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3 Riverside County Men Charged with Poaching in Yosemite National Park

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A mule deer in Yosemite Valley | Photo by Sylvain Leprovost via Flickr
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That's just not cool. Congress may have just passed a law allowing guns into national parks that takes effect in February, but hunting animals before and after the law is not legal and is just plain bastardly. Over the past several years, multiple trophy-sized deer have been poached within Yosemite National Park boundaries. As authorities began to investigate, officials "uncovered a complex, concerted effort by these individuals to illegally hunt within the park and kill trophy size bucks," according to a statement from the park.

Chad Gierlich, Chris Gierlich, and Kyle Narasky--all from Riverside County--have been charged with the crimes after an investigation that led to search warrants that led to evidence such as bows and arrows, GIS devices, mounted kills, and several other items.

“This is the most egregious case of illegal hunting we have uncovered here in Yosemite National Park," said Yosemite Chief Ranger Steve Shackelton. "Wildlife in Yosemite is as important as Half Dome or Yosemite Falls. We take this activity very seriously and will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute anybody found to be partaking in this activity."

The three Riverside County men are scheduled to appear in Federal Court in the next few weeks.