Roadside deer poachers in eastern Oregon are paying the price, ODFW says

JOHN DAY, Ore. (KTVZ) – Poachers are paying the price for their crimes, the Oregon Department of Fisheries and Wildlife said Friday. Three recent court cases reflect the harshness with which Oregonians view wildlife crimes. All three cases concern mule deer that were illegally slaughtered along rural roads last year.

First entered on the roll, a poacher who used a semi-automatic rifle to kill a deer several times from the road, then left the animal fatally injured, was sentenced to a year of suspension for hunting, at the confiscation of his firearm, fined $ 1,000. ($ 500 to the Turn In Poachers (TIP) Line) and a letter of apology to a private landowner.

On the night of October 3, PSO Fisheries and Wildlife Sergeant Erich Timko and Senior Rider Brian Jewett received a report of a 2X2 mule deer being shot on private property in Wheeler County. The Wheeler County Sheriff’s Office also responded and MPs assisted the landowner in shipping the injured deer. They then dressed the carcass on the ground. Witnesses identified a vehicle that may have been involved, and Sergeant Timko worked with the sheriff’s office to follow up. They located the driver.

After being questioned, the driver finally admitted to Sgt. Timko that he had slaughtered the deer while in his headlights as he and his young companion drove along private property on Rowe Creek Road. He was not allowed to be on the property. The man shot the buck several times using a semi-automatic rifle with a high capacity magazine. (When used for big game hunting in Oregon, semi-automatic rifles are limited to magazines with a capacity of no more than five rounds.) He then fled, leaving the animal injured.

The man was convicted of: illegal taking of game mammals; Mammalian game waste; and Illegal hunting on the closed lands of others. Her minor companion was cautioned for: Assisting in a wildlife offense. The police recovered the deer and donated the meat to the food bank.

The second on the role is a poacher who used a handgun to shoot a large mule deer in the road and was later arrested for driving under the influence of intoxicants. Subject received a three-year hunting suspension, confiscation of the handgun used in the crime, a $ 2,250 fine ($ 500 to the TIP fund), 120 hours of community service and 18 months probation. Two adult passengers in the vehicle each received three-year hunting suspensions, a $ 600 fine and 40 hours of community service.

The OSP soldiers were called and arrived at the scene of the poaching incident just nine minutes after they were dispatched at 2 a.m. on October 31. Private Patrick McCosker and Sergeant Erich Timko apprehended three adult men who were looking for a deer they had spotted and pulled from their vehicle on Highway 395 south of Canyon City. Surprised at how quickly their crime was discovered, two of the three men fled. They were then identified and interviewed.

The suspects first claimed to have shot a coyote. Both the driver and the shooter showed signs of impairment and were subsequently arrested for: DUII, hunting from a motor vehicle, no hunting area – public road, light projection while armed, hunting using artificial light, prohibited and illegal hunting hours Possession of prohibited species – Parts of raptors. The soldiers continued their search for evidence. The soldiers seized a .45 caliber handgun from the vehicle.

Weeks later, a member of the public reported finding a large mule deer dead near the scene of the shooting. The soldiers recovered a .45 caliber bullet from the carcass that matched the ammunition possessed by the driver and the gunner. Passengers then admitted that the driver had in fact shot the male several times from the highway.

In addition to the DUII charge, the driver pleaded guilty to the charge of illegal deer capture; Hunting in prohibited area; and Waste from a game mammal. Both passengers pleaded guilty to: Assisting in a wildlife offense.

A third court case involved a poacher who shot a large mule deer 6 points off the roadway in broad daylight in Grant County. This subject lost his hunting privileges for three years, lost his rifle, paid a fine of $ 1,000 and was sentenced to 20 hours of community service and 18 months probation.

Last November, two elk hunters traveling on a USFS road in the East Murderers Creek unit came across a man dragging a large deer away from the roadway. The hunters could see that the goat had just been hit in the chest. They called the TIP line, where they gave a description of the alleged poacher, his truck and his license plate.

PSO F&W Sergeant Erich Timko and Soldiers Khris Brandon, and Patrick McCosker investigated the case. They found the large buck left to waste near where the hunters announced he would be. After further investigation, they identified the man as a resident of Reedsport. Coos Bay F&W Troopers interviewed the suspect, who ultimately admitted to shooting the male. He pleaded guilty to: Illegal taking of deer.

Stop Poaching Campaign Coordinator Yvonne Shaw is delighted with the action taken by the courts.

“We all know poaching is a serious crime that affects all Oregonians,” she said. “Our OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers on the ground are doing a great job of resolving these cases, and this should be a warning to anyone considering illegal wildlife taking.”

If you suspect poaching or see anything suspicious, call the TIP line at (800) 452-7888 or from a cell phone * 677. The Stop Poaching campaign educates the public on how to recognize and report poaching. This campaign is a collaboration between hunters, conservationists, landowners and recreation enthusiasts.

Our goal is to increase reporting of wildlife crime through the TIP line, increase detection by increasing the number of OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers, and increase prosecutions. The Oregon Hunters Association manages the TIP Reward Fund. This campaign helps protect and enhance Oregon’s fish and wildlife and their habitat for the enjoyment of present and future generations. Contact Campaign Coordinator Yvonne Shaw for more information. [email protected]

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Helen L. Cuellar

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