Poaching suspect now faces bail jumping charge

Next court appearance for Jason Bradley Hutt set for Thursday

PORT ANGELES — An alleged big game poacher who is charged with 26 counts of illegal hunting in Clallam and Jefferson counties is facing a bail jumping charge for failing to appear in court last week.

Jason Bradley Hutt was admonished Monday for failing to appear for a Thursday hearing in Clallam County Superior Court.

Clallam County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Steve Johnson filed Monday a motion to charge Hutt with bail jumping. Hutt’s next court hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday.

Hutt, 29, was arrested without incident on a $15,000 warrant at his Sequim residence Sunday.

He told Judge Brian Coughenour that he believed his Thursday court hearing was Friday. He said the document that listed the correct date was stolen from his vehicle.

“I’ve been to every court date except for that one,” Hutt said. “It was an honest accident. People make mistakes. I was there on Friday.”

Johnson requested that Hutt be held in the Clallam County jail on $15,000 bail.

“Mr. Hutt did fail to appear on the 17th and seems to be indicating that he has so many court dates going on that he can’t keep track of them,” Johnson said.

“I think Mr. Hutt has demonstrated his likelihood to not appear.”

Hutt told Coughenour that he was being evicted from his home and that he lost his job because of his legal troubles.

“I’m financially just exhausted, emotionally exhausted,” Hutt said. “It’s been overwhelming for me, and I’m sorry that I missed one day.”

Coughenour, who at one point scolded Hutt for talking over him, released Hutt on his personal recognizance.

“Frankly, I am not fearful that you won’t return to court,” Coughenour told Hutt, who had previously posted $10,000 bail bonds in Clallam and Jefferson counties.

“I’m going to give you the opportunity to prove yourself and show up. If you don’t show up for court another time when you’re told in writing to be here, the bail’s going to be there, and it ain’t changing.”

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife alleged that Hutt and an accomplice — Wyatt James Beck — illegally killed several bears, deer and elk in Clallam and Jefferson counties in the summer of 2018.

Hutt was charged in Clallam County Superior Court on Aug. 26 with 12 counts of first-degree unlawful hunting of big game, two counts of first-degree unlawful transportation of wildlife and single counts of waste of wildlife and unlawful hunting on the property of another.

He and Beck were each charged in Jefferson County Superior Court on Sept. 6 with two counts of first-degree accomplice to unlawful hunting of big game for the alleged poaching of two elk in the Brinnon area last year.

Hutt was charged in Clallam County Superior Court on Sept. 27 with two counts of first-degree unlawful hunting of big game, three counts of second-degree hunting of wild animals or wild birds, two counts of unlawful possession of a loaded firearm and one count of unlawful carrying of a firearm.

The eight new charges against Hutt stem from discovery of an illegally hunted or illegally possessed river otter pelt, bobcat pelt and harlequin duck carcass that were found at Hutt’s residence Aug. 30.

Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Kit Rosenberger has said it was the largest poaching case that his department had investigated in recent years.

Hutt also is charged with possession of methamphetamine in a third Clallam County case and first-degree theft and possession of a stolen excavator in a fourth case.


Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsula dailynews.com.