Trail Of Shot-Up Gates, Headless, Wasted Deer Lead To 48 Charges Against 3 Oregon Teens

What. The. Hell?

That’s my initial reaction to this press release about the alleged wanton and disgusting poaching and wastage of 16 deer and two elk in Central Oregon.

Actually, my reaction is stronger than that, but I’ve been warned about using that word on our blog.

This makes my blood absolutely boil. I’m about to lose my cool.

Did these three teens use the winter range as their private shooting gallery, as the Oregon State Police allege?

It goes right along with ODFW’s large study, reported on originally by The Oregonian, which showed that illegal kill basically accounts for as much if not slightly more dead mule deer in Central Oregon than the legal take.

And the poachers have the temerity to shoot does.

So much for ever building the herd back up.

We’re trying to get a comment out of the defendants.

Meanwhile, here are details, a pic and charges against the alleged poachers from a press release:

An eight-month investigation by Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish & Wildlife Division, with the assistance of U.S. Forest Service law enforcement and Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, led to multiple wildlife-related charges for three individuals involved with the unlawful take and waste of deer and elk in the Metolius Wildlife Management Unit.

Senior Trooper Mark Prodzinski and Senior Trooper Charles Lindberg began the investigation when locks were discovered shot off gates leading to critical mule deer winter range habitat. Headless mule deer bucks were found and their meat wasted, as were mule deer does that were shot and left to waste.


OSP Fish & Wildlife troopers worked Wildlife Enforcement Decoy (WED) operations and late night patrols in the area with the assistance of air flight patrols. During the investigation, troopers found other evidence of illegal deer poaching in different areas of the Metolius Unit.

Evidence accumulated during the investigation identified three main suspects who are facing charges in Deschutes, Jefferson and Jackson counties. They are identified as:

* COLE A. CRAIG, age 18, from Bend
* TYLER S. MITCHELL, age 18, from Gold Hill
* SPENCER A. GREENE, age 17, from Sisters

Over the weekend, CRAIG was taken into custody and lodged in the Deschutes County Jail on local area charges. He was also cited to appear in Jefferson County Circuit Court on charges for allegations in that County. MITCHELL was cited to appear on charges in Jackson County. GREENE was cited to appear in Jefferson County Circuit Court for Taking Deer Closed Season and 3 counts of Aiding in a Wildlife Violation.

Charges for CRAIG include Taking Deer Closed Season (Jefferson – 8 counts, Deschutes – 1 count); Taking Elk Closed Season (Jefferson – 2 counts); Waste of Wildlife – Deer (Jefferson – 7 counts, Deschutes – 1 count); Waste of Wildlife – Elk (Deschutes – 2 counts); and, Hunting with Aid of Artificial Light (Jefferson – 3 counts).

MITCHELL was cited for in Jackson County for Unlawful Possession of Deer Parts (6 counts). He was also cited to appear in Deschutes and Jefferson County for Taking Deer Closed Season (Jefferson – 5 counts, Deschutes – 1 count); Waste of Wildlife (Jefferson – 3 counts, Deschutes – 1 count); Hunting with Aid of Artificial Light (Jefferson – 3 counts); and Criminal Mischief in the First Degree (Jefferson – 1 count).

The investigation is continuing.

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