Local News

OSP, ODFW Investigating Cluster Of Poaching Incidents

SALEM, OR -- Oregon State Police fish and wildlife troopers are investigating almost a dozen poaching incidents reported in the past two months. Included in the tally are a bighorn sheep, two black bear cubs, seven elk and two black-tailed buck deer, all killed illegally and left to waste.

"Oregon has a poaching problem," says Yvonne Shaw, with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. It’s too early to know if this is a higher than normal number of incidents. But Shaw isn't surprised by the timing, "Hunters are out in areas in Oregon that are normally not accessible. So, we always have an uptick in reports at this time of year because they’re discovered by hunters." But, she says, hunters are rarely responsible, "In fact, hunters are great conservationists and they are the ones who are turning in these incidents."

Shaw says State Police take cases seriously, "We have 128 troopers across the state, and they are great at finding these cases and intercepting crimes while they’re happening." But, they can’t be everywhere, "Because there is so much land to cover, we do rely on the public to be aware and, if they see something suspicious, to turn it in."

ODFW launched a campaign with OSP earlier this year to better educate the public about poaching and its impacts. Shaw is hopeful the recent increase in cases is because of increased awareness. Suspected poaching can be reported by calling *OSP (*677) from a mobile phone or 800-452-7888 from a landline. Reports can also be emailed to TIP@osp.oregon.gov or by filling out the form at ProtectOregonsWildlife.com. "No tip is a bad tip," says Shaw, "And we rely on tips from the public to solve these cases." She adds, "People can turn in poachers anonymously. And, if their tip leads to a citation or an arrest in the case, they qualify for cash rewards or hunter preference points."


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