Two elk poached, left to waste in St. Helens
OSP seeks public's help to identify suspects
The Oregon State Police is asking for the publics help to identify who may have illegally shot and killed two bull elk last weekend.
According to OSP, the elk were found Sunday evening, May 29, about 3 miles from Scappoose-Vernonia Highway, in the area of Pittsburg Road near Baker Point.
The state agency was notified and troopers found two dead elk they determined were shot and left to waste, an OSP press release states.
Elk hunting in Oregon varies for rifle, archery and muzzleloader hunting, but the earliest hunting season for elk doesnt begin until late August, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Theres no open season right now, Capt. Bill Fugate, a public information officer with OSP, said Wednesday.
Fugate said a poacher in this case faces misdemeanor charges of unlawful taking of bull elk out of season, along with charges of leaving a game animal to waste.
A person convicted could face up to a year in jail, along with fines of up to $6,250 per crime, in addition to restitution charges levied as reimbursement to state agencies for their time and expenses, Fugate noted.
Fugate said that in some poaching cases, the meat can be salvaged and donated to a shelter or food bank, but in this case, the animal was left sitting for too long.
Theres hundreds and hundreds of pounds of meat gone to waste, he noted.
He pointed out that poachers are an affront to hunters who play by the rules. Some people wait years to get picked for a tag, Fugate said. Last year, ODFW granted about 60,000 controlled
elk tags, according to the agency.
Wildlife troopers think the elk were likely killed the day prior.
OSP is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the poaching case. Half of the reward money will come from the Oregon Hunters Association Turn-In-Poacher program and the other half from the Oregon Hunters Association Columbia County Chapter.
Unfortunately, tracking down suspects in poach-
ing cases is difficult for OSPs Fish and Wildlife Division, which has limited resour-
ces spread throughout the state.
We really rely heavily on the publics help as far as giving us tips and calling in things that look suspicious, Fugate said.
Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact OSP Sergeant Joe Warwick through the Turn in Poachers (TIP) hotline at 1-800-452-7888. Information may be kept anonymous.