News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Target is on Sisters poachers

Hunters outraged by wanton slaughter of elk want to see poachers in the crosshairs of the law. The reward for information on a poaching case near Sisters has hit $10,000.

In early April, the Oregon Hunters Association Bend, Redmond, Capitol, Josephine, and Mid-Columbia chapters, along with several private donors, pooled resources to increase the initial 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 nonhunters who are equally outraged.

OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers located the cow elk carcass on October 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 November 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 a while back, but we haven’t forgotten about it. Hopefully, this increased reward will help generate leads towards a 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, but they have also been removed from chance encounters with hikers, photographers, and others who appreciate the opportunity to experience wildlife. Poachers take from all of us.”


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