Charges against alleged teenage poachers considered

FORKS – Prosecutors are considering charges against three teens suspected of illegally shooting six elk in December and then leaving them to die.

The elk, four cows and two calves, were discovered by a passerby on Dec. 10 in a clearcut off Sitkum-Sol Duc Road – also known as the A Road – north of Forks.

One of the calves was still alive and was put down by a state Fish and Wildlife officer who estimated it had survived about 22 hours after being shot in the hindquarters.

Two of the boys were 16 years old at the time and one was 15, said Clallam County Deputy Prosecutor Tracey Lassus.

She said she will review case files this week and is considering filing charges in Clallam County juvenile court.

The 15-year-old had citations filed in Clallam County District Court No. 2 in Forks Jan. 4, said Fish and Wildlife Officer Brian Fairbanks, the officer who humanely killed the calf and who conducted the investigation.

The citation is for unlawful hunting of big game, spotlighting of big game and wastage of big game, Fairbanks said.

Spotlighting is when spotlights or headlights from vehicles are used to hunt animals at night.

The citation will then be reviewed by district court prosecutors for charges, Fairbanks said.

The potential charges are misdemeanors and will be filed in district court.

Possible charges against the other two boys, one of whom has turned 17 since the incident, will include the hunting charges but also felony firearm charges, Lassus said.

The 15-year-old is not suspected of using a firearm in the killing of the elk, Lassus said.

The names of the boys were not released.

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