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Two Hermiston Men Sentenced Following Guilty Plea for Unlawful Take & Waste of Trophy Bull Elk
05/20/2011
Sergeant Tim Brown
Oregon State Police - Pendleton
Fish & Wildlife Division
(541) 278-4090 ext. 4870

Photograph link valid 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
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An investigation by Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish & Wildlife Division troopers into the unlawful taking of a trophy bull elk in northeast Oregon with a firearm during archery season led to the recent conviction of a Hermiston-area father and son on wildlife-related crime charges.
 
In September 2010, OSP Fish & Wildlife troopers from the Pendleton Area Command office received information that JOREY M. PETERSON, age 25, and his father, MICHAEL L. PETERSON, age 47, both from Hermiston, had unlawfully taken a trophy bull elk in the Walla Walla Unit with a rifle during the last day of the 2010 archery season. Troopers responded to the Peterson residence and subsequently seized a large 10x7 trophy class Bull Elk and a rifle allegedly used to kill the elk.
 
As part of the investigation, troopers also located the scene east of Milton-Freewater where the bull elk was killed and found the elk's carcass. Upon inspection they determined the meat had spoiled and was no longer fit for human consumption.
 
"Local landowners had observed this particular elk in the same area for several years," said Senior Trooper Rick Carter, lead investigator on the case. "It's because of poaching incidents like this involving large trophy class wildlife that the State of Oregon has pursued enhanced penalties for violators".
 
In 2009, the Oregon Legislature passed a bill enhancing civil damages for the unlawful taking or killing of wildlife including a $15,000 fine for any elk with at least six points on one antler.
 
On March 17, 2011 JOREY PETERSON pled guilty in Umatilla County Circuit Court to Theft in the First Degree, Waste of Wildlife, and Illegal Take of Wildlife. He was sentenced to the following:
  • $15,000 joint restitution with his father to ODFW
  • 180 days in Jail - suspended
  • 3 years bench probation
  • 3 years hunting license suspension and forfeiture of seized evidence to the State of Oregon
 
On April 24, 2011 MICHAEL PETERSON pled guilty in Umatilla County Circuit Court to Theft in the First Degree and Aiding in a Wildlife Violation. He was sentenced to the following:
  • $15,000 joint restitution with his son to ODFW
  • 180 days in Jail - suspended
  • 3 years bench probation and forfeiture of seized evidence to the State of Oregon