The Oregon Hunters Association (OHA) is offering $10,000 for information that leads to an arrest or citation in the case of three elk that were poached west of Bend on or about Oct. 28, 2020.
In early April, OHA Bend, Redmond, Capitol, Josephine and Mid-Columbia chapters, along with several private donors, pooled resources to increase the reward amount to $6,500.
Additional private donations and an infusion of $1,000 from the OHA State Board last week raised the total to $10,000.
Several thousand dollars of the reward was donated to OHA by non-hunters who are equally enraged.
OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers located the cow elk carcass on Oct. 30 after a hunter scouting the Dry Canyon area east of Sisters reported it to the Turn In Poachers (TIP) Line.
Troopers then discovered a large bull elk carcass nearby.
The bull elk’s head had been removed as a trophy.
Although bull elk were in season at the time, it is a crime to leave carcasses to waste.
Two days later, on Nov. 1, a hunter reported the carcass of a one-year-old male spike elk about 40 yards from where the cow had been found.
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.
OHA Vice President Steve Hagan, who oversees the TIP rewards program for the organization, describes the case as upsetting.
“This case has generated outrage in Central Oregon,” he said. “This happened awhile back, but we haven’t forgotten about it. Hopefully this increased reward will help generate leads towards resolution to this case.”
Oregon’s Stop Poaching campaign coordinator Yvonne Shaw agrees.
“This is a blatant waste of Oregonians’ natural resources,” she said, “Not only have these animals been removed from legal hunting in season, they have been removed from chance encounters with hikers, photographers and others who appreciate the opportunity to experience wildlife. Poachers take from all of us.”
All three elk were most likely shot on opening day of the East Central Cascade elk season which ran Oct. 28 through Nov. 1, 2020.
Instead of the cash reward, a caller to the TIP Line could opt for six hunter preference points if their report leads to a citation.
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 at 1-800-452-7888 or by cell *OSP (*677) or by email TIP@osp.oregon.gov.