‘Truly A Heinous Crime’: OR Hunter, ODFW Ask For Tips On Bighorn Poaching, Other Cases

A spate of poaching across Oregon this fall has a hunting magazine editor and state official hopping mad and reminding the public that cash rewards or preference points for the controlled draw are on tap for tipsters who help crack these egregious cases.


As we’ve detailed on this blog and has been reported elsewhere, the trail of wanton death and wastage stretches across the state, from coastal counties to Hells Canyon, the northern tier of the state to Southern Oregon, and includes a bighorn ram, multiple bull and cow elk, mule deer, blacktail bucks, and pairs of bear cubs and wolves.

The killing of that ram in the Lookout Mountain Wildlife Management Unit is particularly aggravating. Only its head was taken; the rest of its carcass was left to rot. No bighorn tags have been available for this unit between the Snake River, I-84 and Highway 86 since 2019.

“I’ve personally viewed and photographed bighorns in the Lookout Mountain Unit, but that’s all, because in 35 years of applying, I’ve never drawn a once-in-a-lifetime bighorn tag, and probably never will,” said Duane Dungannon, editor of Oregon Hunter. “For someone to steal one of these mountain monarchs is truly a heinous crime against all those who dream of a chance to pursue them legally someday, as well as those who just count themselves fortunate to see them.”

Hunters are required to take all edible portions of big game except cougars, though some hunters speak very highly of cougar meat.

According to ODFW, a $2,000 reward from the Oregon Hunters Association or five preference from ODFW is on tap, while the Oregon Wildlife Coalition is also offering a $500 reward.

Yvonne Shaw, ODFW’s Protect Oregon’s Wildlife Turn In Poachers campaign coordinator, said she became emotionally overwhelmed while attaching photos of all the recently poached animals to an agency press release she wrote this week.

“Poaching steals natural resources from all Oregonians,” she said in it. “We can all help protect Oregon’s wildlife by being a good witness and turning in poachers.”

Being a good witness means accurately reporting the location, and descriptions of poachers and associated vehicles and their license plates, with photos especially helpful, she said

“Each death is a blow to the resilience and integrity of our wild landscapes,” said Danielle Moser of Oregon Wild in Shaw’s press release.

Below are the reward schedules for Oregon’s Turn In Poachers Program. Note that preference point or cash rewards are based on information that leads to an arrest or citation for unlawful killing, possession or wastage of big game. Cash rewards are also available for reporting habitat destruction, illegally acquired hunting or fishing licenses or tags, lending/borrowing tags, jacklighting and snagging.

*5 Points-Bighorn Sheep
*5 Points-Rocky Mountain Goat
*5 Points-Moose
*5 Points-Wolf
*4 Points-Elk
*4 Points-Deer
*4 Points-Pronghorn Antelope
*4 Points-Bear
*4 Points-Cougar

$2,000 Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat or Moose 
$1,000 Elk, Deer or Antelope 
$600 Bear, Cougar or Wolf
$300 Habitat Destruction 
$200 Illegally obtaining Oregon hunting or angling license or tags
$200 Unlawful Lending/Borrowing Big Game Tag(s)
$200 Game Fish & Shellfish
$200 Game Birds or Furbearers
$200 Spotlighting
$200 Snagging/Attempt to Snag

$500 Hawk, Falcon, Eagle, Owl, Osprey
$500 Cougar, Bobcat, Beaver (public lands only), Black bears, Bighorn Sheep, Marten, Fisher, Sierra Nevada Red Fox
$1,000 Species listed as “threatened” or “endangered” under state or federal Endangered Species Act (excludes fish) 

$200 Acting as an Outfitter Guide for the Illegal Killing of Wildlife, Illegally Obtaining Oregon Hunting or Angling Licenses or Tags, or Illegally Offering to Act as an Outfitter Guide as defined in ORS 704.010 and 704.020.

TIP Hotline: 1-800-452-7888 or *OSP (*677)
Email: TIP@osp.oregon.gov (note: this is only monitored during workweek hours)