Tag: Hunter

Breaking! $7,300 Reward For Information Leading To The Arrest & Conviction Of The Hunter Responsible For Killing A Second Wolf In Oregon Within The Last 5 Weeks

There is a reward of $7,300 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the poaching of a 1.5-year-old female wolf in Baker County, Oregon, around October 29th. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Turn in Poachers division also offers a potential $300 reward for information regarding wolf poachings.

Sadly, this is the second known wolf poaching in Baker County and the Wallowa Whitman National Forest in the past five weeks.

“Oregon’s small wolf population faces an increasingly large poaching problem that could affect whether these incredible animals fully recover here,” Amaroq Weiss, a senior West Coast wolf advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. “With federal protections disappearing soon, we fear these two recent wolf poachings could become just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve got to crack down on these illegal killings.”

The slain wolf, found in the territory of the Pine Creek pack, was discovered by an elk hunter who reported the wolf to the Oregon State Police. According to law enforcement, the wolf was illegally shot off Forest Service Road 3990 in the Grouse Flat area of the Wallowa Whitman National Forest, about eight miles northeast of Halfway, Oregon.

“It is clear that we need to take a new approach toward the lawless disregard some have toward Oregon’s wildlife,” said Danielle Moser, wildlife program coordinator for Oregon Wild. “Our current system is not up to the task of bringing criminals to justice. This culture of poaching permissiveness, plus the recent decision by the Trump administration to remove federal protections for wolves, puts wolf recovery in Oregon in jeopardy.”

A little more than a month ago, around September 24th, the breeding male wolf of the Cornucopia pack was also found shot dead by poachers. Conservation groups and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife have offered a reward of $6,150 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible in that case. Law enforcement has not indicated whether they believe the two killings are connected.

“The killing of a second Oregon wolf within the last several weeks is an absolute outrage,” said Executive Director Brooks Fahy of Predator Defense. “It is critical that this criminal be brought to justice.”

Since 2015, there have been 17 wolves found dead in Oregon, including these two latest incidents. Up to 16 of these have been investigated by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife as poachings. Thirteen of the wolves had been illegally shot, one was poisoned, and the breeding male and female of the Sled Springs pack were found dead together under suspicious circumstances. An additional pup was found dead; the pup’s cause of death could not be determined.

Arrests and convictions have been made in only two of these instances.

As previously reported by WAN, the Trump administration announced last week that it is removing federal Endangered Species Act protections from the gray wolf across most of the country, including in western Oregon. Since 2011, wolves in the eastern one-third of Oregon have not had federal protections and were managed solely by the state.

“At a time when the Trump administration is revoking federal protection for wolves, poaching in Oregon in 2020 remains an ongoing threat to the recovery of wolves in the West,” said Stephanie Taylor, program director for Northwest Animal Rights Network. “In the last five years, we’ve watched an increase in poaching of wolves, and in response, Pacific Northwest states have continued to pull the rug out from wolves time and again. We simply do not trust these states to manage wolves for recovery at the state level.”

Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact Oregon State Police Sergeant Isaac Cyr through the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Turn in Poachers (TIP) hotline at 1-800-452-7888. Tips can also be submitted via email to TIP@state.or.us.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post Breaking! $7,300 Reward For Information Leading To The Arrest & Conviction Of The Hunter Responsible For Killing A Second Wolf In Oregon Within The Last 5 Weeks appeared first on World Animal News.

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Michigan Hunter Kurt Johnston Duncan Receives Jail Time & Is Banned From Hunting For Life After Poaching 18 Gray Wolves & Several Bald Eagles

A Michigan hunter named Kurt Johnston Duncan was sentenced Tuesday under a plea deal after being accused of poaching numerous species, including 18 gray wolves over the past 18 months.

Wolves are protected in Michigan and are on the federal endangered species list, they are off limits to hunters.

56-year-old Duncan pleaded guilty in September to seven poaching crimes following an investigation by Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers.

Chippewa County District Court Judge Eric Blubaugh sentenced Duncan to pay a total of $36,240; $27,000 as reimbursement for the animals illegally taken and $9,240 in court fees and costs. Duncan also received 90 days of jail time; 30 of which will be held in aside should he violate probation which will last between 18 and 24 months.

Perhaps most importantly, Duncan was penalized with a lifetime revocation of all hunting and trapping licenses in Michigan; including that he may not assist anyone else in any hunting or trapping activities. Duncan is not allowed to hunt in 48 states that are members of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.

“This is a historical case for the division and department,” Chief Gary Hagler, DNR Law Enforcement Division, said in a statement. “We hope this poaching case acts as a deterrent to criminals for committing future wildlife crimes such as this. Our officers did an excellent job working as a team and building this investigation so it could move quickly through the criminal justice system.”

The Michigan DNR’s months-long investigation of Duncan identified 125 wildlife misdemeanor crimes.

Species involved in the charges also include: deer, turkey, bear, and bobcat. DNR law enforcement detectives said that Duncan was using the animals for a variety of reasons including crafts and selling or disposing of them. They also stated that he was catching the animals because he could and “likes to do it.” That is sick.

On September 24th, Duncan accepted a plea deal by Chippewa County Prosecutor Robert Stratton. Duncan pleaded guilty to three counts of the illegal take and possession of wolves, three counts of the illegal take and possession of bald eagles, and one count of illegal commercialization of a wolf which, as noted above, is a protected species in Michigan.

Conservation officers in Michigan are fully commissioned state peace officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety, and protect citizens by providing general law enforcement duties and life-saving  operations in the communities they serve.

Anyone witnessing a natural resources crime or has information about such a crime is encouraged to call or text the DNR’s Report All Poaching Hotline at 800-292-7800.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post Michigan Hunter Kurt Johnston Duncan Receives Jail Time & Is Banned From Hunting For Life After Poaching 18 Gray Wolves & Several Bald Eagles appeared first on World Animal News.

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