The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has launched a new campaign to fight poaching in the state, aimed at increasing awareness, enforcement and prosecution.
ODFW says the key to the program is asking the public to say something if they see something.
“Oregonians in general really support increasing measures for prosecuting poachers and for identifying these crimes as they’re happening. And so this campaign seeks to educate the public on how to recognize poaching and then report it,” said ODFW Campaign Coordinator Yvonne Shaw.
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ODFW announced Tuesday that a Pendleton man will be fined $75,000 and will have to serve two weeks of jail time during elk hunting season for the next three years. Walker Erickson, 28, reportedly pleaded guilty to 22 charges including illegally killing deer and elk, leaving game animals to waste and trespassing.
The image above is from the Nov. 2022 announcement of Erickson’s indictment.
“Elk season is now jail season,” said Jay Hall, Wildlife Anti-Poaching Resources Prosecutor. It was the first cast involving the specialized prosecutor position.
ODFW says it marks the first significant application of new sentencing guidelines established by the Oregon Legislature in 2018, allowing prosecutors to elevate poaching crimes to a felony.
“All of this conduct, if it had occurred only a year before, before the legislature created these felony level poaching crimes, he would be facing only misdemeanor sentencing,” Hall said.
ODFW found at least 5,000 animals were poached in 2022 alone.
Oregon Hunters Association (OHA) Cash Rewards
- $2,000 Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat & Moose
$1,000 Elk, Deer & Antelope
$600 Bear, Cougar & Wolf
$300 Habitat Destruction
$200 Illegally obtaining Oregon hunting or angling license or tags
$200 Unlawful Lending/Borrowing Big Game Tag(s)
$200 Game Fish & Shellfish
$200 Game Birds or Furbearers
$200 Snagging/Attempt to Snag
ODFW Preference Points Rewards
- 5 Points Bighorn Sheep
- 5 Points Rocky Mountain Goat
- 5 Points Moose
- 5 Points Wolf
- 4 Points Elk
- 4 Points Deer
- 4 Points Pronghorn Antelope
- 4 Points Bear
- 4 Points Cougar
Oregon Wildlife Coalition (OWC) Cash Rewards
$500 Hawk, Falcon, Eagle, Owl, Osprey
$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)
Oregon Outfitters & Guides Association Cash Rewards
- $200 Acting as an Outfitter Guide for the Illegal Killing of Wildlife, Illegally Obtaining Oregon Hunting or Angling Licenses or Tags, or Illegally Offering to Act as an Outfitter Guide as defined in ORS 704.010 and 704.020.