OKANOGAN — The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has upped the reward to help catch those responsible for killing trophy bucks in the Okanogan area and taking only the heads.
The agency is now offering $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for killing mule deer in an area stretching from Bridgeport to west of Okanogan.
At least four deer were shot and beheaded in January and two more carcasses that were found were too decomposed to determine if the same people are responsible, said Wildlife Sgt. Jim Brown. Based on their body size, all six deer appeared to be bucks with four points or better.
“This is the public’s resource that is being killed and then left to go to waste,” Brown said.
He said a new law passed by the state Legislature in 2011 makes spree killing a felony, and allows the agency to charge an additional $6,000 penalty per animal beyond fines set by the court. Vehicles and weapons may be seized for forfeiture.
In January, the agency offered a $1,000 reward, and increased the amount after finding two more headless deer.
Brown said he’s had two officers working on the case almost full-time.
“We appreciate those who have called in already, and if we could have done something with the information, we would have,” he said, adding, “We’re still waiting for that good piece of information” that will lead to an arrest.
K.C. Mehaffey: 997-2512