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Oregon's poaching problem stretches far and wide

from The Oregonian

In mid-November, Oregon police troopers were called after a pair of bull elk was shot and killed one night in rural Union County. The massive carcasses were found 60 yards off a country road near Elgin, left to rot. Within two weeks, officials had charged two locals in the illegal killing and said they believed a third suspect — one with a history of poaching — had fled the state. The arrests in the Nov. 16 incident represented a rare victory for the state in the eternal struggle to police illegal hunting activities. In the past three months alone, Oregon State Police has asked for help tracking down poachers in Union, Klamath, Wheeler, Douglas, Columbia, Hood River and Lincoln counties. Amid the recent flurry of agency news releases about big game poaching comes the stark reality: This is nothing new. "We do have a problem with poaching," said Capt. Bill Fugate, a state police spokesman. more

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