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Bears, Bobcats and More: WDFW Timeline Shows Scope of Poaching

Editor’s Note: The following timeline is the latest in a series of articles detailing a massive poaching operation uncovered in Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon. It comes after a records request that yielded hundreds of pages of evidence collected by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. See previous coverage at www.chronline.com  

Date: Aug. 29, 2015

Location: Gifford Pinchot National Forest south of Randle

Suspects: Bryan Tretiak, Erik Martin, William Haynes, Joe Dills, and Eddy Dills

Bears hunted with the use of dogs. Video evidence appears to show Tretiak shooting a black bear out of a tree. “That’s your typical National Forest bear,” Joe Dills says on video. The bear was taken home by Tretiak.

Date: Aug. 29, 2015

Location: GPNF Forest Service Road 2329

Suspects: Haynes, Martin, J. Dills, E. Dills, Tretiak

Video images show a bear up a tree. Another video eight minutes later shows a bear dead on the ground being mauled by dogs. The animal is believed to have been left to waste due to bone fragments, including teeth, found during a site visit by WDFW officers on June 5, 2017.

Date: Aug. 30, 2015

Location: GPNF south of Takhlakh Lake

Suspects: Sierra Dills, Haynes, J. Dills, E. Dills, Martin

Video shows S. Dills and Haynes shooting a bear as it crosses a road while being pursued by a GPS-collared hunting dog. E. Dills preset in Hoodoo Recreation truck. Bear is believed to have been left to waste.

Date: Sept. 5-7, 2015

Location: GPNF FS 56

Suspects: J. Dills and Haynes

Text messages from Haynes to his mother indicate that dogs were used to chase three bears, two cougars and four bobcats. Hayne says no animals were shot but at least one 350-400-pound bear was killed when the dogs chased it off a cliff into a river.

Date: Sept. 12, 2015

Location: GPNF FS 90 and FS 9085

Suspects: Haynes, E. Dills, J. Dills, Martin

Dogs used to hunt bears. Haynes shot one bear and skinned it on the spot for use as a rug. In a text message, Haynes admits he did not salvage any of the meat because of the hike and the heat. Kill site confirmed by WDFW officers on June 14, 2017.

 Date: Sep. 19, 2015

Location: GPNF, FS 90 south of Takhlakh Lake, FS 8851 and FS 32

Suspects: Haynes, J. Dills, E. Dills

Photos show a juvenile male present for this hunt where dogs were used to tree bears. Haynes was unsure if any bears were shot. Later that day, another bear was treed near Tillicum Creek. Haynes says three bears were chased in total but none were shot due to their small size.

 

Date: Sep. 26-27, 2015

Location: GPNF FS 8871, FS 3241 and FS 100

Suspects: Haynes, S. Dills, J. Dills, E. Dills, Martin and Kyle Manley

Photos from this day show Haynes’ face covered in blood from the apparent spatter of a shotgun blast. Photo and video evidence shows dogs being used to chase bears, and Haynes says S. Dills eventually shot and killed a black bear. Photo evidence shows the bear carcass was brought back to Takhlakh Lake campground where a juvenile male can be observed in camp. Haynes texted his mother with a photo of his bloody face that said, “That’s after the bear we got yesterday. We were a little close when they shot it haha.” Site visited by WDFW officers on July 5, 2017.

Date: Oct. 3, 2015

Location: GPNF FS 8851 south of Randle

Suspects: Haynes and J. Dills

Dogs used to hunt bears. Photo shows one bear up a tree with dogs below but Haynes says it was let go due to its small size. Haynes believes they may have chased the same bear three times on accident. Site confirmed by WDFW but no bear remains found. A juvenile male was present for this hunt.

 

Date: Oct. 4, 2015

Location: GPNF south of Randle

Suspects: Haynes and J. Dills

Haynes says he believes he shot a black bear after using J. Dills’ dog to chase it. Haynes says bear was likely left behind to rot.

Date: Oct. 10, 2015

Location: GPNF south of Randle

Suspects: Haynes, Martin, J. Dills, and (redacted)

J. Dills’ dogs were used to chase bobcats. At least one bobcat was shot over dogs, although the shooter is disputed. 

Date: Oct. 11, 2015

Location: GPNF near Skamania/Lewis county line

Suspects: Haynes, J. Dills, Martin and (Redacted)

Photo evidence shows a sow bear and her cub treed by J. Dills’ dogs. Haynes claims both bears were allowed to leave unharmed. However, during a visit to the site on June 21, 2017 WDFW officers discovered bone remnants of a cub bear. Law enforcement believes the cub was poached and left to waste. 

Date: Nov. 7, 2015

Location: GPNF Loo-Wit GMU near Coldwater Lake

Suspects: Haynes, J. Dills, E. Dills and (Redacted)

Photos show Haynes with a poached 6-by-6 bull elk near the South Coldwater Trail. Another 5-by-5 bull is suspected of being illegally harvested by J. Dills or an accompanying juvenile male in the same location shortly thereafter. That same day, E. Dills and an unnamed person are suspected of taking two elk on the northside of Coldwater Lake. The sites were visited by WDFW officers on May 19, 2017, and several elk bones were located.

Date: Nov. 14, 2015

Location: Colville National Forest

Suspects: Haynes and Martin

Photographic evidence shows Haynes posing with a 5-by-5 whitetail deer. Martin is accused of shooting a 3-point deer that same day. Haynes later admitted in a written statement that he took another deer in 2015 while walking Longview Fiber property off of Clark Creek Road in Longview.

 

Date: Nov. 26, 2015

Location: GPNF south of Randle

Suspects; Haynes, J. Dills, E. Dills, Martin, (redacted) and S. Dills

Dogs were used to hunt bobcats in the snow. The conditions led J. Dills to text Haynes in advance and predict it would be “Like hunting the zoo.” Photographic evidence shows a treed bobcat through the scope of a rifle. Haynes says no bobcats were shot that day but text messages indicate that at least one bobcat was killed. Site visited by WDFW officers on July 11, 2017.

 

Date: Nov. 27, 2015

Location: GPNF Loo-Wit GMU

Suspects: Aubri McKenna, J. Dills and Haynes

Photographic evidence shows J. Dills pulling a 1-by-2 bull elk underneath a guardrail along Spirit Lake Highway (state Route 504) near Mount St. Helens. Aubri McKenna is accused of shooting the elk without the proper permit. The elk was eventually taken to Matt’s Custom Meats in Kelso and filed under McKenna’s name. WDFW officers visited the kill site on April 9, 2017

 

Date: Dec. 25, 2015

Location: Wage Road, Oregon

Suspects: E. Dills, J. Dills, McKenna, Haynes, S. Dills, Martin and (Redacted)

On a snowy Christmas day a large group traveled to Wage Road in Oregon in order to hunt bobcats with dogs. Photos from that day show multiple bobcats laid out on the hood of E. Dills’ truck along with his hunting dogs. No members of the party possessed an Oregon furbearers license and no harvests were reported to wildlife officials as required.

 

Date: Jan. 24, 2016

Location: Nettle Creek, Oregon

Suspects: E. Dills, J. Dills and (Redacted)

Returning to the Wage Road area one month later, dogs are again used to chase bobcats. One video shows a pack of dogs chewing on a dead bobcat early in the day. Later in the day, a second bobcat is documented being taken from near Weed Creek. J. Dills is believed to have shot one bobcat and the juvenile male is believed to have shot the other. No one in the group possessed an Oregon furbearers license and neither harvest was reported to wildlife officials as required.

Date: May 12, 2016

Location: GPNF FS 23

Suspects: Haynes and J. Dills

Video shows eight dogs chewing on a recently deceased bear. A text message from Haynes to his mother indicates the bear was poached south of Randle off of FS 23. The bear is believed to have been left behind to waste. 

Date: May 15, 2016

Location: GPNF FS 3241

Suspects: Haynes and J. Dills

J. Dills’ dogs were used to hunt bear near Chickoon Creek and Crab Creek. Text messages from Haynes to J. Dills indicate they “caught’ a 325 pound bear and a 200 pound bear that day.

 

Date: May 18, 2016

Location: GPNF FS 121, FS 32 and FS 3220

Suspects: Haynes, J. Dills and unknown individual

Using dogs to hunt bears southeast of Mount St. Helens, an unidentified male voice can be heard on a cellphone video saying, “Big bear, another one bites the dust.” Haynes says J. Dills used a pistol grip shotgun to kill the bear and then the group transported the bear to Takhlakh Lake Campground. The kill site was visited by WDFW officers on June 13, 2017, and bear remains were found, indicating the animal was likely left to waste.

 

Date: May 26, 2016

Location: GPNF south of Randle

Suspects: J. Dills, Haynes and unknown individual

Video and photographic evidence from Haynes’ phone indicates that dogs were used to hunt bears on this day. One unidentified voice on a video can be heard saying, “Big bear down. This makes four of the off this flat top. He’s a big bear. Good boys, good boys…get him. Yea.” Haynes says that J. Dills shot the bear and that it was left behind to waste. Bear remains were located by WDFW officers while visiting the kill site on July 13, 2017.

Date: May 27, 2016

Location: GPNF FS 3630 and FS 32

Suspects: Haynes and J. Dills

Video evidence shows J. Dills shooting a black bear at the base of a tree in the Lone Butte Wildlife Area behind a locked gate while surrounded by dogs. At least 12 dogs can be seen tearing into the bear immediately after it is shot. Bear bones were found by WDFW officers during a visit to the kill site on July 5, 2017, leading officials to believe the bear was left behind to waste.

 

Date: June 1, 2016

Location: GPNF FS 32

Suspects: J. Dills and Haynes

Phone records between J. Dills and Haynes indicate they planned on hunting on this day. Two days later Haynes sent a text message that said, “We had four monster bears in a row that were over 300 and mean as f***. I killed one of them at about two feet ‘cause it charged me and another at about 10 feet. The last 11 out of 12 bears have been bayed. Those f****** don’t wanna climb this year.” No evidence of a kill was discovered but neither Dills nor Haynes possessed a bear tag for the area. 

Date: June 10, 2016

Location: GPNF near Canyon Creek

Suspects: Haynes, J. Dills, (redacted) and unknown individual

Photos from Haynes’ phone show a dead bear and bobcat. Text messages from Haynes to his girlfriend indicate he and J. Dills used Dills’ dogs to catch one bobcat and one black bear that day. Haynes says the black bear was left behind to waste. The kill site was visited by WDFW officers on July 12, 2017, and the remains of deer, elk and bear, including a bear skull with an apparent bullet hole, were discovered.

 

Date: June 12, 2016

Location: GPNF FS 2329

Suspects: Haynes, J. Dills, McKenna and (redacted)

After convening at the Gateway gas station in Castle Rock, the group made their way toward FS 2329 in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest near the Yakama Indian Reservation. Once there, they used Dills’ dogs to tree a bear. Haynes says they did not shoot a bear in that location but WDFW officials were able to find bones and other bear remnants during a visit the area on June 13, 2017, including a buck shot slug encased in bear hair.

 

Date: June 29, 2016

Location: GPNF near Takhlakh Lake

Suspects: Haynes, J. Dill and unknown suspect

Cellphone video shows dogs being used to chase a black bear through the woods. J. Dills and an unknown subject can be seen taking aim at the bear as it crosses a logging road and a blast from Dills’ gun puts the bear down. The two men shake hands after Dills shoots the bear a second time and commands for the dogs to be let loose on the downed bear.

 

Date: Sept. 17, 2016

Location: GPNF south of Randle

Suspects: J. Dills, E. Dills, Martin, Haynes and S. Dills

Haynes says the group entered the GPNF through Randle. When the dogs treed a bear Haynes and E. Dills reportedly shot it and then left it to waste before leaving the forest via Cougar.

 

Date: Sept. 24, 2016

Location: GPNF FS 2164

Suspects; Haynes, J. Dills, E. Dills, Martin and (Redacted)

Video evidence shows a bear being shot out of a tree over dogs. When the bear hits the ground, after multiple shots, it can be seen being mauled by at least 11 dogs. A text message from Haynes to his girlfriend says the group caught three bears and were finished hunting by noon. Haynes says J. Dills shot the bear out of the tree. WDFW officers visited the kill site on June 7, 2017, and found bear bones, leading them to believe that the bear was left to waste.

 

Date: Sept. 25, 2016

Location: GPNF FS 2164 and FS 2160

Suspects: E. Dills, J. DIlls, Martin, S. Dills, Haynes

The Dills’ dogs were used to track bears. One bear was attacked by the pack of dogs before it was killed leading E. Dills to put the bear down with J. Dills’ shotgun. Haynes says the bear was left to waste. A visit to the site by WDFW officers on June 9, 2017 found large quantities of bear bones and hair.

Date: Oct. 1, 2016

Location: Slide Creek, Longview

Suspects: E. Dills and J. Dills

A juvenile hunter was taken on a muzzleloader hunt with E. Dills and J. Dills in the outskirts of Longview. When a the muzzleloader apparently malfunctioned for the youth E. Dills grabbed the weapon and used it to kill a 4-by-5 elk. A tag for the elk was purchased later that morning at Baker’s Corner in Longview and the carcass was later taken to Matt’s Custom Meats in Kelso. E. Dills did not possess a muzzleloader tag.

 

Date: Nov. 5, 2016

Location: GPNF Loo-Wit GMU

Suspects: Haynes and Martin

Martin and Haynes were contacted by WDFW officers at daylight while scouting the border line between the closed Loo-Wit GMU and the open Margaret unit. Routine checks came back satisfactory and a warning was issued for an open container of alcohol. Phone records show that Haynes made numerous attempts to send warnings to J. Dills and E. Dills alerting them to the presence of law enforcement in the area.

 

Date: Nov. 7, 2016

Location: GPNF Loo-Wit GMU

Suspect: Haynes and (Redacted)

Haynes sent a text message to Martin telling him that (Redacted name) killed a four-point near Loo-Wit that day.

Date: Nov. 11, 2016

Location: GPNF near Coldwater Lake

Suspects: E. Dills

E. Dills took a juvenile relative hunting and allowed him to shoot a 5×4 bull elk without a valid tag. In an interview with law enforcement E. Dills admitted that they had already used the youth’s elk tag on Oct. 1 so he decided to use his own tag instead. Order forms at Matt’s Custom Meats in Kelso confirmed that the E. Dills’ turned in an elk that day. During the execution of a search warrant the juvenile presented the rack from that elk to investigators, “and indicated to officers that this was the elk he shot and he seemed very proud of this bull elk rack.”

 

Date: Nov. 13, 2016

Location: GPNF Loo-Wit GMU

Suspects: Haynes and an unknown subject

Photographs show Haynes crouched behind bushes posing with a recently poached 5×6 elk just off of Spirit Lake Highway (504) near Mt. St. Helens. Haynes admitted that he stored the meat and antlers at his girlfriend’s parents’ house in Clatskanie, Oregon. Those remains were recovered by law enforcement on Dec. 4, 2016. The kill site was visited by WDFW officers on May 19, 2017 and elk bones were found nearby.

 

Date: Nov. 19, 2016

Location: Southeast of Mt. Hood, Oregon

Suspects: Martin, Haynes, J. Dills, S. Dills and McKenna

At least four buck deer were poached at night using spotlights and headlights. On the way home E. Martin texted his girlfriend to say, “We are headed home now. We killed a pile of bucks.” In a written statement to law enforcement Haynes claimed that he and Martin poached seven or eight bucks and then cut their heads off and left their bodies behind during that trip to Oregon. “We never took any of the meat. We just took the heads,” wrote Haynes. “In total I think we shot around 20 deer in a two-week period.”

 

Date: Nov. 30, 2016

Location: U.S.F.S. Land south of The Dalles, Oregon

Suspects: Erik Martin and William Haynes

Through the use of trail cameras, Oregon law enforcement observed Martin and Haynes conducting an illegal hunt with the use of spotlights for two deer and one silver gray squirrel.

Date: Dec. 3, 2016

Location: The Dalles, OR

Suspects: E. Martin and William haynes

Oregon State Patrol troopers spot a truck, belonging to Martin, that matches the description of the truck seen on trail camera footage. During traffic stop Martin and Haynes admit to poaching two deer and squirrel, consent to have their cellphones searched. Later that day they provide more than 20 poached deer skulls  to officers. Cellphone data eventually leads to the discovery of more than 50 incidents of suspected poaching in Oregon and Washington dating back to 2015.

 

Date: Feb. 14, 2017

Location: Pacific County, Washington

Suspects: E. Dills and unnamed suspect

E. Dills and an unknown accomplice are believed to have used Dills’ dogs to hunt bobcats on the 1900 Road of Rayonier Timber Company land near Salmon Creek in Pacific County. A text message from J. Dills to an unknown recipient read, “My dad and your dad caught a big tom today.” Later on the text conversation indicates that two bobcats were taken that day.

2 Replies to “Bears, Bobcats and More: WDFW Timeline Shows Scope of Poaching”

  1. Sue

    I’d be willing to bet (although I could be wrong, I wish I was) that they got a little paddle on the popo and were told not to do it again. Judges are pussies, they don’t want to deal with these assholes so they just let them go with nary a punishment. I’d really be surprised if they got stiff jail time and big fines. Which they won’t pay anyway.

  2. John Marston

    That billy Haynes hillbilly punk would show up to the mark morris high school parking lot with deer heads in the back of his rusty ass truck and this was way back in like 2012. Fuk if I was the judge I would give this hillbilly at least 25 years behind bars.

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