Warning for Hunters about Finding MarijuanaPosted: Updated:
Hunters out in remote areas may need to know what to do if they run acros outdoor marijuana growing operations. If you come across a marijuana field you should leave the area immediately.
KNDU spoke to Washington State Fish and Wildlife. They said even though you are carrying a rifle, the people associated with these plants are very dangerous.
In Aug. 74,000 marijuana plants were found throughout the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. The forest service says they were in areas hunters like to visit during hunting season.
"I've heard about the people involved with them and I don't want to be part of them," said Jeff Dress, who has been hunting for 40 years.
Dress, owner of Ranch and Home says he wouldn't take any chances if he came across marijuana.
"I wouldn't be writing anything down. I wouldn't want anybody to see cause in case they had binoculars on and they are watching. I would take a mental picture as best I could and I'd just leave," said Dress.
If you do see something suspicious that mental picture you take can be very helpful to law enforcement especially if you can remember the location.
"If you do see people descriptions of vehicles, in the area would be helpful, but the big thing is to be concerned for your own safety and just go ahead and leave the area," said Sgt. Gene Beireis, WA State Fish and Wildlife Department.
You may be carrying a rifle, but don't let that give you a false sense of security.
"It's law enforcement's job to deal with criminals so even though you're armed we don't recommend it in any situation a confrontation. The same is true in a poaching situation where we get calls. Instead of confronting the guy we'd rather have you be an excellent witness and call us and have us get a hold of the people," said Beireis.
By October most of the illegal marijuana growths will have been harvested. You may still find evidence of a plantation. Some of the signs would be bags of fertilizer, plastic piping, and rat poison.
If you run across something suspicious while hunting call police as soon as possible.