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Thank you folks for posting these links.

I dont believe "poacher' applies in this case.
Did he make a very bad, stupid even, mistake, YES!!!
Was it his wife that convinced him to self report?

The 'Greenies' are gonna make as much hay out of this as possible.
And by the sounds of it , the Washington Dept. is gonna have some trouble over this.

Its to bad that first article is so poorly written.
 

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Hopefully, the 10% of employees who witnessed corruption at WDFW are not fired.
Corruption is a pretty strong word especially when that 10% includes what respondents perceived as unethical behavior which can be and often is highly subjective. If there were actual violations of the law I hope it was reported.
 

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I am not a hunter, but I would weigh in as this being an honest mistake. Yes he does work for the agency, but our regs are a nightmare.. at least the fishing regs are.. I never have looked at hunting regs but seems that might be more confusing..
What? A nightmare?? Can't be...they just went through an agency generated process to simplify them.
 

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This was a stupid mistake it looks like to me without having all the evidence. I will say this is extremely agenda driven also and is spun up by the anti hunting crowed. They would love to have all the hunters that are wdfw employees removed from that office. They will jump on any chance to degrade and demoralize the North American model of game management. With the end goal to stop all hunting. With some of the recent stuff going on in Washington, including the stopping of the spring bear season for no biological reason. I’m glad I don’t live there. Looks like the writing is on the wall to me. I sure hope you guys start becoming pro active and make your voices heard. I also hope your guys hunting organization start focusing on PR work. Because those anti hunting organizations focus on spinning the truth and lying to non hunters, in my opinion. To get the votes and the change they want. The best thing for these groups is to use a bunch of hunters to turn on another to get there way. In no means am I saying that hunting out of season is okay. I will let the courts decide this one with all the facts in hand. I do question whether if it was a average joe, that shot something legally he thought at the time. Then found out it wasn’t and self reported. If the prosecutor would have pressed charges? I know for a fact they haven’t in a lot of cases here in Oregon.
 

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Washington Wildlife First is an new advocacy group seeking to impact wildlife management in Washington. Reading their website is a real eye-opening. Mission, Vision and Values - Wildlife First
I just went through this site. Hopefully you Washington folks are prepared. These folks are definitely circling ranks. When you look at this group at the national level. Some very heavy hitters.
 

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The Regs are insanely labyrinthine, it takes a consultation with a good lawyer to parse the meanings of some of them. If this guy can't get them straight, how about they simplify it for the rest of us.
 

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If only he had a bunch of game wardens that worked for him and he could’ve called them ahead of time to ask. Or even better, maybe if he’d been part of writing the rules he would’ve known them really well.

Guy sounds like a bonehead but the fact that an extremist group is trying to get rid of him doesn’t sound good either.
 

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From the article linked in the first post:

In September 2021, Washington State Auditor Pat McCarthy released a performance audit titled "Assessing the Workplace Culture at the Department of Fish and Wildlife". The report revealed that 10% of those who were spoken to indicated they had witnessed a DFW employee "commit legal or ethical violations" in the past year.
Some of the examples given included:
  • Unethical use or issuance of untracked hunting permits between managers
  • Allowing the over-harvesting of game
  • Mismanagement of funds through inaccurate record-keeping or nontransparent data. Several people, in separate interviews, said that when they brought the mismanagement of funds or data issues to the attention of management, they were told to “leave it alone.”
  • Unethical hiring or promotion practices exhibiting favoritism. Examples included hiring an employee’s family member, hiring someone unqualified, or rewriting a job description to fit a specific person
If the above is true, then that's absolutely amazing. That an organization the size of a state agency can have 90% of respondents report that they have NOT seen the above "ethical or legal violations" (or others) is absolutely mind blowing.

"Allowing the over-harvesting of game" - what does this mean? Allowing a couple of extra birds in a daily limit whilst looking the other way? Authorizing 50 tags in a unit where the complainant believes 40 is the right number?

"Mismanagement of funds through...nontransparent data." - I'd say transparent data, especially when dealing with the issues that a wildlife agency deals with, is extremely rare.

"...hiring someone unqualified..." - oh, the horror!!

I can say I had a whole pizza, nine cheeseburgers, soup, two Porterhouse steaks, four whole chickens, three apple pies, or a Costco-sized bag of Doritos for lunch yesterday and I'd be 100% honest.
 

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I feel for the guy…. I guess…? that said, this is news worthy because of his position. If you work for the agency, sorry, there’s a different set of standards regardless of empathy. Not here to debate it, just my thought on the matter.
 

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The regs can be annoying but the seasons, bag limit, and units are clearly listed. I don’t buy that excuse one bit. Your job is to read em. I bet if you took the time to read the regs front to back you might see some things you’ve missed.

 

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Seems as if thought he was in the legal area, but slightly out of it. Easy mistake these days. Look at the hunting and fishing regs. A nightmare to interpret at times. Look at the Marine Reserves. Some have GPS points, others have a visual relationship to a shore feature. How about the government that makes these decisions put out some files to download in to 90% of the GPS models we use? If he had not self reported, I doubt anyone would know. How far out of the area was he?
 

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My first thought was it was an honest mistake. After thinking about it.

He should be found guilty. How many of us would make an honest mistake hunting or fishing in a "special hunt"? I would say very few because we read the regs use our onX map and so on. Him being in the profession he is in should be held to a bit higher standard in my mind.

That was not a legitimate mistake.
 

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Any average Joe who self-reported would likely receive minimal to no punishment. And Average Joe's story most certainly wouldn't have made headlines across the nation. But Hoenes is no Average Joe ...... and should suffer under the full force of the law. This criminal needs to be made an example of. Maximum fine, jail time, loss of firearm, loss of hunting rights, loss of job and pension should all be on the table. The concept of equal protection under the law should be tossed out the window. Anything to appease the folks at Washington Wildife First.
 

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Any average Joe who self-reported would likely receive minimal to no punishment. And Average Joe's story most certainly wouldn't have made headlines across the nation. But Hoenes is no Average Joe ...... and should suffer under the full force of the law. This criminal needs to be made an example of. Maximum fine, jail time, loss of firearm, loss of hunting rights, loss of job and pension should all be on the table. The concept of equal protection under the law should be tossed out the window. Anything to appease the folks at Washington Wildife First.
I would guess, conservatively, that there are 500 people just in Seattle who need to be in jail more than this guy does.
 

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I’m sorry but you go out hunting and don’t know what unit your in? What? How is this hard? He messed up and is gunna pay a lil bit for it. Not that big of deal, he’s not going to jail. It’s really simple. Atleast he was upfront and honest which should be seen as honorable I suppose.

Do your research. It’s right there. I just found out more than I care to know about Washington’s whitetail hunting seasons in about 5 minutes using google.
 

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I think some of you posting on here must not realize that Hoenes is involved in setting wildlife management practices. Including seasons, harvest etc.
 

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Im not saying that if hes guilty he needs to be hung. But he should definitely be held to a higher standard!
 
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