Local hunters groups boost reward for info on Sisters-area elk poaching

The Bend and Redmond chapters of the Oregon Hunters Association have each added $1,000 to the reward for information on the poaching of three elk near Sisters last October.

The reward is now up to $3,500.

In response to a number of member requests, for the first time OHA will accept personal donations toward the reward from anyone, including the public, to increase the reward.

To donate, contact John Bambe at 541-480-9848 or via email john.bambe@gmail.com.

Previous Coverage:

Poachers killed a bull, a cow, and a spike elk west of Bend on or about Oct. 28 and Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife troopers are looking for information leading to the culprits.

The animals were discovered separately, but all three were in the same area and appear to have been killed at the same time.

Two were left to waste in a blatant demonstration of a thrill-kill, according to OSP.

The third, a large bull, had its head and shoulders removed as a trophy.

OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers discovered the first carcass, a cow elk, on Oct. 30 after a call to the Turn In Poachers (TIP) Line from a hunter who came across the carcass while scouting the Dry Canyon area East of Sisters near Hwy 126 and Quail Tree Drive.

Troopers investigating the area around the cow subsequently discovered a large bull elk carcass.

Although bull elk were in season at the time, the poacher had taken only the head, antlers and some shoulder meat. It is a crime to leave carcasses to waste even if it is legal to kill the animal.

Two days later, on Nov. 1, another call came through on the TIP Line from a hunter who reported finding a spike elk carcass.

A spike elk is a one-year-old male.

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 Sergeant Lowell Lea.

“They were all killed at the same time-or close to it- on opening day of the season,” Lea said, “Even if someone makes a mistake and kills the wrong animal, at least if they report it they aren’t committing the additional crime of leave to waste.”

Senior Trooper Creed Cummings, who processed the scene, agrees.

“Sometimes people are reckless in shooting and they get the wrong species or gender. We were hoping that at least the cow (meat) would be salvageable, but it wasn’t,” he said, “It’s disappointing that they were just left. And it adds another charge to the initial crime.”

All three elk were most likely shot on opening day of the East Central Cascade elk season which runs Oct. 28 through Nov. 1.

OSP Troopers would like anyone in the area who heard shots at night or noticed anything unusual on opening day of the season to call the TIP Line and report it.

OHA is offering a standard $500 reward from its Turn In Poachers (TIP) fund, to which OHA’s Bend and Redmond chapters each added $1,000, and the Josephine County and Capitol chapters both pledged $500.

The OHA Bend Chapter board approved its limit of $500 towards the award and chapter members unanimously approved increasing that to $1,000.

The Stop Poaching Campaign educates the public on how to recognize and report poaching.

This campaign is a collaboration among hunters, conservationists, land owners and recreationists.

Our goal is to increase reporting of wildlife crimes through the TIP Line, increase detection by increasing the number of OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers and increase prosecution.

The Oregon Hunters Association manages TIP Line reward funds. This campaign helps to 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. Yvonne.l.Shaw@state.or.us.

 

DCSO SAR help injured Salem rider near North Barr OHV area

A man who crashed his motorcycle Saturday near the North Barr OHV area was helped to safety by Deschutes County Search and Rescue.

Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office said they received a 911 call around 2:41 p.m. from a man who said his friend was injured and needed help getting him back out to a road.

One DCSO deputy and six SAR volunteers responded to help with 4×4 pickups and ATVs.

A U.S. forest service officer and a BLM ranger were first to respond to the scene, they were able to provide immediate care for 28-year-old Matt Miller of Salem.

Dep. Shane Zook said at 4:21 p.m. the SAR volunteers arrived on the scene to help with Miller’s injuries and help him into a SAR 4×4 pickup.

Miller was taken out to an ambulance that was waiting with the Sisters/Camp Sherman Fire Department.

He declined to take the ambulance and left with his friends to seek further medical treatment.

DCSO would like to thank the USFS, BLM, and Sisters / Camp Sherman Fire for their assistance in this rescue.

Scouts’ Christmas tree recycling begins this weekend

Scouting’s Christmas tree recycling is happening again this year for the Central Oregon community.

Scouts will be picking up trees on January 3, 9, and 10.

The Scouts are asking for $10 donations to help send them to summer camp and pay for related camping and program expenses.

Place your tree on the curb by 9 a.m. and they’ll pick it up on one of their pickup days.

If you need assistance, please call the troop in your area:
Troop 18: SW / NW Bend: 541-385-3977
Troop 25: NW Bend: 541-385-2692
Troop 23: NE Bend: 541-385-2672
Troop 21: SE Bend: 541-385-3942
Troop 27: Redmond 541-385-3989
Sisters: 541-385-2640

More info: https://takeyourtree.com/

Residents can also recycle Christmas trees and holiday string lights free of charge at the Knott Landfill Recycling Center and Southwest, Northwest, Negus, and Alfalfa Transfer Stations through the end of January.

Trees can not have any flocking, tinsel, ornaments, lights or metal or plastic bases attached to them.

This offer is only available to individual residents, not to commercial vendors.

Residents with curbside yard debris collection can cut their tree to fit it into the curbside yard debris cart so that it fits with the lid closed.

If the tree is not in the cart, an extra fee may be charged.

Be sure to remove all of the decorations and the stand.

For information on Deschutes County Department of Solid Waste’s hours and locations, visit deschutes.org/sw.

Reward now up to $2,500 for info on October elk poaching near Sisters

Hunters have offered up $2,000 in additional reward money for information regarding three elk poached in late October, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The reward now stands at $2,500 for information leading to a citation related to the bull, cow and spike elk carcasses left to waste near Sisters.

Oregon Hunters Association chapters bolstered the standard reward, which for an elk is $500 or four hunter preference points.

Redmond chapter contributed $1,000 and the Capital and Josephine chapters each contributed $500 to bring the new total to $2500.

Preference points for information leading to a citation remain at four.

Previous Coverage:

Poachers killed a bull, a cow, and a spike elk west of Bend on or about Oct. 28 and Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife troopers are looking for information leading to the culprits.

The animals were discovered separately, but all three were in the same area and appear to have been killed at the same time.

Two were left to waste in a blatant demonstration of a thrill-kill, according to OSP.

The third, a large bull, had its head and shoulders removed as a trophy.

OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers discovered the first carcass, a cow elk, on Oct. 30 after a call to the Turn In Poachers (TIP) Line from a hunter who came across the carcass while scouting the Dry Canyon area East of Sisters near Hwy 126 and Quail Tree Drive.

Troopers investigating the area around the cow subsequently discovered a large bull elk carcass.

Although bull elk were in season at the time, the poacher had taken only the head, antlers and some shoulder meat. It is a crime to leave carcasses to waste even if it is legal to kill the animal.

Two days later, on Nov. 1, another call came through on the TIP Line from a hunter who reported finding a spike elk carcass.

A spike elk is a one-year-old male.

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 Sergeant Lowell Lea.

“They were all killed at the same time-or close to it- on opening day of the season,” Lea said, “Even if someone makes a mistake and kills the wrong animal, at least if they report it they aren’t committing the additional crime of leave to waste.”

Senior Trooper Creed Cummings, who processed the scene, agrees.

“Sometimes people are reckless in shooting and they get the wrong species or gender. We were hoping that at least the cow (meat) would be salvageable, but it wasn’t,” he said, “It’s disappointing that they were just left. And it adds another charge to the initial crime.”

All three elk were most likely shot on opening day of the East Central Cascade elk season which runs Oct. 28 through Nov. 1.

OSP Troopers would like anyone in the area who heard shots at night or noticed anything unusual on opening day of the season to call the TIP Line and report it.

The Stop Poaching Campaign educates the public on how to recognize and report poaching.

This campaign is a collaboration among hunters, conservationists, land owners and recreationists.

Our goal is to increase reporting of wildlife crimes through the TIP Line, increase detection by increasing the number of OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers and increase prosecution.

The Oregon Hunters Association manages TIP Line reward funds. This campaign helps to 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. Yvonne.l.Shaw@state.or.us.

▶️ Sisters yoga instructor takes her students along on family road trip

Since the pandemic began we’ve shared stories with you about people changing the way they do things.

For some businesses, it’s a forced change due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Many are getting creative with outdoor dining options, online ordering, and even virtual workouts.

There’s a yoga studio in Sisters that isn’t hosting in-person classes anymore, they’re now being brought to living rooms.

We actually caught up with the owner of “Life. Love. Yoga.” in Sisters at the beginning of the pandemic when she was busy cleaning and sanitizing all the equipment.

She has since moved out of the studio and is offering outdoor and online classes, sometimes even combining the two.

Central Oregon Daily’s Emily Kirk has more.

Sisters man dies after crashing into utility pole along HWY 20

A Sisters man died Saturday after crashing his SUV into a utility pole along Highway 20, according to Oregon State Police.

The crash happened around 1:40 p.m. when an eastbound Toyota Highlander driven by 35-year-old Neil Muller went off the road between Bend and Sisters.

Muller suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene, OPS said.

It’s unclear what caused Muller to leave the road.

 

▶️ Should gyms be closed? Owners say no, health officials say yes

By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Sisters Athletic Club has been closed four out of the last nine months.

Owner Tate Metcalf doesn’t believe all gyms should reopen, but the ones with the right equipment and taking the right precautions should be allowed to operate.

“We have that technology in our facilities,” Metcalf said. “We have the technology to spray down the equipment for surface, we do that systematically throughout the day. We can limit the occupancy rate, and that’s been a study proven.”

Based upon a one week study by the University of Oregon’s Consulting Group, Metcalf claims gyms don’t pose the same risk as retail, bars, and restaurants.

However, Morgan Emerson, with Deschutes County Public Health, says that can’t be said for Central Oregon.

“Looking at our data from October and the early part of November, we saw that gyms and fitness facilities were associated with three outbreaks,” Emerson said. “That was our second highest total number of cases associated with a sector below long-term care facilities.”

Metcalf says he’s most concerned about the health of his older members.

Not in regard to COVID-19, but their need for exercise.

“When I talk to the Oregon Health Authority, they’re like, well just have your people exercise outside,” Metcalf said. “That doesn’t work in Central Oregon for some of my older clients when it’s snowing.”

Because Deschutes County is in the extreme risk category, Public Health says there are following the guidance of the Oregon Health Authority.

Valley officers shoot, kill Bend man after 2 armed robberies, high-speed chase

A Bend man suspected of two armed robberies and leading authorities on a high-speed chase over Santiam Pass Tuesday night was shot and killed by officers near Gates, according to the Linn County Sheriff’s Office.

The shooting happened around 11:45 p.m. on Highway 22 outside of Gates.

A deputy with the Linn County Sheriff’s Office and three Oregon State Police troopers involved in the shooting were not injured.

The wild night for authorities started in Bend around 10:15 when police responded to armed robberies at Dutch Bros. on SE 3rd street and at Domino’s on SE Yew Avenue.

Bend Police Lt. Juli McConkey said the suspect, later identified as 27-year-old Brad Masters, walked up to the Dutch Bros drive-thru window, showed a gun and demanded money before running away.

Masters then went into the Domino’s, showed the gun, demanded money and stole a car from an employee.

A Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office deputy was on the Bend Parkway nearby and saw the stolen car driving south and speeding.

The deputy tried to stop the car but lost it in the area of Romaine Village.

Mugshot from July 2020

As a perimeter was being set up in the area, another deputy watching Highway 20 just west of Tumalo spotted the stolen car pass by him going between 90 and 100 mph, McConkey said.

The deputy was able to catch up to the car and tried to pull it over, but Masters kept going west on Highway 20 where the deputy stopped the chase as he got close to Sisters.

A Black Butte Police Officer east of Sisters set up spike strips, but Masters was able to drive around them.

Once the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Deputy was west of Sisters, he resumed the chase until he reached the county line.

McConkey said the deputy was alone at the time so he decided to end the pursuit.

A short time later, deputies from Linn County and Oregon State Troopers spotted Masters on Highway 22.

Oregon State Police Troopers and a Linn County deputy took over the pursuit until the car was finally stopped with spike strips near Gates.

Once stopped, Masters got out of the car, a confrontation ensued, and three troopers and a Linn County deputy fired shots, according to Lt. Treven Upkes with the Salem Police Department

The involved law enforcement officers are Oregon State Police Troopers Caleb Yoder, Michael Iacob, and Joseph Sousa, who have been with the Oregon State Police five years and 10 months, four years and 11 months, and three years and 10 months respectively.

The Linn County Deputy Sheriff involved was Brandon Rathelegurche, who has been with Linn County Sheriff’s Office for two years and 10 months.

Each officer has been placed on administrative leave per their respective agency’s policies.

The shooting happened in Marion County and the Salem Police Department is conducting the investigation.

The Bend Police continue to work with the various agencies on the investigation.

Masters has a lengthy criminal record dating back at least to 2010 for various crimes including computer crimes, theft, identity theft, forgery, speeding, and criminal mischief.

▶️ Rodeo clown superstar heading to nationals; credits Central Oregon for success

By STEELE HAUGEN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

He went from a middle school teacher in Walla Walla, Washington to national rodeo clown rockstar, and his journey began right here in Central Oregon.

“So, all my success I think goes through Central Oregon,” J.J. Harrison said. “Not just Sisters, but Prineville as well and all the rodeos I have done down there. That is really where I developed my skill the best.”

Harrison is heading to the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo for the fifth consecutive time.

“Frank Beard, who just recently passed, which is too bad, was an icon in Sisters and Prineville, he was a stock contractor,” he said. “I did this event for Frank and Pat (Beard) saw me and he said I am going to get you some Rodeos, do this and that, I didn’t even know how it works really.”

Things for Harrison took off from there.

“Frank made a call to Glenn Miller, who is an icon, not just in Central Oregon, but in the world,” Harrison said. “He hired me for the event in Sisters and I went down, scared to death, big rodeo for me. I might have been terrible who knows.”

After his performances, the Crooked River Roundup was quick to get him to their rodeo.

“I really enjoy Prineville,” he added. “They are two very different rodeos, it’s funny and that is what’s so cool about Central Oregon. It is such an amazing place. I don’t know why I don’t live there. I love Central Oregon more than any other place on the planet and I have been to a lot of places.”

Harrison, ​who calls Walla Walla home now, says what sets him apart from other rodeo clowns is his ability to adlib on the spot.

“Playing with my buddy Jason Buchanan, who lives right there in Bend, Best sound man in the business,” he said. “We have a great rapport and that allows me and he is there in Prineville. I would take him everywhere I go if I could. We have done so many events together that we really play off of each other. I am a funny guy, but I am funnier with my guy Jason Buchanan behind me with the music.”

For Harrison, the Sisters Rodeo will always have a spot in his heart.

“When people ask, me no matter where I am at, and the rotary group in Clovis, California does this to me every single year,” Harrison said. ‘So, what is your favorite rodeo?’ It’s always Sisters. I always tell them, Sisters.”

The RAM National Circuit Rodeo Final will be in Florida next year.

OSP looking for info on bull, cow and spike elk poaching west of Bend

Poachers killed a bull, a cow, and a spike elk west of Bend on or about Oct. 28 and Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife troopers are looking for information leading to the culprits.

The animals were discovered separately, but all three were in the same area and appear to have been killed at the same time.

Two were left to waste in a blatant demonstration of a thrill-kill, according to OSP.

The third, a large bull, had its head and shoulders removed as a trophy.

OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers discovered the first carcass, a cow elk, on Oct. 30 after a call to the Turn In Poachers (TIP) Line from a hunter who came across the carcass while scouting the Dry Canyon area East of Sisters near Hwy 126 and Quail Tree Drive.

Troopers investigating the area around the cow subsequently discovered a large bull elk carcass.

Although bull elk were in season at the time, the poacher had taken only the head, antlers and some shoulder meat. It is a crime to leave carcasses to waste even if it is legal to kill the animal.

Two days later, on Nov. 1, another call came through on the TIP Line from a hunter who reported finding a spike elk carcass.

A spike elk is a one-year-old male.

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 Sergeant Lowell Lea.

“They were all killed at the same time-or close to it- on opening day of the season,” Lea said, “Even if someone makes a mistake and kills the wrong animal, at least if they report it they aren’t committing the additional crime of leave to waste.”

Senior Trooper Creed Cummings, who processed the scene, agrees.

“Sometimes people are reckless in shooting and they get the wrong species or gender. We were hoping that at least the cow (meat) would be salvageable, but it wasn’t,” he said, “It’s disappointing that they were just left. And it adds another charge to the initial crime.”

All three elk were most likely shot on opening day of the East Central Cascade elk season which runs Oct. 28 through Nov. 1.

OSP Troopers would like anyone in the area who heard shots at night or noticed anything unusual on opening day of the season to call the TIP Line and report it.

The Stop Poaching Campaign educates the public on how to recognize and report poaching.

This campaign is a collaboration among hunters, conservationists, land owners and recreationists.

Our goal is to increase reporting of wildlife crimes through the TIP Line, increase detection by increasing the number of OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers and increase prosecution.

The Oregon Hunters Association manages TIP Line reward funds. This campaign helps to 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. Yvonne.l.Shaw@state.or.us.