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Poachers sentenced for killing deer in Yosemite National Park
Goes to show you what happens when you get greedy. These guys are from Riverside and Fontana. Poachers suck and I am surprised that this Chad Gierlach only got a 5 year suspension on his hunting license. I would have thought it'd be revoked for life.
What the artcile doesn't say is that Chad has posted on multiple forums before about how he got big mulies down here in D11 and other units. Do a search and you'll find them. I posted one below. There are many other photos. The saddest part is he got his young boy involved in all of it. I hope someone will show the kid the legal way to hunt so he doesn't follow in his father's footsteps.
From the Sacramento Bee
It almost sounds like a tale from the "Survivor" TV show.
California Fish and Game Warden Chad Elliott and his patrol dog spent six straight nights stalking four people illegally hunting deer at 10,000 feet elevation in the backcountry of Yosemite National Park.
Their tracking effort went on so long that Elliott used up all his food. To stay nourished, he caught a trout in the wilderness to share with his K-9 warden partner, Jonah, and even seasoned the meal with some wild chives.
Elliott caught the poachers by moonlight at 5:30 a.m. on the sixth day. In case he fell asleep during the lookout, he had rigged a booby trap across the trail using his cooking utensils and string found at an old campsite.
The dog ended up limping out of the backcountry on three legs – over a distance of six miles – after injuring a foot.
"Just being a hunter myself, basically it was hunting for me. I was hunting for people," said Elliott. "I just couldn't peel myself away."
That all happened in late August 2008. On Tuesday, three of the perpetrators were sentenced in federal court to fines totaling nearly $60,000 for illegally hunting mule deer inside Yosemite, where hunting is banned.
Evidence gathered by Elliott and National Park Service rangers showed that the suspects killed three trophy bucks in the park with bow and arrow.
"I doubt I'll ever see a case like this again in my career," said Elliott, 31, a game warden for nine years whose territory is Mono County. "It opened up kind of a Pandora's box, realizing it wasn't just one incident with these particular suspects. Wherever we looked, there seemed to be a violation."
Suspects Chad Michael Gierlich, 39, of Riverside and his brother, Christopher John Gierlich, 36, of Fontana were sentenced to 60 days and 30 days, respectively, in the Mono County jail, when they faced a local judge last month. They each also paid a $1,000 fine and face years of probation and hunting bans.
When sentenced in federal court Tuesday, Chad Gierlich received a $52,386 fine, five years' probation, a five-year national hunting ban, and a five-year ban from Yosemite National Park.
Christopher Gierlich's federal penalties were 45 days of house arrest, 250 hours of community service, five years on probation and a five-year hunting ban.
Their friend, Kyle David Narasky, 36, of Apple Valley, was punished in Mono County with a $1,000 fine, a three-year hunting ban, two years' probation and 200 hours of community service. In federal court Tuesday, Narasky was punished with a $7,500 fine and two years on probation.
The suspects and their attorneys could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Chad Gierlich's son, who was 13 at the time, participated in the illegal Yosemite hunt but was not prosecuted, Elliott said.
The case began with a citizen tip that was so detailed and accurate, Elliott said, that it led him to one of the suspects' vehicles at the Virginia Lake trailhead in Yosemite's mountainous backcountry. This caused him to believe the suspects were hunting illegally at that very moment – a supposition that later proved true.
A search on foot began immediately and and covered 10 miles per day. Two National Park Service rangers joined Elliott for the first three nights.
Elliott and his wounded dog hiked out after the fifth night. He returned for a sixth night – after a nap at home and a meal with his family – and was joined by one park ranger.
Early the next morning, while trying to sneak out of the park, the suspects tripped Elliott's booby trap.
They had previously used binoculars to spot the rangers in daylight, Elliott said, and had hidden all evidence of their hunt before hiking out. He was forced to let them go for lack of evidence after two hours of questioning.
But two subsequent searches of the rugged area using Jonah and another dog unearthed a treasure trove of evidence, including remnants of three killed and butchered deer, the suspects' identification and clothing, and camera memory cards with incriminating evidence.