BEND, OR -- Oregon State Police troopers from the Fish and Wildlife Division will help protect the mule deer population in Central Oregon, this winter. Officers from Bend, La Pine and Klamath Falls will watch for suspicious activity on deer ranges near Fort Rock and Silver Lake.
Lt. Bill Fugate with OSP says poaching has been a problem for a while. "There have been several major investigations involving these trophy bucks, with obviously the best DNA and genetics that have been passed down, they're getting just killed and left to waste for their antlers." He tells KBND News, "There is a black market out there for deer antlers, whether it be for decorations or art, or whatever the case may be. And, there could be quite a value depending on how many pounds of antlers somebody has; or people get them just as trophies to hang in their house and show off. It's just a selfish act."
Lt. Fugate says surveillance cameras and aircraft will be used to patrol for poachers.