Author Topic: Mike Thorniley, RIP  (Read 869 times)

Offline Humptulips

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Mike Thorniley, RIP
« on: June 16, 2018, 08:33:33 PM »
Sad to report the passing of Mike Thorniley. Long time supporter and past officer in WSTA.
Bruce Vandervort

Offline bearpaw

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Re: Mike Thorniley, RIP
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2018, 12:01:44 AM »
Sorry to hear, Mike was a good guy. My condolences to Bobby and their family.
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Offline winshooter88

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Re: Mike Thorniley, RIP
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2018, 01:42:03 AM »
Condolences to Bobby and family, knew them through the GMAC meetings.

Offline 520backyard

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Re: Mike Thorniley, RIP
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2018, 08:34:59 AM »
I have heard many many stories of good times had fishing and hunting with Mike and family. He had a wealth of knowledge of wildlife and the outdoors and passed that along throughout the Thorniley clan and now they too pass that knowledge gleaned from Mike along. One of the old guard has passed, they don't make'm like that anymore, truly a nice guy. My deepest condolences to all the Thornileys on their loss.
Swim hell, the fall will kill ya.

Offline Trapper John

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Re: Mike Thorniley, RIP
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2018, 12:30:33 PM »

I've known Mike for some 35 years.  Great guy

To let you guys know, as Chairman for the Award Committee, I sent a letter out to Mike last week before he past to congratulate him on being nominated by his peers into the WSTA "Hall of Fame".  :salute: This award was going to be presented to him at this years Summer Rendezvous.  I'm sure some one will be there to accept the award if not I will deliver it personally to Bobbie.

An inductee in the Washington State Trappers Association Hall of Fame is the Highest Honor that can be bestowed on those that have given unselfishly of themselves to help protect the heritage of trapping in Washington State.  This is a memorial for all time.

JC   :salute:

Offline SkookumHntr

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Re: Mike Thorniley, RIP
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2018, 03:36:24 PM »
He was a close family friend of ours too!


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Re: Mike Thorniley, RIP
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2018, 04:08:12 PM »
OMG. I knew Mike and always saw him hunting in his green Toyota. RIP Mike...........GODSPEED.
I could care less about what anybody says..............

Offline Machias

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Re: Mike Thorniley, RIP
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2018, 12:51:40 PM »
Very sorry to hear this.
Fred Moyer

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Offline Hunter4Life

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Re: Mike Thorniley, RIP
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2018, 08:31:21 AM »
Mike Thorniley is also a founder member of both the Hunters Heritage Council and Washingtonians for Wildlife Conservation.  Mike is the Hunters Heritage Council Hall of Fame, the organization's highest honor, received a "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the organization, and is an "Honorary Lifetime Member" of Washingtonians for Wildlife Conservation.  He was a great one, a dear friend, and he will be sorely missed.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 08:47:13 AM by Hunter4Life »
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Offline Wacenturion

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Re: Mike Thorniley, RIP
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2018, 03:20:37 PM »
So sad to hear.  Mike actually was one of three on an interview panel that hired me in my first position of Wildlife Control Agent for the old Dept. of Game. After the interviews were done he actually showed up at our residence in Moses Lake to offer me the job.  I had graduated from the University of Idaho and moved back to Moses Lake where I had a Dept. of Ag job waiting.

Funny story I have to tell about Mike.  A month of so after becoming a Wildlife Control Agent, I caught my first beaver in response to a damage complaint at Steamboat State Park on Banks Lake.  The park was new and park employees were planting trees along the east shoreline.  The beaver was taking them down as fast as they planted them.  Now remember, I had no trapping experience except for a few days myself and a couple other control agents spent with Mike and a few other D.O.G. employees who were regular control agents.

So I head up to Banks Lake and unload my 12 Valco boat to search for said beaver.  I immediately found it's lodge about 80 yards offshore.  I had to attach a 30-40 lb. rock to the end of a drowning line and dropped it in the lake.  At the other end I made a cake of mud and injected it with an ample supply of beaver castoreum from a beaver's anal sac for attractant.  All new to  Set a trap next to the attractant and head home.

Next day head back up to check trap.  Had a beaver apparently as the trap was gone.  Wow, could barely pull it up along with the heavy rock I used to anchor the set.  When I got it to the surface I could not believe my eyes.  A huge beaver.  On the way home I stopped in Coulee City and had it weighed on a grain scale.  It was 74 lbs. and some ozs. (can't remember the ozs. exactly....been too long).

Could not wait to tell Mike.  Got home and called him as I was extremely pleased with myself and wanted to thank him for the training.  When I told him how big it was he went silent then when I asked if he was still there, he said something to the effect....."I can't believe it.  Been trapping all my life and never caught a beaver that big.  You do it on your first attempt".  May have been some descriptive words used in jest as

That beaver was mounted by Dick Hoyt, the regional Wildlife agent in the Ephrata office and still resides at the Grant Count Museum in Ephrata the last i heard.  Caught a lot more beavers before I moved on from my trapping days and into a new position with WDFW, but nothing that big or even close.  I owe it all to Mike.  Rest in Peace my friend.  You will always be remembered. 

Bobby and family I am so sorry for your loss.

(Dan B)
"About the time you realize that your father was a smart man, you have a teenager telling you just how stupid you are."

Offline one more

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Re: Mike Thorniley, RIP
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2018, 05:15:18 PM »
We will all miss Mike at the Ronde and all the things he's done for WSTA.  He was a very nice man.  My condolences to Bobby and his family. 
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Offline Trapper John

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Re: Mike Thorniley, RIP
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2018, 12:36:35 PM »

There will be a memorial for Mike on the Westside at Millersylvania State Park this Saturday July 7th, 2018 beginning at 12:00 noon.
Bobbie said:  At Mikes request there will be a pot luck lunch.

I believe that Millersylvania State Park is in the Olympia area.
If your going please bring something, I'll see you here.


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