TROY, Ore. –Oregonians have come together to bring the total reward to $10,000 for information leading to charges involving a bighorn ram that was shot illegally Jan. 26 on the Wenaha Wildlife Area in northeast Oregon.
To provide information on this case or any poaching, call the Turn In Poachers (TIP) line by dialing *OSP or 800-452-7888.
The Oregon Hunters Association (OHA), Oregon Wildlife Foundation (OWF), and the Oregon Chapter of the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep (OR FNAWS) chipped in to raise the reward from $1,000 to $10,000 or five hunter preference points. The original $1,000 is from the OHA Turn In Poachers (TIP) rewards program, funded through fines and restitutions from illegal fishing and wildlife convictions.
Field biologists discovered the crime after they received transmissions that the bighorn ram’s radio collar had stopped moving, which is an indicator of death. They found the radio collar and one severed, tagged ear on the ground near an access road to a feeding station. Evidence indicates the ram was shot. Blood and hair were found beneath the collar.
OHA received support and encouragement from chapter branches across the state. The Union-Wallowa, Blue Mountain, Rogue Valley, Josephine County, Umpqua, Bend, Yamhill County and Tualatin Valley chapters each contributed $500 for a total of $4,000. OHA (oregonhunters.org) is a 10,000-member non-profit founded in 1983 that has invested more than $100,000 in Oregon’s bighorn sheep program, funding transplants, water sources and disease control. OHA’s mission statement is protecting Oregon’s wildlife, habitat and hunting heritage.
Oregon Wildlife Foundation contributed $2,500 to the reward. Collaborators are pleased to come together to stop poaching, according to Tim Greseth, Executive Director of OWF. The non-profit is dedicated to fish and wildlife conservation involving obstacles such as habitat loss, illegal hunting and collisions with vehicles.
Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Captain Casey Thomas said
“Poachers take away opportunities from everyone else out there following the rules,” Thomas said, “I’m very appreciative of all the different organizations coming together to increase the reward amount, which will hopefully generate a good tip or information that leads us to those responsible for killing this bighorn.”
Contact campaign coordinator Yvonne Shaw for more information. Yvonne.l.Shaw@state.or.us.