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3 from Riverside County charged with poaching deer in Yosemite

August 25, 2009 |  3:56 pm

A deer pauses while munching on grass in Yosemite Valley. 

Three Riverside County residents face multiple federal felony and misdemeanor charges of illegally hunting deer within Yosemite National Park.

A National Park Service release said Chad Gierlich, 37, Chris Gierlich, 35, and Kyle Narasky, 35, have been poaching trophy-sized bucks within Yosemite's boundaries for several years.

An interagency investigation conducted by Yosemite rangers, California Department of Fish and Game wardens and special agents from the park service's Pacific West Region led to the charges.

Search warrants issued resulted in the seizure of items, including bows and arrows and mounted kills.

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

The defendants are scheduled to appear in federal court in the next few weeks.

[Updated at 5 p.m.: An earlier version of this post did not include the suspects' ages.]

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: A deer pauses in a Yosemite Valley meadow. Credit: Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times