Oregon man who left bull elk to waste pleads guilty

Bull elk poached elgin

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(Editor’s note: A photo of the elk that was poached appears at the bottom of this story. It may be disturbing for some.)

An Elgin man has pleaded guilty to charges related to the poaching of a bull elk found dead and left to waste last fall.

Oregon State Police say that on Oct. 1, 2022, deer hunters reported finding a dead bull elk. It was located on private timber company lands north of Elgin in the Wenaha Wildlife Management Unit.

It was determined the elk was shot from Kingsbury Lane with a rifle and left to waste. It was also concluded that the shooting happened two days earlier — before the start of rifle deer season — and that no part of the elk had been removed and that no attempt was made to salvage the meat.

Troopers eventually identified Cody Murrill, 42, of Elgin, as a suspect, facing charges of Unlawful Take of a Branch Antlered Bull Elk and Waste of Wildlife. 

Murrill pleaded guilty in Union County Circuit Court on Jan. 20 and pleaded guilty to the charges, OSP said.

“On September 30, 2022, I did knowingly take a male bull elk and on the same date I knowingly wasted edible portions of the elk,” read a handwritten guilty plea on the court documents.

OSP said Murrill was sentenced to 10 days in jail, 12 months probation, forfeiture of the rifle he used and $440 in fines.

Also last fall, an investigation was also launched into the poaching of an elk in Deschutes County.

RELATED: OSP looking for 2 people, truck after poaching of elk in Deschutes County


Oregon’s Turn In Poachers (TIP) program offers preference points or cash rewards for information leading toward a conclusion in the investigation of the illegal killing of wildlife and waste of big game.


  • 5 Points-Mountain Sheep
  • 5 Points-Rocky Mountain Goat
  • 5 Points-Moose
  • 5 Points-Wolf
  • 4 Points-Elk
  • 4 Points-Deer
  • 4 Points-Antelope
  • 4 Points-Bear
  • 4 Points-Cougar

 Oregon Hunters Association (OHA) Cash Rewards:

  • $1,000 Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat, and Moose
  • $500 Elk, Deer, and Antelope
  • $300 Bear, Cougar, and Wolf
  • $300 Habitat Destruction
  • $200 – Illegally obtaining Oregon hunting or angling license or tags
  • $200 – Unlawful Lending/Borrowing Big Game Tag(s)
  • $100 Upland Birds and Waterfowl
  • $100 Game Birds or Furbearers
  • $100 Game Fish and Shellfish

Oregon Wildlife Coalition (OWC) Cash Rewards:


  • $500 Hawk, Falcon, Eagle, Owl, Osprey
  • All other protected avian species: see category below for listed species 


  • $500 Cougar, Bobcat, Beaver (public lands only), Black bears, Bighorn Sheep, Marten, Fisher, Sierra Nevada Red Fox

Species listed as “threatened” or “endangered” under state or federal Endangered Species Act (excludes fish) 

  • $1,000 (e.g. wolf, wolverine, kit fox, red tree vole, Canada lynx, sea otter, Columbian white-tailed deer, California brown pelican, western snowy plover, California least tern, northern spotted owl, marbled murrelet, short-tailed albatross, streaked horned lark, yellow-billed cuckoo, leatherback sea turtle, olive ridley sea turtle, Oregon spotted frog, green sea turtle, loggerhead sea turtle)
Elgin poached bull elk
A photo of a poached bull elk in Elgin, Oregon, Sept. 30, 2022. (CREDIT: Oregon State Police)

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