Oregon offers new incentive to catch poachers
There’s a new program in Oregon with two great benefits: 1) it will help catch poachers and 2) it will give those who turn in poachers big game preference points. The program, which is sponsored by the Oregon Hunters Association, Oregon State Police (OSP) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), provides a different incentive to help OSP stop poachers. Those who provide information that leads to an arrest or citation for the unlawful take/possession or waste of any big game animal (deer, elk, moose, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, antelope, bear, mountain lion or wolf) can now decide whether they want the cash reward or big game preference points.
“Poaching is a serious problem for Oregon’s wildlife,” said Travis Schultz, ODFW Access and Habitat Coordinator. “It can have significant long-term impacts on our wildlife populations.”
According to ODFW, if your tip leads to the arrest of a poacher, here’s the preference point breakdown:
- Five preference points: cases involving bighorn sheep, mountain goat, moose, and wolves.
- Four preference points: cases involving elk, deer, pronghorn, mountain lions, and bear.
All preference points must go to one hunt series (elk, buck deer, antlerless deer, antelope or spring bear).
Because some of the state’s most coveted hunts require over 15 preference points just to draw a tag, this is a pretty interesting incentive to, hopefully, help catch more poachers. According to the agency, this new program is a result of HB 3158, which was passed by the 2017 Oregon Legislature.
“We are hoping this encourages more people to step forward and report poaching,” said Lieutenant Craig Heuberger of OSP’s Fish and Wildlife Division.
To report a wildlife crime, email TIP@state.or.us or call 1-800-452-7888.