We don't stop hiking because we grow old, we grow old because we stop hiking. -- Finis Mitchell

Four men arrested for eagle poaching in Washington

Spokane made the national news again. This time four men were arrested by federal officers for poaching and selling bald eagles, golden eagles and other protected birds. The OutdoorNews article said:

Arrested were Ricky Sam Wahchumwah, of Granger, Wash.; Alfred L. Hawk Jr., of White Swan, Wash.; William Wahsise, of White Swan, Wash.; and Reginald Dale Akeen, also known as J.J. Lonelodge, of Anadarko, Okla. All were arrested for investigation of violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the Lacey Act.

A complaint filed in federal court in Eastern Washington alleges that Hawk sold undercover agents a bald eagle tail, two golden eagle tails, one set of golden eagle wings, four red-shafted northern flicker tails, four rough-legged hawk tails, and two northern harrier tails, all for $3,000.

Last week I talked about a man that was poaching sea otters. And just like that case it's aweful that someone is killing these beautiful creatures, but just as bad is the people who buy this stuff.

I was at the Reptile Gardens in Rapid City, South Dakota and there they have a one winged Bald Eagle. It had been shot by a hunter with a shotgun in Kearney, Nebraska. The poor thing obviously couldn't fly, but the sad part was that it didn't know that. It tried to flap it's wing and get off the ground. It knew what it was like to rule the skys. Diving down, catching fish, and being watched by all. Until some douchebag shot her.

Pardon my language, but what was she hurting? Nothing.

The cases will be prosecuted by the U.S. attorneys’ offices of the Eastern District of Washington and the District of Oregon, and the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section. The charges carry prison terms of up to two years and fines of $250,000 per offense.

Only two years? I'm thinking an eye for an eye thing should be put in here. Maybe that is harsh, but seriously, poaching is a serious problem and if you don't make examples of these men, then others will come. Fine them a million dollars and put them in jail for 15 years. Let's put a stop to the unnecessary killing of these animals.

I love going on kayak trips in the Nisqually Delta. There are lots of bald eagles along this area catching fish in the water. It is a beautiful site to see them perched on the snags and trees so proud and calm. They are a majestic animal.

Protected animals are protected for a reason. If you want to hunt something, buy a tag and go get a non protected animal. Remember what happened to the North American bison. They used to roam everywhere. Now there are NO unaccounted for bison. They are all counted and known. That is so sad to me.

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