- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 19, 2016

BEND, Ore. (AP) - Oregon State Police has seen a spike in poaching in parts of Central Oregon just days into the elk hunting season.

Senior Trooper Greg Love, who patrols La Pine, Sunriver, southern Deschutes County and northern Klamath County, said since the elk season started Saturday there have already been five reports of poaching in his district. He says a typical season has two cases, The Bulletin reported (https://is.gd/Ix1GAo).

Mule deer poaching is also a problem. An average year sees as many as four poached deer, but this year there have been at least 10 instances of poaching, Love said.

Of the five elk poaching investigations this season, three have been resolved, Love said.

Two were self-reported, and one involved a juvenile, he said. The two others are being investigated, he said.

Oregon State Police Sgt. Lowell Lea, who oversees all of central Oregon, said he hasn’t checked the numbers but that he feels this year isn’t above average. Regardless, poaching is a serious issue, he said.

Poaching is always rampant, said Corey Heath, district wildlife biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. A study conducted from 2005 to 2012 found legal and illegal harvest numbers to be about equal in central Oregon, Heath said.

“Certainly it’s always gone on,” he said. “It is an illegal activity - it is secretive in nature - so it’s hard to get a hold on.”


Information from: The Bulletin, https://www.bendbulletin.com

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