Category Archives: The Dishonor Roll

Idaho Bighorn Poacher Banned From Ever Hunting Again, Fined $10K

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME

 

A lifetime hunting ban, jail time and thousands of dollars in penalties are the price a Nampa man must pay for last year’s poaching of a trophy bighorn sheep along Idaho’s Main Salmon River.

POACHING SUSPECT BEING INTERVIEWED BY IDFG CONSERVATION OFFICER BRIAN PERKES. (IDFG)

POACHING SUSPECT BEING INTERVIEWED BY IDFG CONSERVATION OFFICER BRIAN PERKES. (IDFG)

Appearing in Idaho County Court on June 6, Paul Cortez (53) of Nampa stood silent as District Court Judge Gregory FitzMaurice handed down the poaching sentence. In addition to a lifetime hunting license revocation, Cortez received 30 days in jail, a $10,000 civil penalty, fines/court costs totaling $753 and four years of probation.

On November 6, 2015 while on routine jet boat patrol along the famous river, Fish and Game conservation officers Roy Kinner, Craig Mickelson, Dennis Brandt and Brian Perkes contacted Cortez at his hunting camp. Cortez’s hands and forearms were bloody, and after a brief conversation, Cortez admitted to shooting the bighorn ram from his camp as the animal came to the river for water. He then field dressed and stashed the carcass among rocks above the river. The poaching location is in Hunt Unit 19, where the bighorn sheep season closed onOctober 13.

Perkes then cited Cortez for unlawfully killing a trophy big game animal, possession of an illegally taken bighorn sheep, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. An April plea agreement with Idaho County Prosecutors allowed Cortez to plead guilty to one felony count of unlawfully killing a trophy big game animal, which included 15 days in jail. The second felony count and other charges were dropped as part of the plea deal.

In his comments during sentencing, Judge FitzMaurice noted that, “It’s my view that you’ve been given fairly lenient treatment. My view is that a signal needs to be sent out to others in your situation.” At his discretion, Judge FitzMaurice then doubled Cortez’s jail time to 30 days. Cortez addressed the court only briefly, stating that he “made a huge mistake in my judgement. I regret it.”

Cortez also asked the Judge not to revoke his hunting privileges for life, but the request was ignored. “The [illegal] killing of animals, especially rare animals, has serious consequences in this state,” Judge FitzMaurice said.

Only a remnant herd of bighorn sheep now traverse the rocky canyons above Idaho’s Salmon River. As such, lawful hunting is highly regulated, with only four bighorn tags allotted in Hunt Unit 19. “Only a handful of those applying for one of these coveted tags got their chance at a bighorn sheep during the 2015 hunting season,” Perkes noted. “This poaching crime robs legal hunters of next year’s opportunity to pursue this prized nine-and-one-half-year-old ram.”

Persons with any information about suspected poaching activity are encouraged to call the Citizens against Poaching (CAP) hotline at 1-800-632-5999, twenty-four hours a day. Callers can remain anonymous and cash rewards are often paid for information leading to the successful conclusion of a case.

Man Charged With Second Degree Unlawful Hunting In Kittitas Bull Elk Case

A Washington trophy elk shooter is back in the news, this time for allegedly killing a huge bull in a pasture near the town of Kittitas last December.

Tod L. Reichert, 76, of Salkum has been charged with unlawful hunting of big game in the second degree, a gross misdemeanor, by county prosecutors in Central Washington, according to a Yakima Herald story posted last night.

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Reporter Scott Sandsberry’s large article provides details on a story that has been percolating online for several months now — and has even been removed as a topic from one hunting forum because of legal threats.

Basically, Reichert is alleged to have used his 2015 South Central Washington raffle tag, good in WDFW’s game management units 300 through 500 where branched-antler bulls are open, in a unit where only cow, calf or spike elk can legally be hunted, according to Sandsberry.

Witnesses say the carcass of the bull — known to some as Bullwinkle and said to be all but docile — was then transported to an open unit nearby and field-dressed, according to Sandsberry.

If you recognize Reichert’s name, it might be because nearly four years ago, he plead guilty in U.S. District Court in Spokane to misdemeanor charges of interfering with and giving false information to a U.S. Forest Service agent about the services an Oregon outfitter provided during 2007 and 2008 hunts in Washington’s Blue Mountains.

He was barred from hunting in national forests for two years and fined $5,000.

In this latest case, fines and a two-year hunting license suspension are in play, according to Sandsberry.

Reichert has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for the chance to pursue elk across the country, and he ponied up $75,000 for the 2016 Eastern Washington bull auction tag, Sandsberry reports.

$2,000 Reward Now Offered For Info On 3rd Poached I-84 Ram

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON STATE POLICE FISH AND WILDLIFE DIVISION

The Oregon State Police continue the investigation into the third bighorn sheep ram that was unlawfully killed in early April near milepost 118 on Interstate 84, east of Rufus.

(OSP)

(OSP)

Two additional rewards have been offered, with total rewards now at $2000, for information which leads to the arrest/conviction of the person(s) responsible. The rewards are as follows:

Oregon Hunters Association (OHA) Statewide TIP reward $500 (previously offered)

OHA Clatsop County Chapter reward $500

Oregon Foundation for North American Wild Sheep (OR-FNAWS) reward $1000

The Oregon State Police is requesting any person with information on this incident to contact Senior Trooper Jubitz at 541-705-5330

Another Bighorn Ram Shot, Wasted Along I-84

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON STATE POLICE FISH AND WILDLIFE DIVISION

On Sunday April 10th, 2016 at approximately 6:00PM the Oregon State Police received several reports from passing motorist’s about a bighorn sheep near milepost 118 on Interstate 84 (east of Rufus).

(OSP)

(OSP)

 

The callers reported that the sheep was in an unusual position and was possibly dead. The deceased ram was located by OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers in a rock slide near the highway. A necropsy determined the ram had shot with a firearm and left to waste. There is no indication that this incident has any connection to the killing of two rams the week before just east of this location.

The Oregon State Police is requesting any person with information on this incident to contact Senior Trooper Jubitz at 541-705-5330. A Turn-In-Poachers (TIP)reward of up to $500.00 is available for information that leads to an arrest. Call 1-800-452-7888. No further information will be released as this is an ongoing investigation.

Reward Offered For Info On 2 Bulls Poached Near Richland, Ore.

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON STATE POLICE FISH AND WILDLIFE DIVISION

The Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division is asking for the public’s assistance in locating the person(s) responsible for the unlawful taking of two bull elk near Sparta, within the Keating Wildlife Management Unit, located in Baker County. A TIP reward of $500.00 is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the suspect(s) responsible for the unlawful killing of two bull elk.

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On February 26, 2016, OSP was notified of multiple dead elk located off of Sparta Road between Sparta and Richland. On February 27, 2016 OSP F & W Troopers responded and located the remains of two dead bull elk. The investigation determined the two bull elk had been unlawfully shot and killed.

A reward is being offered by the Oregon Hunters Association through the Turn-in Poachers (TIP) program for any information leading to an arrest and conviction in this or any other wildlife offense. Callers can remain anonymous. The TIP program number is 1-800-452-7888.

Anyone with information regarding this particular offense is encouraged to contact Senior Trooper Brad Duncan with the Oregon State Police in Baker City at 541-519-7867 or 541-523-5866.

$13,500 Reward Offered For Info On Illegally Killed Grizzly In Bonner Co.

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE

Two new rewards have been offered for information on the killing of a federally protected grizzly bear in Idaho, bringing the total to $13,500.

In October 2015, a radio collared grizzly bear was found dead in the Grouse Creek drainage of Bonner County, Idaho. The approximately 4-year-old male grizzly was captured and collared in the Selkirk Mountains just north of Priest Lake in late June 2015 as part of research. It is a violation of the Endangered Species Act to kill a grizzly bear, which is listed as threatened. The incident was investigated by the Idaho Fish and Game Department and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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Citizens Against Poaching is offering $2,500, and Defenders of Wildlife is adding $1,000 for information leading to a conviction. Those rewards are in addition to the $5,000 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and another $5,000 from the Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust.

Anyone with information about this case should call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at (509) 370-0112, or Idaho Fish and Game Department at (208) 267-4085.  Callers may remain anonymous.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this press release misstated one of the entities offering a reward. Rather than the Idaho Department of Fish and Game offering $2,500, Citizens Against Poaching is.

Oregon Guide Banned From Running Fishing Trips For 9 Months

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON STATE POLICE FISH AND WILDLIFE DIVISION

The Oregon State Police (OSP) concluded an investigation into an Oregon City fishing guide found to be committing fishing violations while acting as a guide. In October of 2015 the OSP learned of a fishing trip where the clients had not only kept a foul-hooked salmon, but continued to angle once retaining their individual limit, and failed to validate their catch. A subsequent investigation revealed the guide, Wayne Priddy, 59, had aided his customers into violating wildlife laws while he was employed to guide them on Tillamook Bay. PRIDDY was later taken into custody and lodged at the Tillamook County Jail. He was charged with: 

* Four (4) Misdemeanor Counts of Aiding in a Wildlife Offense

* Two (2) Misdemeanor Counts of Failure to Record/Validate Salmon

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On April 4, 2016, PRIDDY pled guilty in Tillamook County Circuit Court to one (1) count of Aiding in a Wildlife Offense. He was sentenced to;

* 36 month probation

* $250.00 in fines

* Forfeit all property to OSP

* Ten (10) days in jail minus time served

* Cannot angle or assist anyone in angling until January 10, 2017

* Cannot possess any angling equipment outside his residence until January 10, 2017.

The Oregon State Police works closely with the Oregon State Marine Board to ensure guides and outfitters follow all laws related to the commercialization of wildlife. All wildlife violations, including those of the outfitter and guide laws, can be reported to the Oregon State Police Turn in Poacher (TIP) hotline at 1-800-452-7888.

Two Men Arrested For Allegedly Poaching Bighorns Along I-84 Near Biggs

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON STATE POLICE, FISH AND WILDLIFE DIVISION

On April 3, 2016 at about 9:45AM, OSP Troopers received a report of suspicious activity alongside Interstate 84 near milepost 119 (east of Biggs Junction). The reporting party stated it appeared a subject was gutting a big game animal and was concerned it was a bighorn sheep.

(OSP)

(OSP)

OSP Patrol and Fish and Wildlife Troopers responded and located a vehicle in the area occupied by a male later identified as Justin M SAMORA, age 32, of Layton, Utah.

JUSTIN M. SAMORA, 32, AND CODY J. PLAGMANN, 28. (OSP)

JUSTIN M. SAMORA, 32, AND CODY J. PLAGMANN, 28. (OSP)

While troopers were speaking with SAMORA, passing motorists stopped and advised there was a male hiding in the brush just west of their location. While troopers were searching for the male, they discovered two severed bighorn sheep heads.

(OSP)

(OSP)

More OSP troopers responded to assist with the search. The other male, identified as Cody J PLAGMANN, age 28, of Troutdale, was found hiding along railroad tracks two miles to the east of the scene around 4PM.

Investigation revealed PLAGMANN and SAMORA had worked together to shoot and remove the heads of the bighorn sheep. Both bighorn sheep were recovered but were not able to be salvaged. PLAGMANN was arrested and lodged at Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility in The Dalles for:

Taking/Possession of Bighorn Sheep
Wasting of a Game Animal
Hunting on Another’s Cultivated or Enclosed Land

SAMORA was arrested for Aiding in A Game Violation and lodged at Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility in The Dalles.

“It’s an outrage that someone would poach a bighorn sheep, when hunters can wait their whole life and still never get the opportunity to hunt this iconic species,” said Jeremy Thompson, district wildlife biologist in The Dalles. ” This herd is also a popular viewing attraction for people driving along I-84, and has been there since 1993.”

Any persons who may have witnessed the incident or has information is asked to call The Dalles Area Command at 541-296-9646. More information will be released when it becomes available as this is an ongoing investigation.

St. Helens Man Loses Hunt Privileges For 3 Years, Fined $16K For Elk Wastage

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON STATE POLICE’S FISH AND WILDLIFE DIVISION

On October 31, 2015 the Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish and Wildlife Division (La Grande) received a report of suspicious activity involving two bull elk killed in the Starkey Wildlife Management Unit near the town of Starkey. A reporting party observed the elk being shot and killed in the early morning hours by hunters. Several hours after the elk had been killed, it did not appear the hunters were attempting to salvage the meat from the elk.

(OSP)

(OSP)

Additional personnel from OSP and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife responded to assist in the investigation. The hunters, Darren NAILLON, age 43, and a 15 year old juvenile (both of St Helens) were contacted at approximately 11:00pm that night walking back to their camp. It was determined that the hunters had been waiting, in the rain, since approximately 2:30pm that afternoon for Troopers to leave the area. The hunters had killed two branch antler bulls and only one of the hunters had a tag that would allow them to take a branch antler bull. The hunters did not have any meat from the elk with them at the time of the contact and advised Troopers that both elk had been boned out and the meat was with their packs (left behind in the forest).

Early the next morning, Troopers located both bulls and the hunter’s packs loaded with what seemed to be a small amount of meat for two bull elk. Troopers found that both bulls (one five point and one six point) had only the prime cuts of meat removed (back-strap and hindquarters). The animals had not been field dressed and the hides had only been partially removed. Troopers estimated that half the meat on both animals had been wasted. It was also noted that the hunters took the largest of the two elk’s antlers.

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The hunter’s rifles, packs, salvaged meat, and both sets of antlers were seized.

In March of 2016, Darren NAILLON plead guilty to Aiding in a Game Violation and Waste of a Game Animal. He was sentenced the following:

3 years hunting suspension.
3 years bench probation.
30 hours community service.
$16,588 fines and restitution.

All evidence forfeited, to include: 2 custom rifles, a backpack and both sets of antlers.

May 1 Deadline To Get Refund From Depoe Charter Outfit That Sold Unissued Licenses

THE FOLLOWING IS A  PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON STATE POLICE, FISH AND WILDLIFE DIVISION

On February 18th, 2016, owners and employees of Tradewinds of Depoe Bay, Inc. plead guilty to Felony Racketeering charges stemming from an Oregon State Police investigation that began in 2012 and resulted in the execution of search warrants at the Depoe Bay fishing charter business in March 2015.

The investigation determined Tradewinds of Depoe Bay charged customers for daily angling licenses and instead of issuing a handwritten 1-day angling license, would provide the customer with a register receipt. This enabled Tradewinds of Depoe Bay retain the angling license revenue for the licenses that weren’t issued.

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In addition to the Racketeering charges, the company owners/employees Tim Harmon, Julie Harmon, and Eva Harmon each pled guilty to Assisting Another in Violation of Wildlife Laws which is a Class A Misdemeanor. Charges against the remaining employees of Tradewinds of Depoe Bay and the charter boat captains charged in the case were dismissed.

The penalties from these convictions issued by the Lincoln County Circuit Court are as follows:

* Tradewinds of Depoe Bay to pay restitution in the amount of $45,000 to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
* Tradewinds of Depoe Bay to pay restitution in the amount of $48,172.88 to the Oregon State Police for investigation and prosecution.
* Tradewinds of Depoe Bay to pay restitution in the amount of $16.75 to those Tradewinds customers who purchased licenses that were not issued from April 2012 through March 2015.
* Tim Harmon to pay court fines of $3,500
* Julie Harmon to pay court fines of $3,500
* Eva Harmon to pay court fines of $3,000

* Each of the Harmon’s will be sentenced to bench probation of 5 years with the following conditions:
o Tim Harmon will sell Tradewinds of Depoe Bay and associated property located at 118 US 101, Depoe Bay, Oregon to an independent third party for a reasonable and fair market value
o After the sale of the company, Tim Harmon, Julie Harmon or Eva Harmon will have no involvement with Tradewinds or any successor company and will have no ownership interest in any Oregon charter fishing industry business.

Customers of Tradewinds of Depoe Bay who purchased a daily Oregon angling license between the dates of April 2012 through March 2015 who did not receive an actual ODFW license who wish to receive restitution should contact the Lincoln County District Attorney Victim’s Assistance Department at (541)563-3462 to make a restitution claim by May 1, 2016.