THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON STATE POLICE, FISH & WILDLIFE DIVISION
On January 21, 2016, at approximately 12:15 p.m. an OSP Fish and Wildlife trooper received an anonymous game complaint originating in the Burns area regarding a person to be in possession of multiple trophy mule deer. OSP Fish and Wildlife troopers contacted, JADEN SIMPSON, age 19, from Burns, and learned that he was in possession of four (4) trophy buck skulls.
OSP Fish and Wildlife troopers seized the four trophy buck skulls. SIMPSON was criminally cited for four (4) counts of Illegal Possession of Game Parts-Mule Deer Skulls and other wildlife charges will be forwarded to the Harney County District Attorney’s Office for consideration.
OSP Fish and Wildlife troopers were assisted by OSP Patrol Division troopers with the investigation.
UPDATE FEB. 10, 2016, 4:07 P.M. Here is what ODFW writes about the rules of possessing shed antlers:
Oregon Big Game Regulations (page 28) state that “No person shall possess or transport any game mammal or part thereof which has been illegally killed, found or killed for humane reasons, except shed antlers, unless they have notified and received permission from personnel of the Oregon State Police or ODFW prior to transporting.” So people may pick up naturally shed antlers in the outdoors, but may not pick up skulls with antlers attached without permission.
People who collect shed antlers are allowed to sell or exchange them, but certain rules apply. Only naturally shed antlers, antlers detached from the skull, or a skull split apart can be sold or exchanged. For antlers detached from the skull or skulls split apart, the seller must have legally taken the game part (e.g. on a big game tag or after receiving permission from OSP or ODFW to remove skull and antlers from the wild in the first place.)
Past poaching problems led to the regulations. Skulls that are split have less value and are not eligible for record books. These regulations reduce the incentive for someone to kill animals on winter range or out of season, hide the skull, and go back months later and “find it”. A Hide/Antler Dealer permit ($17) is needed to purchase antlers for use in the manufacture of handcrafted items.