REEDSPORT, Ore. – Oregon hunters are offering a $500 reward for information on a poacher who shot a deer and left it dead in a Reedsport boat launch parking lot at about 3 a.m., June 17.
The report must lead to an arrest or citation and the reporting party could opt instead for four hunter preference points from ODFW.
Troopers responded to the Rainbow Plaza boat launch around 4:30 a.m., in response to information that a deer had been shot in the parking lot. The investigation revealed the animal, a young buck deer, had been shot on-site with a handgun at about 3 a.m. Troopers have several photos of a person of interest and would like the public’s assistance in tracking him down.
The crime occurred during a busy weekend with many out-of-town visitors attending a chainsaw carving contest and a rock and gem show in Reedsport. Several people were camped near the boat launch area in campers and trailers.
This is a dangerous combination, according to Duane Dungannon, Oregon Hunters Association (OHA) State Coordinator and publisher of Oregon Hunter magazine. “This is another disgusting thrill kill of a type that seems to be increasing lately,” Dungannon said.
“Mindless poaching and wasting by mindless individuals. The fact that this one took place at a public boat launch is even more disturbing,” added Dungannon.
State Police are seeking public assistance identifying the subject who is suspected to have shot a young buck and left it to waste near the Reedsport boat ramp.
OHA manages the Turn In Poachers (TIP) reward program, which offers cash incentives for poaching cases involving game animals, fish and habitat destruction across the state. A preference point option through ODFW complements the cash reward program, and both have led to an increase in reporting poaching crimes to authorities. A new non-game reward program through the Oregon Wildlife Coalition (OWC) offers cash incentives for reports of people illegally killing birds and other non-game wildlife.
In 2021, OHA awarded $10,900 and ODFW awarded 178 hunter preference points. Reward programs support public input into solving poaching crimes, according to OHA President, Steve Hagan.
“OSP has done their part in capturing visual evidence that can assist in identifying the perpetrator of this heinous crime,” Hagan said. “Please do the right thing and identify the perpetrator so that they are held accountable. This buck and perhaps future generations of deer have been stolen from the citizens of Oregon.”
It is that theft of natural resources that motivates OHA members across the state to support reward programs like the TIP Line. Members of the public who report poaching can remain anonymous, according to ODFW Stop Poaching Campaign Coordinator, Yvonne Shaw.
“Anonymity is important to encourage reporting,” she said. “Poachers steal natural resources from all Oregonians and it’s up to us as members of the public to assist law enforcement in solving these crimes if we want to reduce that impact.”
Dungannon is also eager to see the case solved. “I look forward to signing that $500 check,” he said.
Reedsport Police Department and Reedsport Public Works are assisting with the investigation. Anyone with information about this case can call the Oregon State Police Tip-line at 1-800-452-7888, *OSP (*677), or email at TIP@osp.oregon.gov. Please, reference case number SP22-147967.
The Stop Poaching Campaign educates the public on how to recognize and report poaching. This campaign is a collaboration among state agencies, sportsmen and other conservationists, landowners, and recreationists to engage the public in combatting Oregon’s poaching problem.
Our goal is to: Incentivize reporting on wildlife crimes through the TIP Line; Strengthen enforcement by increasing the number of OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers; and Support prosecution in becoming an effective deterrent. The campaign helps to protect and enhance Oregon’s fish and wildlife and their habitat for the enjoyment of present and future generations. Contact campaign coordinator Yvonne Shaw for more information. Yvonne.L.Shaw@odfw.oregon.gov.