Editor’s Note: Some images included in this article may be disturbing.
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is asking the community for help, after a young elk was found shot in the spine and left for dead, marking the third poaching incident reported in less than 10 days.
The paralyzed spike elk was discovered on private property in rural Yamhill County Oct. 29, after a community member called Oregon State Police to report the animal appeared to have lost use of its legs.
Per OSP procedure, the elk was ‘humanely dispatched’ by troopers and sent to have the meat donated to underserved families of the Grande Ronde Tribe. As the meat was being processed, cutters discovered a bullet lodged through the elks spine, suggesting the animal had been shot and stranded to suffer in agony.
The case came in shortly after two other poaching incidents, which “mark a continued disregard for laws set in place to preserve Oregon wildlife,” according to a recent ODFW release.
The dismantled body of a cow elk was called in by a hunter Oct. 21, on Hancock Forest Property Management land east of Yaquina Head. Since most of the meat had been removed by the time Troopers arrived, OSP suspected the animal was shot on the day it was discovered.
The third incident was reported out of Newport on Oct. 28, after a black-tailed doe was spotted shot and left for waste near Euchre Creek Rd.
The Oregon Hunters Association is offering a $500 cash reward, or four ODFW hunter preference points for any information leading to an arrest or citation in a poaching case. Those reporting can remain anonymous.
ODFW Stop Poaching campaign coordinator, Yvonne Shaw hopes the money will help bring in more tips.
“Sometimes people aren’t sure if they should call in something suspicious,” Shaw said, “Other times they know about a crime, but they aren’t inclined to report it. The reward is an incentive.”
ODFW is asking the public to report any crimes against fish, wildlife, or habitat to the Turn In Poachers (TIP) Line. 1-800-452-7888 or email: TIP@osp.oregon.gov.