, Wash. -- Washington Fish and Wildlife Officers spent part of their Thanksgiving investigating the shooting of four elk near a logging road in Grays Harbor County. Only one was taken for food, the other three were apparently shot for the fun of it and left to rot.
"So these people are not hunters. They care less about the environment, they care less about the species and they care less about anyone else ever being able to hunt these things," said Fish and Wildlife Officer Mark James.
James believes the elk are members of a nearby herd of about 15. He says losing four is bad enough, but because the poached elk were all females and all pregnant, the attack cost the herd up to eight animals.
The so-called wildlife thrill killings are becoming more common.
"We've noticed a growing trend of incidents like this statewide, where a poacher or group of poachers will come in a slaughter a number of animals," said James.
A similar incident occurred last year in Grays Harbor County. Officers made three arrests in that case and hope to get the public's help to find whoever is behind this latest incident.