The Oregon Department of Fish and Game said Friday that road poachers are paying the price. I will let you be the judge.
First, a poacher who used a semi-automatic rifle to shoot a buck multiple times from the road, then left the animal mortally wounded, was sentenced to write an apology letter to the landowner, a one-year hunting suspension, forfeiture of his firearm, $1,000 in fines. This seems to me to not be nearly enough, especially since he had his juvenile son with him.
The second case is a poacher who used a handgun to shoot a large mule deer buck from the road and was subsequently arrested for driving under the influence of intoxicants. The subject received a three-year hunting suspension, forfeiture of the handgun used in the crime, $2,250 in fines ($500 to the TIP Fund), 120 hours of community service, and 18 months of probation. Two adult passengers in the vehicle received three-year hunting suspensions, $600 in fines, and 40 hours of community service.
A third court case involved a poacher who shot a large 6-point mule deer buck from the roadway in broad daylight in Grant County. For three years, this subject lost hunting privileges, forfeited his rifle, paid a $1,000 fine, and was sentenced to 20 hours of community service and 18 months probation.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Game and the local news are framing this as a significant punishment. A recent news report from channel 21 news headline was “Eastern Oregon roadside deer poachers paying the price, ODFW says.”
I feel that the ODFW is wrong and needs to increase their fines for poaching. Based on recent cases, Oregon seems to be the softest state on poachers.