Tag Archives: poaching

Man Arrested After Shooting Big Buck Resting By House In Ashland

Editor’s note: OSP has released additional information on the case, including the location the deer was shot and the name of the suspect. The following are the updated and the original press releases

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

On October 16, 2019, an OSP Trooper responded to a complaint of suspicious hunter activity within the city limits of Ashland. A local resident in the 600 Block of Thornton Way, reported observing a male loading a deer into a pickup while parked on a city street.

(OSP)

The reporting party approached the male to inquire about the deer but the male then drove off. A license plate and make of pickup was obtained.

The Trooper arrived on scene and contacted multiple neighboring residents. The Trooper found a short blood trail leading from a bush, which was against a neighboring house, that lead to a row of hedges along the city street.

This evidence along with the reporting party’s observations, showed that the suspected deer may have been shot while bedded down next to a house and loaded into the pickup while parked on the street.

With the help of another Trooper, the suspect was located and interviewed. Faced with the evidence and resident observations, the male hunter admitted to shooting the buck deer as it laid in its bed under a large bush against a house. The male stated he shot from inside his vehicle while knowingly parked on a city street in Ashland. The male had dumped the buck deer and rifle on the Tiller/Trail Highway after the incident, which the Trooper recovered. The deer was found to be a trophy class 4×4 buck.

Further investigation found where the bullet exited the buck deer and penetrated the house above the front door.

The suspect, Dustin McGrorty, age 38, from Riddle, was charged with Hunting Prohibited: Within City Limits, Unlawful Take/Possession of Buck Deer, Unlawful Use of Weapon, and Criminal Trespass II. He was warned for Hunting on Public Roadway and Fail to Validate Tag. A second adult male, name not released, will also be charged with Aiding in Wildlife Offense and Criminal Trespass II. The buck deer and rifle were seized as evidence. The meat was salvaged and donated to a local charity.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

On October 16, 2019, an OSP Trooper responded to a complaint of suspicious hunter activity within the city limits of Ashland. A local resident reported observing a male loading a deer into a pickup while parked on a city street.

The reporting party approached the male to inquire about the deer but the male then drove off. A license plate and make of pickup was obtained.

The Trooper arrived on scene and contacted multiple neighboring residents. The Trooper found a short blood trail leading from a bush, which was against a neighboring house, that lead to a row of hedges along the city street. This evidence along with the reporting party’s observations, showed that the suspected deer may have been shot while bedded down next to a house and loaded into the pickup while parked on the street.

With the help of another Trooper, the suspect was located and interviewed. Faced with the evidence and resident observations, the male hunter admitted to shooting the buck deer as it laid in its bed under a large bush against a house. The male stated he shot from inside his vehicle while knowingly parked on a city street in Ashland. The male had dumped the buck deer and rifle on the Tiller/Trail Highway after the incident, which the Trooper recovered. The deer was found to be a trophy class 4×4 buck.

Further investigation found where the bullet exited the buck deer and penetrated the house above the front door.

The suspect was charged with Hunting Prohibited: Within City Limits, Unlawful Take/Possession of Buck Deer, Unlawful Use of Weapon, and Criminal Trespass II. He was warned for Hunting on Public Roadway and Fail to Validate Tag. A second male passenger will also be charged with Aiding in Wildlife Offense and Criminal Trespass II. The buck deer and rifle were seized as evidence. The meat was salvaged and donated to a local charity.

‘Nobody Likes To Live With Guilt’: 8×7 Bull Elk’s Killer Sought

The search for whomever poached a massive Kittitas County bull during last weekend’s rifle deer opener is getting widespread attention.

A suspect description and images of the elk he “accidentally” shot out of season are making the rounds on social and regional media, upping the odds of a resolution.

WDFW OFFICER COURTENY NASSET LOOKS OVER THE CARCASS OF THE 8X7 BULL ELK KILLED IN NORTHERN KITTITAS COUNTY OCT. 12, 2019. (WDFW)

“I’m hoping someone recognizes them or the person sees this and does the right thing,” said WDFW Sgt. Carlo Pace this morning. “Nobody likes to live with guilt.”

The 8×7 was shot Saturday near First Creek and FS Road 3506, which are north of Thorp and east of Highway 97.

Pace and Officer Courtney Nasset responded to the scene after a witness said the alleged shooter asked them to help hide the carcass.

“The witness did the right thing and declined, left, and called 911 immediately with the location and description of the suspect,” WDFW Police posted on social media. “When the officers arrived on scene, they found the large bull was left intact and had been completely covered up with stumps and cut trees.”

The witness described the suspect as a man in his 30s who stood about 5-foot-7 and had a trimmed goatee.

“He was wearing hunter camo top and bottom, an orange beanie, Cabela’s backpack, and black/brown rifle,” wardens stated on Facebook.

There’s a pretty big size, color and antler difference between mule deer bucks and bull elk, and Pace sounded skeptical that it was an accident.

“I’ve seen a lot of big bulls. This is one of the biggest ones I’ve seen. The base of the antlers is huge,” he said.

ANOTHER IMAGE OF THE BULL AFTER ITS MEAT WAS LARGELY SALVAGED FOR DONATION TO A LOCAL FOOD BANK. ITS BROW TINES EACH CARRY AN EXTRA POINT, WITH EIGHT POINTS ON ITS RIGHT BEAM, SEVEN ON ITS LEFT. (WDFW)

The general rifle elk season in this area doesn’t begin until late October and only open for true spike bulls.

Fortunately, the quick response allowed the officers to salvage the animal. The quarters and backstraps were donated to the FISH Community Food Bank in nearby Ellensburg, according to Pace.

Tipsters are being asked to call WDFW at (360) 902-2936 and then choose option 1. You can also submit info through the agency’s violations page, or text WDFWTIP to 847411.

OSP Needs Info On Howard Prairie Buck, Yamhill Elk Poaching, Wasting Cases

THE FOLLOWING ARE PRESS RELEASES FROM THE OREGON STATE POLICE FISH AND WILDLIFE DIVISION

OREGON STATE POLICE SEEKING PUBLIC’S ASSISTANCE WITH DEER POACHING- JACKSON COUNTY

Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Troopers are asking for the public’s assistance in locating and apprehending the person(s) responsible for shooting/wasting a black tail deer around Friday, August 30, 2019 The deer was located in the Willow Point Campground at Howard Prairie Reservoir.

(OSP)

Preliminary investigation revealed that on or around Thursday, August 29, 2019, a deer was shot and left to waste in the Willow Point Campground at Howard Prairie Reservoir.

Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact OSP Dispatch at *OSP (*677) from a mobile phone or through the Turn in Poachers (TIP) hotline at 1-800-452-7888.

OREGON STATE POLICE ASKING FOR PUBLIC ASSISTANCE WITH ELK POACHING CASE- YAMHILL COUNTY

The OSP Fish & Wildlife Division is asking for the public’s assistance identifying the person(s) responsible for the waste of a bull elk in Yamhill County.

(OSP)

On August 30, 2019, OSP received information that two bull elk carcasses had been found and one appeared to be completely wasted. Evidence at the scene indicates someone successfully located the wasted bull after it was dead, but failed to harvest the animal.

(OSP)

Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact OSP Dispatch at *OSP (*677) from a mobile phone or through the Turn in Poachers (TIP) hotline at 1-800-452-7888. Reference Trooper Jerome

WDFW Proposing Changes To How Poaching Is Prosecuted

WDFW is proposing a suite of changes to how some fish and wildlife violations are prosecuted by counties across Washington.

If greenlighted by the Fish and Wildlife Commission later this week, state lawmakers next year would be asked to pass a bill that addresses how those are charged, the forfeiture of poached animal parts, and require courts to inform the agency of their rulings.

For law-abiding sportsmen, it can be maddening how how long it can seem to take for poachers to be brought to justice — if they’re even charged at all.

In the former case it is often because despite state game wardens dutifully filing their case reports, county prosecutors and court systems have such heavy workloads and limited funding that it makes it difficult for them deal with fish and wildlife violators when there’s such a clamor from the public to go after other offenders and property crimes.

But dismissing critter cases can lead to diminished perceptions of the value of deer, salmon and other species.

And for really bad apples, it “decriminalizes these activities, allowing repeat offenders to poach without fear of punishment,” according to WDFW.

Briefing the citizen oversight panel earlier this month, outgoing legislative liaison Raquel Crosier told commissioners said the package would accomplish several things.

“The first thing it does is it reduces lower level fish and wildlife crimes to a civil infraction. This is really important because local courts are bogged down. They’ve got a lot of other cases — homicides, DUIs — and our cases often don’t get heard, and when they do it may be two, three years later,” Crosier said.

Changing misdemeanors to infractions would treat those violations “closer to a traffic ticket” that must be paid or contested in civil court, she said.

“We want some type of repercussion for these crimes, but we don’t want someone waiting for a long time with a criminal record in the meantime,” Crosier said.

Another aspect of the proposal is that it would tweak how conviction is defined, Crosier said.

The way some poaching cases are prosecuted can require WDFW to return seized fish and wildlife under certain circumstances.

“We just really want to make sure, regardless of the court outcome, we can still seize animal parts. Sometimes through a plea deal they end up allowing them to keep them. We don’t think poached animal parts should be kept under any circumstances,” said Crosier.

Several years ago, state lawmakers at WDFW’s behest stiffened penalties for those who knowingly trespassed to not allow them to keep any game they killed. Before, those chasing deer, elk or other game on private property only faced a fine of a couple hundred bucks or so, worth the cost for some when the animals taken were of trophy caliber.

The other major change being proposed  would require courts to notify WDFW of how cases turn out.

“The Department cannot effectively manage bad actors and revoke licenses or prevent a criminal from purchasing a new fishing or hunting license if the Department is not aware cases rulings or dispositions. This proposal would add a new statute, requiring the clerk of the court hearing the case to prepare and immediately forward an abstract of the court record to WDFW Enforcement,” a commission briefing statement reads.

The agency has been working on the tweaks for awhile and it appears that a proposal to revoke licenses for two violations in five years — currently it’s three in 10 — is not included in the bill.

Commissioners had numerous questions about that during their Aug. 2 meeting. Staffers say that a “preliminary analysis” on that plus plans to also work on commercial revocations mean it’s been backburnered to 2021.

As it stands, the commission is slated to give the package a thumbs-up or -down at its Aug. 23 conference call.

The next step after that would be for a bill to be written, be introduced by lawmakers and have public hearings held on it.

It would need to pass both chambers and be signed into law by the governor.

It all might be a bit of a challenge, given the short 60-day session, but WDFW staffers have cut back their legislation requests for 2020 from five bills to this and another dealing with part of its budget and transparency.

Get a Free NewsLetter Here

Egregious Sekiu Salmon Poacher Fined, Forfeited Boat

An angler who egregiously violated Washington’s salmon regulations last summer was sentenced to pay more than $3,200 in fines, and he also forfeited his boat.

Mark Heinemann, 75, of Bainbridge Island was caught fishing alone off Sekiu with six lines out — all baited with lures with barbed hooks — off two downriggers, claimed he had only caught one fish but was eventually found to be way over his limit with 10 (half of which were also illegal to retain wild salmon) and hadn’t recorded anything on his punch card.

WDFW OFFICER BRYAN DAVIDSON POSES WITH THE BOAT, TRAILER, DOWNRIGGERS, FISHING ROD AND COMMERCIAL FLASHER-LURE COMBOS SEIZED FOLLOWING AN AT-SEA INSPECTION OF MARK HEINEMANN’S BOAT LAST AUGUST THAT TURNED UP EGREGIOUS FISHING RULES VIOLATIONS. (WDFW)

WDFW Region 6 Capt. Dan Chadwick said his fishing setups looked like what you might find on a commercial boat, though added there wasn’t any evidence he was selling his catch.

In late February, Heineman was convicted of 10 counts in Clallam County District Court, including criminal charges for possessing four wild coho and a king during a closed season, exceeding the bag limit on hatchery coho by three fish, and failing to record his catch.

Another 10 charges were dropped, according to Chadwick.

Heinemann’s 23-foot Maxum Cabin Cruiser, worth approximately $5,000, was initially seized at the dock. Later he did not contest its forfeiture to the state, according to WDFW.

While there are some Washington waters that an angler can run two lines for salmon with the second rod endorsement, Sekiu is not one of them.

Barbless hooks are also required on all of the state’s marine waters for salmon.

Wild Chinook or wild coho open weren’t open at the time either, and civil penalties for keeping unclipped salmon run up to $500 apiece.

CLALLAM COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPUTIES AND A WDFW OFFICER POSE WITH HEINEMANN’S BOAT. (WDFW)

Heinemann was spotted on Tuesday, Aug. 28, during a joint Clallam County Sheriff’s Office-WDFW patrol of the western Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Officers noticed that his second downrigger was deployed but there was not an accompanying rod with it, nor another angler on board.

When they asked Heinemann to reel up his gear for an inspection, he brought in the line of the rod attached to his other downrigger, but left the ‘rigger’s cable and ball down.

So they asked him to bring them up, and he began to but stopped part way, so they had to ask again, after which he complied “reluctantly,” according to WDFW.

As it came up, Heinemann unclipped a leader from the cable and officers saw it had a bungee attached to a flasher and lure, as did a second that came up with the cable and ball.

When they asked him to bring up the other downrigger, it had three more bungee-flasher-lure rigs.

“I’ve been on the marine unit since 2007. I’ve done thousands of boardings in that time. I’ve never seen somebody run that kind of gear off of a recreational boat,” Clallam County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Eric Munger told the Peninsula Daily News last August.

Heinemann volunteered that he had kept one hatchery coho, which he showed to the officers, though he hadn’t put it on his catch card.

Between the good bite in the Straits at the time, all the gear he had down and his claim to have only one fish, the officers were a bit suspicious.

WDFW Officer Bryan Davidson asked him again if he had any more salmon to show, and after Heinemann denied it, Davidson advised him that he thought there were in fact more on the boat.

From the cabin Heinemann brought out two garbage bags containing nine more salmon, most of which had been cleaned.

HEINEMANN WAS IN POSSESSION OF 10 SALMON, INCLUDING A WILD CHINOOK AND FOUR WILD COHO THAT WERE ILLEGAL TO RETAIN, AND FIVE HATCHERY COHO, THREE MORE THAN WERE ALLOWED. (WDFW)

Game wardens have suggested it probably wasn’t Heinemann’s first try running some much gear, but what led him to decide to break the rules so spectacularly that day last summer isn’t clear.

He hadn’t responded to efforts to contact him through Facebook, nor had he returned a message left with a man who answered his home phone this past Friday.

Get a Free NewsLetter Here

Shot Fired As WDFW Officers Serve Warrant In Ferry Co.

Updated 5:40 p.m., Friday, June 7, 2019

A standoff appears to have ended in Ferry County where WDFW is now reporting “officers have confirmed one deceased individual in the barricaded residence” where one shot was fired this morning as game wardens served a warrant for alleged illegal wildlife trafficking and hunting violations.

 

That occurred at 10 a.m. and one of two residents left the abode afterwards, but the second did not.

Afterwards the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office flew its SWAT team to the site.

Very little information was initially available on the situation, likely because it was active but also due to the remote location described as near Republic, the county seat.

“Part of the issue is it’s so far out there reception is bad, so we’re not getting a lot of info,” said WDFW spokeswoman Staci Lehman in Spokane.

She reported that a chaplain for her agency and the state patrol, as well as the Ferry County coroner were onsite.

Lehman also thanked the Spokane and Ferry Counties Sheriff’s Offices for assistance.

More details as they emerge.

WDFW Reports 2 Stevens Co. Wolves Killed, 1 in Self-defense

A Stevens County man shot and killed a wolf in self-defense after it turned towards he and his daughter last weekend while they were on a hike, but the death of a collared wolf elsewhere in the county is under investigation.

WDFW Capt. Dan Rahn says the latter animal, a female, was killed off Highway 20 near the Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge.

A WDFW MAP SHOWS THE RANGE OF THE STRANGER PACK IN NORTHEAST WASHINGTON. (WDFW)

“It was transmitting a mortality signal — that’s how we found it,” he said. “We recovered it on May 27.”

He said that any tips can be phoned in to his agency’s regional office in Spokane at (509) 892-1001.

Conservation Northwest is offering a $7,500 reward for info leading to a conviction.

As for the other incident, state wolf specialist Ben Maletzke said the man and girl left their home late Sunday afternoon to go on a hike on an ATV trail onto public land when they encountered the wolf.

“About 30 yards up the trail a wolf came out of the brush,” he says.

The man, who was carrying a shotgun, “felt threatened and shot the wolf at 25 yards,” Maletzke said.

“It’s just one of those things. They just kinda crossed paths at a bad time,” he said.

Maletzke said the duo left the uncollared female wolf and returned to their home and reported the incident to WDFW.

In 20 minutes an officer arrived and began investigating, determining it had been in self-defense.

“The wolf was running at them and they were concerned for their safety,” said Capt. Rahn. “You have the right to protect yourself.”

Both he and Maletzke agreed that calling in the incident immediately was the right thing for the man to have done.

It’s the latest where state residents have been found to have been justified in shooting a wolf.

Other cases include a Blue Mountains cabin owner afraid for his dogs; a northern Ferry County livestock producer who caught a wolf in the act of attacking his cattle; an Adams County ranchhand who observed a wolf chasing cows; and a northeast Okanogan County rancher who saw a wolf approaching his day-old calves.

This most recent incident occurred in the south end of Stevens County, in the range of the Stranger Pack and most likely was a member of that group of wolves, Maltezke said, though it might also have been a wandering Huckleberry wolf.

Wolves in Northeast Washington were delisted in 2011 and this corner of the state is where most packs and individuals live. They remain state listed.

Maletzke also shared some nonlethal ways to deal with wildlife encountered afield.

“Stand tall, make yourself look big to make it go away,” he said.

Raising your voice can also help, Maletzke added.

Last summer, after wandering too close to a wolf pup rendezvous site and drawing the attention of protective parents, a Forest Service worker climbed a tree, twice.

And before he retired, Rich Landers, longtime outdoor columnist at the Spokesman-Review, posted a great video with advice for recreating with dogs where wolves might be encountered.

Corvallis Man Loses Hunting Privileges For 8 Years After Wildlife Crimes

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

Anthony A. Coleman, age 33, from Corvallis, pleaded guilty in the Benton County Circuit Court to two counts of Taking, Angling, Hunting, or Trapping in Violation in Wildlife Law or Rule and Possession of Prohibited Firearm as Class A Misdemeanors.

ANTHONY A. COLEMAN. (OSP)

He was sentenced to:

· Hunting privileges suspended for a period of 8 years

· 36 months bench probation to include no participation in hunting, trapping, or shed hunting activities

· $20,400 in fines, fees, and restitution

· 30 days of work crew

· Forfeiture of all seized rifles, bows and animal parts

· 10 days in jail

AN IMAGE ACCOMPANYING AN OREGON STATE POLICE PRESS RELEASE ON THE CASE SHOWS NUMEROUS TROPHY MOUNTS AS WELL AS A BOW. (OSP)

The charges stemmed from an investigation which resulted in the service of several search warrants by the Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division Mid-Valley Team last year.

The investigation began when an anonymous person advised Troopers of Coleman killing two bull elk on the same day. The search warrants served led to multiple other charges to include a buck deer that was killed out of season and a short-barreled rifle found in possession of Coleman.

The three charges Coleman plead guilty to was part of a plea agreement offered by the Benton County DA’s Office. Multiple charges relating to the unlawful taking of big game animals were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Deer ‘Poaching’ Call In Central Cascades Turns Up Felon, Firearms

Washington game wardens are investigating a bizarre incident involving a dead blacktail deer literally pumped full of lead, five people found a few miles away, and the recovery of numerous firearms with missing serial numbers or without any at all.

A SCREENSHOT FROM A USGS MAP SHOWS THE GENERAL LOCATION OF WHERE THE DEER WAS KILLED AND THE FIVE INDIVIDUALS ENCOUNTERED NORTH OF NORTH BEND AND SNOQUALMIE. (USGS)

“We still don’t know for sure what happened,” said WDFW Sgt. Kim Chandler this afternoon. “They either flat-out poached a deer or, according to them, hit it with their car and shot it 100 times.”

“I don’t know if it was 100 times, but there were shell casings from three different weapons,” he said.

What is known is that last Friday four men and a woman whose ages and hometowns weren’t immediately available apparently drove up the North Fork Road outside North Bend east of Seattle for whatever reason and at some point 3 to 4 miles from the end of the gravel they encountered the deer.

Chandler said that there was a small crack and some deer hair on the bumper of their car, and that the deer had a broken leg, which might suggest it was run into.

But he also said the leg could have been broken due to the “dozens of dozens of rounds” of .223 and 9mm ammo shot at the animal.

The carcass was butchered — “They obviously didn’t know what they were doing,” the officer said — and put in a cooler, and the quintet apparently continued to the end of the road in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest for the night.

On Saturday, a hiker came upon the remains of the deer “in the middle of the road” and called it in as a poaching, according to Chandler.

A WDFW officer dispatched to the scene found it and in trying to figure out what had happened, called in another warden to help.

As they searched the area past the carcass and shells in the road they came across two men and a woman asleep in a car, with one of the men “on top of all kinds of AR-15s,” said Chandler.

After the trio were woken up, one of the firearms — a 9mm AR-15 pistol — came back as stolen, while others — which Chandler described as “AR-15 build-it-yourself weapons” — didn’t have serial numbers whatsoever.

When they were asked who the vehicle belonged to, they gave a name of a man who was not present and who they said had gone hiking.

As the officers were talking with the three, that man apparently came down the trail while carrying a .380-caliber handgun, along with a fifth person carrying an “assault rifle,” Chandler said.

“They did a double take, saw all the police, and headed into the brush,” he said.

That precipitated a call for backup to the King County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol and a canine unit, which caught the attention Living Snoqualmie, which first reported the incident.

Once the officers were all assembled, a public address system was used to call in the two individuals who’d run off.

The man who allegedly owned the car came out, though not with the handgun he’d been carrying, nor with the fifth person, who never came out, Chandler said.

The end of the North Fork Road is about 24 miles from North Bend.

As things began to get sorted out, it was discovered that one of the men who’d been asleep in the car with all the ARs was a convicted felon who wasn’t supposed to be around guns at all.

He was subsequently booked into King County Jail, Chandler said.

Chandler said he’s seen a lot of cases in his years with WDFW but this turned out to be among the more unusual ones.

“At the very least, it’s a violation of the (roadkill) salvage law. You have to wait for an officer to dispatch” struck and injured animals, he said.

“These guys didn’t have a clue about the salvage law, but now they do.”

While happy that the situation wasn’t anything like it seemed like — the parade of police vehicles heading up the North Fork Road sparked a rumor that a WDFW warden had been shot, Chandler said — and that nobody got hurt, it’s still an active investigation.

“It turned into a whole lot more than a poached deer,” he said. “Some serious stuff there. The ATF is very interested in all the guns without serial numbers.”

He said the state crime lab might also be able to raise those that had been filed off one weapon.

Another Southwest Washington Poacher Sentenced

The third of four major members of a loose-knit Southwest Washington poaching ring was sentenced earlier this month.

A Skamania County judge ordered Joseph A. Dills to serve a year and pay $14,000 in fines after he pled guilty to illegal big game hunting, hound hunting and wasting game, according to The Daily News of Longview.

AN IMAGE RECOVERED DURING AN INVESTIGATION OF A SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON POACHING RING SHOWS A BEAR SURROUNDED BY HOUNDS. HOUND HUNTING HAS BEEN BANNED IN THE STATE SINCE THE MID-1990S. (WDFW)

Dills was also told to stay away from other members of the group, including his father, for half a decade, and he cannot own hunting dogs.

The newspaper reported that the 32-year-old can do his time on work release to pay the fine, but noncompliance could bring even heavier fines and result in hard time instead.

It’s at least the second time in the past dozen years that Dills has been sentenced for poaching. He was a member of the “Kill ’Em All Boyz” and in 2007 pled guilty to second-degree hunting violations and illegally baiting bears. He was sentenced to over two months in jail and to pay more than $2,000 in fines.

His most recent conviction came out of a December 2016 traffic stop by Oregon State Police wildlife troopers investigating a string of headless bucks shot and left on winter range near Mt. Hood.

They matched a trail cam photo of a truck with one spotted in The Dalles and pulled it over.

Inside were William J. Haynes and Erik C. Martin, whose cell phones led to a treasure trove of evidence linking that duo with Joseph Dills and his father, Eddy Dills, and accusations they and others were complicit in the illegal killings of dozens upon dozens of deer, elk, bears and bobcats in Washington and Oregon.

Since pleading guilty to 15 counts, including five felonies, in January (Northwest Sportsman, March 2019), Haynes was sentenced to a year in jail and fined $14,800, according to The Daily News. Eddy Dills received three-plus weeks of home detention.

As for Martin, per the paper, he is scheduled to go on trial in Skamania County on May 13 for 28 wildlife violations.

Once again, hat tip to prosecutors for following such a massive case through.