A subject shooting into a herd of elk near Nehalem killed one and mortally wounded at least three others in January, while illegally shooting from a road, and in the direction Highway 101.
The 66-year-old subject blamed “elk fever” when he self-reported the incident, according to authorities. The subject, whose name has not been released pending the investigation, expressed remorse after the event and had turned himself in.
Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife troopers criminally cited the subject for prohibited hunting method – shooting from roadway; unlawful take/possession of antlerless elk; and unlawful take/possession of bull elk. Troopers seized a .308 rifle for evidence, along with the elk the subject had tagged and processed.
Troopers found three wounded elk wandering with the herd of about 30 animals. The subject had already left with a cow elk he tagged. A trooper put down a mortally wounded cow elk. The following day, troopers again assessed the herd, and put down a mortally wounded bull. A wounded cow elk ran into the Nehalem River. It is unclear what happened to the cow elk, but troopers agree it likely drowned.
According to OSP Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Greg Plummer, the subject had both a late-season cow elk tag and permission from the landowner to hunt.
He field-dressed the carcass and left the area, according to the landowner, who wishes to remain anonymous.
“The guy came out and stopped at the road, and started shooting,” the landowner said, “I told another hunter, who said the guy shouldn’t have left. He should have called state police and turned himself in.”
The landowner called the subject and encouraged him to return to the field, to call OSP and to turn himself in for poaching. The subject turned himself in.
Three elk were processed were donated – two elk went to the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde and one elk went to the Tillamook County Jail.
If you know of or suspect other crimes against fish wildlife or habitat, report to the Turn In Poachers (TIP) Line, 1-800-452-7888 or *OSP (*677) from a mobile phone. Or email TIP@osp.oregon.gov.