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'I talked with over 60 local hunters and 250 non-hunters. These problems have a larger cause: a gang mentality. It has been disgusting to find what is believed by local hunters'

Aristotle, Ulysses and I were a team on our forestland. Each would fight anyone or anything that attacked any of us.

Today's Spotlight has a memorial to my dog Aristotle. He was lured, clubbed, kidnapped and taken into the woods to be tortured to death in the obscene hunter ritual of coyote baiting. Let out as usual at 7:52 a.m., Ulysses returned in 20 minutes, Aristotle didn't. I started calling, searching.

There were five hunters illegally using our land. Tracks showed he was befriended and lured about a quarter mile down the log road, then clubbed and carried to the other hunters to be forced to fight coyotes until he was torn to pieces while alive. Hunter-style dogfighting.

While searching, I heard shots. The criminals had killed him early in order to run. Many folks have had their beloved dogs treated this way or shot on sight. Coyotes eat the evidence, and your pet disappears. These are violent felons.  Many hunters are accessories to these felonies.

I made a terrible mistake: I trusted hunters, since I have known hunters all my life. Hunting has changed, and is not about safe, cost-effective food. Dollars per pound, with all expenses included. It is about killing for entertainment and it doesn't matter what they kill.

Here are some quotes I have collected from local hunters:

"I like to hunt dogs" (Fred Meyer parking- not coyotes)

"Why are you surprised ... On your land or not" (Comment to the Spotlight paper)

"You know, the hunters kill any dog that they see in the woods" (E. Meissner Road)

"If the economy melts down, I'll hunt until the game runs out and then rob the people with food storage" (D. I. Store, 2008)

I asked the sheriff to help and got a two-month goose chase. When able to contact the wildlife officer, he would not even take a report. Signs from Cornelius Pass to Longview, Washington, were torn down by hunters. I asked hunters to help, they helped the criminals. It took 11 days to find proof. I had to identify a family member and best friend from pieces.

Among Columbia County hunters are many of the most rotten criminals in the county, and hunters have a code of silence. A gang. Many of their crimes are non-hunting crimes but are ignored by the sheriff. Crimes reported with or without the word hunter are treated very differently. Victims — your hunter neighbor won't help. He will look you in the eye and lie. I have seen this with many hunters that are considered "good people"— a board member of a woodland group, a well-driller, a plumber, a worker in the plant business, the mother of the violent felon.

With no law enforcement, I had no choice. As a high-tech researcher, I used those methods. Forensics is science. I succeeded and tried to talk with the crime family. Their response was "how did you find us" and vandalism. I had data on a violent felon and gave the data to the relevant sheriff person who said he wanted to investigate but was not allowed to. A violent felon walks free. Serial killers often start out by enjoying dismembering, torturing and killing animals.

I talked with over 60 local hunters and 250 non-hunters. These problems have a larger cause: a gang mentality. It has been disgusting to find what is believed by local hunters. Most beliefs are false, and much told to the public about hunting are lies.

Hunting cannot survive without lies. A hunter is armed and violent. Scrutiny continues out of necessity. It is not whether hunting is good or bad. It is the old, strong and deep relationship between local hunters and crime.

Hunting crimes are not the same as crimes by hunters. The difference is ignored by the sheriff but used by criminals to escape. The community is harmed.

Thank you for being my friend, Aristotle. I am not done.

Charles Bickford

Deer Island


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