ALBANY, Ore. - Poachers not only face losing their hunting rights in Oregon: if the animal they kill was trophy quality, they can face fines over $15,000.
Two recent cases show the penalties facing violators since increased fines took effect in Oregon in January 2010.
An Alsea man who pleaded guilty to killing a trophy elk has been ordered to pay over $15,000 in fines, and two Lebanon who admitted illegally killing trophy deer face over $4,000 in fines each.
According to Oregon State Police Senior Trooper James Halsey, the first case started in September 2010 when OSP Fish & Wildlife Division troopers from the Albany and Salem offices investigated a report that Adam M. Schreiber, 28, from Alsea had unlawfully taken a spike bull elk and a 6x7 bull elk during the 2010 General Archery Season west of Alsea.
The investigation led OSP Fish & Wildlife troopers to arrest Schreiber for Exceeding Bag Limit of Bull Elk, Hunting on Enclosed Cultivated Lands of Another, and Unlawful Possession of Elk Antlers.
Troopers seized the 6x7 bull elk and spike elk along with an additional set of branch elk antlers.
Under new penalties that took effect January 2010, the 6x7 bull elk qualified for the increased trophy fines. Any bull elk with at least 6 points on either side qualifies for a trophy fine of $15,000.
In early March 2011, Schreiber entered a guilty plea in Benton County Circuit Court and received fines totaling $15,202, received a three year hunting suspension, and forfeited all evidence seized during the investigation.
The $15,000 trophy fine will be paid as restitution to the Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW).
The second case started in October 2010 when OSP Fish & Wildlife Division troopers from the Albany office investigated a report that two Lebanon residents were in possession of a large 4x6 blacktail deer killed earlier during the day it was reported.
The investigation identified Seth Lawrence, 22, and Kyle Immel, 23, as suspects found in possession of the illegally killed deer.
The men were charged with Unlawful Possession of a 4x6 Blacktail Buck Deer. The deer and Immel's rifle were seized as evidence.
Under the new penalties, any buck deer with at least four points on either side qualifies for a $7,500 trophy fine.
In November 2010, Lawrence and Immel entered guilty pleas in Lebanon Justice Court and were ordered to split the $7,500 trophy fine to be paid as restitution to ODFW.
Immel was sentenced to pay a total of $4,138 in fines, received a three year hunting suspension, and forfeited his rifle.
Lawrence was sentenced to pay a total of $4,138 in fines, received a three year hunting suspension, and forfeited the trophy buck. >>> Photos of the trophy animals