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Stop Poaching

Fish and Wildlife Poaching in Oregon

About Poaching

Illegal harvest of big game in Oregon
Species 2019 2020 2021
Pronghorn antelope 10 15 4
Bear 17 13  7
Bighorn sheep 0 1 1
Bobcat 3 4 5
Cougar 6 1 1
Deer 185 220 115
Elk 103 161 94
Wolf 0 2 7
Total 324 447 234
Source: Oregon State Police

Poaching is a problem in Oregon

  • Nationally, only a small portion of wildlife crimes are detected, with estimates ranging from 0.67 to 3.33 percent (Boone and Crockett, 2021).
  • OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers recover about 250 deer, 150 elk, 17 bears and 60 or more sturgeon killed illegally each year. This is only a fraction of the total number of cases.
  • Sturgeon caviar sells for up to $200 an ounce. A large sturgeon could bring hundreds of thousands of dollars in caviar and meat.
  • In 2020, The Oregon Hunters Association granted $20,600 in rewards to people who reported poaching.

Poaching is the illegal take of birds, wildlife, and fish. It also covers habitat destruction. Poaching steals natural resources from all Oregonians. Poaching wildlife and damaging habitats impact present and future generations of wildlife, impacts communities and the economy, and creates enforcement challenges.

Poaching can take many forms. Shooting a raptor. Keeping fish out of season. Sharing tags. Exceeding bag limits. People working the system to get resident licenses or tags when they aren’t residents also are poaching.

Poaching in the News

Report Poaching

Fish and wildlife managers and law enforcement officials rely on the general public to report poaching. Here is information about how to report with the TIP line, how to identify poaching, and the various rewards available for reporting.

Turn in PoachersTurn In Poachers (TIP) line

Do your part and report suspicious activity by contacting the TIP line

How to identify poaching

How to identify possible poaching on the water

  • Poachers taking fish (especially salmon and sturgeon) beyond legal limits, and outside of legal seasons because there is a market for these products.
  • Sturgeon secured near the bank, tied to something on the bank or placed in an unusual container.
  • People fishing at night, or walking on the riverbank after dark, retrieving things from the bushes or water.

Ways you can help:

How to identify possible poaching on the beach

  • Watch for people taking a container of clams, crab or fish off the beach, emptying it in coolers, then returning with empty containers to get more.
  • People stashing their catch in containers in bushes, under vehicle seats, or in the hold of a boat.
  • People placing clams or mussels in other peoples’ containers.

Ways you can help:

How to identify possible poaching in fields and forests

  • Vehicles parked haphazardly, indicating the driver got out in a hurry.
  • Vehicles with blood coming from the tailgate or trunk. Legal hunters field dress animals, which eliminates most blood.
  • Vehicles traveling slowly in the dark, casting light with a flashlight or spotlight.
  • People without visible tags on big game animals.

Ways you can help:

Rewards for Reporting

Oregon Wildlife Coalition funds new reward program for turning in poachers of non-game species

When people conjure up the image of a poacher, it's usually a shady character shooting a trophy buck or bull out of season or without a tag for the thrill of the kill, the antlers or the meat. But other wildlife that aren't hunted are also poached.

A new coalition aims to fight that. Eight non-profit groups joined statewide efforts to combat poaching by creating a new cash reward program for tipsters who call the OSP Turn In Poachers (TIP) Line—this time benefiting these "non-game" species that aren't hunted. More...

Receive a cash reward or preference points for turning in poachers

The Oregon Hunters Association established the Turn-in-Poachers (TIP) reward as an incentive for people to report suspicious activity. The fund pays cash for reports leading to citations or arrests. TIP rewards apply for illegal taking of fish and game mammals.

ODFW grants hunter preference points as an incentive for people who report poaching, if the report leads to a citation or arrest. You can apply those points to any legal Oregon hunting opportunity.

Cash rewards and hunter preference points generally go to the first credible report of an incident. In some cases, they may be awarded to more than one individual. If you would like points or rewards for your call, be sure to leave your name and contact information so the Trooper can follow up with you. The information is confidential. You can also report anonymously.

Oregon Wildlife Coalition Cash rewards

  • Birds: $500 Hawk, Falcon, Eagle, Owl, Osprey. All other protected avian species: see category below for listed species
  • Mammals: $500 Cougar, Bobcat, Beaver (public lands only), Black bears, Bighorn Sheep, Marten, Fisher, Sierra Nevada Red Fox

Oregon Outfitters & Guides Association Cash Rewards
$200 cash reward for information leading to a citation of inidividuals acting as an Outfitter Guide for the Illegal Killing of Wildlife, Illegally Obtaining Oregon Hunting or Angling Licenses or Tags, or Illegally Offering to Act as an Outfitter Guide as defined in ORS 704.010 and 704.020.

Oregon Hunters Association Cash rewards

  • $2,000 Bighorn sheep, mountain goat & moose
  • $1000 Elk, deer & antelope
  • $600 Bear, cougar & wolf
  • $300 Habitat destruction
  • $200 Game fish & shellfish
  • $200 Game birds or furbearers
  • $200 Illegally obtaining Oregon hunting or angling license or tags
  • $200 Unlawful lending/borrowing big game tag(s)

Preference Points rewards

  • 5 Points Bighorn Sheep
  • 5 Points Rocky Mountain Goat
  • 5 Points Moose
  • 5 Points Wolf
  • 4 Points Elk
  • 4 Points Deer
  • 4 Points Pronghorn Antelope
  • 4 Points Bear
  • 4 Points Cougar

Enforcing Oregon’s hunting and fishing laws

Oregon partners with Oregon State Police to enforce crimes against fish, wildlife, and habitat destruction. The states of Oregon and Alaska are the only two in the country that work with their state police rather than having their own game wardens. You can hear more about how OSP Fish and Wildlife Division works to protect Oregon’s natural resources through a recent Beaver State podcast on poaching:

OSP Fish and Wildlife Division's Field Review - monthly newsletter reporting news, cases and events related to poaching and other activities.

Fleet Services Marine Fisheries Wildlife Enforcement Decoy

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