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Turning in poachers has its rewards

Thursday, December 6, 2018

A new program will provide big game preference points in lieu of a cash reward to people who turn in poachers.

The program builds on the longstanding Turn in Poachers Program, a successful collaboration between the Oregon Hunters Association and Oregon State Police. Until now, it provided cash-only rewards for information about poaching. 

This year, a person who provides information that Oregon State Police determines leads to an arrest or citation for the unlawful taking, possession or waste of big game are eligible for preference points or the cash reward.

For cases involving bighorn sheep, mountain goat, moose, and wolves, the person will be awarded five preference points. For cases involving elk, deer, pronghorn, cougar and bear, the person will be awarded four preference points. All preference points must go to one hunt series (elk, buck deer, antlerless deer, antelope or spring bear).

Hunters can only get one point in each hunt series each year. Five preference points would allow a hunter to draw 76 percent of buck deer hunts, 69 percent of doe deer hunts, 83 percent of elk hunts and 24 percent of pronghorn hunts. 

The new program is due to the passage of House Bill 3158 by the 2017 Oregon Legislature, which directed the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to offer big-game preference points in lieu of a cash for people providing information leading to citations or arrest of poachers. The Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted rules for the program last month at their meeting in Bandon, and the rules are retroactive until Jan. 1, 2018.

“Poaching is a serious problem for Oregon’s wildlife,” says Travis Schultz, ODFW access and habitat coordinator. “It can have significant long term impacts on our wildlife populations.”

Report wildlife violations via email to or by calling *OSP or 800-452-7888.

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