Hoquiam hunter killed in Okanogan County

The Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office has identified a hunter who was shot to death Monday as Michael R. Carrigan, 52, of Hoquiam. Sheriff Frank Rogers said the death is not believed to be an accident.

Rogers said deputies talked with a father and son whose house is about 100 yards away from where Carrigan was killed near the tiny town of Chesaw just miles from the Canadian border in north central Washington. The Sheriff’s Office, Fish and Wildlife and the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab processed the scene and the house and its outbuildings.

Rogers said several items were found, and the department is waiting on crime lab testing. He said the father and son are considered persons of interest in the investigation and the son was arrested on an outstanding warrant.

Rogers said Carrigan was grouse hunting on Pontiac Ridge with his uncle, George R. Stover, 65, also of Hoquiam, when he spotted a grouse in a tree. Carrigan stopped and got out to shoot it while Stover waited in the truck.

After Carrigan shot at and missed the bird twice, Stover told deputies he heard another shot come from somewhere nearby.

“Carrigan turns around and looks at him, and he can see blood on him, then he goes to the ground,” Rogers said.

Stover heard another shot, and drove away to call for help, Rogers said. No cell phone service is available in the area, Rogers said, and Stover drove to a nearby home to call police at about 7 p.m. Internet sites describe Chesaw as a ghost town, mostly abandoned.

The Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Border Patrol responded, but when they arrived at the scene, Carrigan was dead.

An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday.