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Mid-Coast Fish & Wildlife Division Team Selected as 2008 "Team of the Year"
Captain Walt Markee
Fish & Wildlife Division
(503) 934-0221

Photograph link valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
(Team Photo, left to right:  Volunteer Jim Kelly, Recruit Clint Galusha, Senior Trooper Lalo Guerra, Senior Trooper Doug Shugart, Captain Walt Markee, Sergeant Todd Hoodenpyl, Trooper Casey Thomas, Senior Trooper Luke Schwartz, and Trooper Ryan Howell.)
The Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife (OSP F&W) Division recognized the exemplary work of troopers from the Mid-Coast Team when it was announced they were the recipients of the Division’s Team of the Year award for 2008.  This is the third presentation of the award since the OSP F&W Division implemented a new program celebrating and recognizing the outstanding teamwork by our troopers in protecting Oregon’s natural resources.
The Mid-Coast Team is currently comprised of six troopers assigned to OSP work sites in Tillamook, North Plains, and McMinnville under the supervision of Sergeant Todd Hoodenpyl out of the Tillamook Area Command office.  The Mid-Coast Team is responsible for natural resource protection within Tillamook, Yamhill, and Washington counties; a diverse area comprised of ocean, beaches, bays, rivers, coast range, and valley issues.   Mid-Coast Team troopers are very knowledgeable in the enforcement of commercial fish, shellfish, angling, hunting, trapping, boating safety, traffic, and criminal laws.
Captain Walt Markee, Fish and Wildlife Division Director, commented that “this team encompasses the true meaning of a team and teamwork because they not only work together but they spend a good portion of their off duty time together.  They truly know one another and their families are close knit.  Each individual is a part of, and a leader within, their community, and they sincerely care about the preservation of Oregon’s natural resources.”
The presentation last month was attended by Tillamook County Deputy District Attorney Joel Stevens, Tillamook County Justice of the Peace Neal Lemery, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and local media representatives.
Some of the years’ enforcement highlights involving Mid-Coast Team troopers include:
  • Senior Trooper Luke Schwartz (North Plains) and Senior Trooper Doug Shugart (McMinnville) completed a five-month investigation into the unlawful taking of numerous deer and raccoons by a group of individuals during Summer and Fall 2008.  One adult and seven juveniles received a total of 14 citations for Unlawful Taking Deer—Prohibited Hours, Hunting On The Enclosed Lands of Another, Aiding In a Big Game Violation, Unlawful taking Spike Deer—Forked Horn or Better, Waste of a Game Mammal x 3, Aiding In A Big Game Violation—Waste x 2, Unlawful Taking Spike Deer—No Tag, Unlawful Taking Buck Deer—Aid of Artificial Light, Unlawful Taking Raccoon—Closed Season, Loaning Tag, and Aiding in a Wildlife Crime—Take Raccoon Closed Season.
  • At approximately 2 a.m., Trooper Ryan Howell and Trooper Casey Thomas (both Tillamook) responded to a complaint near Pacific City.  The complainant had located a dead buck deer just outside his house after waking up to the sound of a gun shot.  Trooper Howell and Trooper Thomas searched the area and were able to find where the suspect had hid a spotlight and rifle.  Thinking the suspect may return for his belongings, Trooper Howell hid in the brush as Trooper Thomas was parked, hidden, a short distance away.  At approximately 6 a.m., the suspect returned and was contacted by the troopers as he exited his vehicle.  The suspect admitted that he had shot the deer as it crossed the road in front of him.  After the suspect shot the deer he had his passenger drop him off and drive the car away.  The suspect then tried to hide the deer in a creek, so he could come back the next morning and tag it.  The suspect was cited for Taking Deer Prohibited Hours, and his friend was later cited for Aiding in a Wildlife Violation.
  • Senior Trooper Doug Shugart was checking dory boat fishermen at Cape Kiwanda, home to a large dory fishing fleet and a popular surfing location.  The ocean was fairly rough, with swells over nine feet providing excellent surfing but poor visibility to dory boats coming to shore.  Shugart saw a dory boat coming to shore and then heard from people that the boat had struck a surfer.  Shugart located the injured surfer, bleeding from a left arm amputation, who was aided to shore by other surfers.  The limb was also recovered and Shugart began providing emergency medical care for the 14-year-old boy.  Shugart located an emergency room physician who was walking on the beach nearby. Shugart transported the victim to the main parking lot of Cape Kiwanda while the emergency room doctor provided care.  The boy was transferred by a Tillamook County ambulance to Tillamook General Hospital but later flown to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, where surgeons were able to re-attach the surfer’s arm.
  • Sgt. Todd Hoodenpyl and Senior Trooper Doug Shugart responded to a call from a hiker who witnessed a subject illegally kill a black bear.  The complainant told the troopers he was 2 ½ miles behind a locked gate near Sand Lake when he heard three shots.  The hiker walked to a large clear-cut and saw two subjects with a black bear.  The two subjects attempted to leave the area but were stopped on Highway 101 by Hoodenpyl and Shugart. The illegal hunters were identified as a local Tillamook resident and his 14-year-old son. After talking with the adult, it was determined that he had illegally killed the bear. Hoodenpyl and Shugart, with the assistance of Trooper Aaron Dietz (formerly Banks, now Pendleton), returned to the clear-cut and salvaged a very large male black bear.  The subject was cited for Unlawful Taking Black Bear.
  • Trooper Casey Thomas received information that a suspect had illegally purchased a large set of elk antlers.  Trooper Thomas was able to contact the suspect and arrange for an undercover sale of additional elk antlers.  In addition to antlers, the suspect was also buying and selling full shoulder deer mounts on internet sites.  A search warrant was conducted at the suspect’s residence.  The troopers seized a pickup truck full of illegal antlers and found several other pieces of wildlife that had been mounted and unlawfully sold to the suspect for large sums of money.  The suspect was cited for Unlawful Purchase and Sale of Wildlife and No Antler Dealer License.
  • Senior Trooper Lalo Guerra (Tillamook) responded to a complaint of a wounded hawk in possession at a local residence.  Once at the residence, he discovered a road-struck hawk that was tethered down with a broken wing.  The hawk was later delivered to a rehab facility.  At the residence Senior Trooper Guerra observed a fairly fresh set of elk antlers.  Upon investigation, it was discovered that the subject claimed he had killed the elk in 2006, but the tag had supposedly been lost during the recent flood.  A check with ODFW showed that the subject had never had an elk tag and had used several different social security numbers when applying for sport licenses.  The subject was arrested and lodged on Unlawful Taking of Elk—No Tag, False Application for License/Tag, and Identity Theft.
  • In 2008, members of the Mid-Coast Team contacted over 1,000 clammers on Tillamook county bays and beaches where they found over 250 violations.
  • During the 2008 rifle deer season, members of the Mid-Coast Team conducted a total of 11 nighttime deer decoy operations resulting in 12 individuals being cited criminally for various wildlife violations.