Editor’s note: A photo of one of the poached elk appears at the bottom of this story. It may be disturbing for some.
More than two years after it happened, the search continues for a “thrill kill” poacher or poachers who killed three elk near Sisters. A reward has been sitting at $10,000 — well above the normal $500 that Oregon Hunters Association says it normally raises for such cases.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said the bull, cow and spike elk were discovered separately on or about Oct. 28, 2020. But all three were in the same area and appear to have been killed at the same time. All three elk were most likely were shot on opening day of the East Central Cascade elk season
ODFW said the cow and spike were left to waste in what it called a “blatant demonstration of a thrill-kill.” The large bull had its head and shoulders removed as a trophy.
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Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Troopers discovered the first carcass, a cow elk, on Oct. 30 — reported by a hunter who came across the carcass while scouting the Dry Canyon area east of Sisters near Highway 126 and Quail Tree Drive. ODFW said troopers investigating the area around the cow subsequently discovered a large bull elk carcass.
Although bull elk were in season at the time, ODFW said the poacher had taken only the head, antlers and some shoulder meat. ODFW says it is a crime to leave carcasses to waste even if it is legal to kill the animal.
Two days later, a second call came in from a hunter who reported finding a spike elk carcass. A spike elk is a one-year-old male. ODFW said troopers located the spike elk about 40 yards from where the cow had been.
“Based on decomposition, all three animals were shot at or near the same time, and certainly the same day according to OSP F&W Senior Trooper Creed Cummings, who processed the scene,” ODFW said.
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(CORRECTION: Previous story was based on a press release that OSP retweeted on Tuesday. That press release was from April 2021. This story has been updated to reflect the newest information.)