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OR: Poaching across Oregon keeps authorities busy

The World

NORTH BEND — Last month, a yearling doe was shot and left to rot off Willanch Lane in North Bend.

Poaching isn’t new to the area, but Oregon State Police Trooper Brian Koell said the agency put out a press release because is was able to provide an image of the vehicle — a black pickup — thought to belong to the culprit.

Every year, Koell said there’s usually around 20 cases of unlawful take and wasting.

Koell said this past deer season, the office has seen four or five cases, similar to last year’s number.

“We deal with a lot of wasting cases,” Koell said.

He said there’s an uptick when elk season starts.

Oregon State Police are asking for help in identifying the culprit in the Oct 22 incident.

There is a reward for information that leads to the arrest of conviction of people that participate in illegal killings. The reward is part of the Turn-In-Poachers program, which is sponsored by the Oregon Hunters Association. Troopers rely on reporting from the community to help generate leads.

As of Wednesday morning, Koell said there haven’t been any tips called in.

This area, as well as other parts of the state, have dealt with large-scale poaching cases in the past.

In 2001, Coos Bay troopers dealt with one of the worst elk poaching cases in the area when Dennis Robertson shot six bull elk off Seven Devils Road, leaving their carcasses.

Wildlife crimes are class A misdemeanors.

Last month, five suspects from a massive poaching ring that illegally killed wildlife in both Oregon and Washington appeared in court.

Erik Martin, William Haynes, Joseph Dills, Eddy Dills and Bryan Tretiak are charged with 200 criminal counts related to poaching.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife searched the homes of Martin and Haynes in December of last year after the men admitted to illegally killing a deer that officers found headless in The Dalles.

Pictures and texts on the two men’s phones documented the killing of more than 100 animals, including black bears, bobcats, deer and elk.

Currently, there’s a $15,500 reward for a gray wolf that was illegally killed in April in Klamath County.

Eight wolves have been poached or mysteriously died in Oregon since 2015, according to a news release from the Center for Biological Diversity.

The TIP hotline can be called at 1-800-452-7888.