Oregon Works on Poaching Bill
In Oregon, poachers are responsible for taking more deer than hunters. Out of 500 collared deer, 21 were taken legally by hunters, 23 were taken illegally by poachers. Currently there are no minimum fines for poachers, so they usually get off lightly if they get caught at all. The bill to instill minimum fines breezed through the senate and is now waiting for the house to pass.
Hunters, fishermen, and bird watchers are all backing this measure against poachers. No one knows the exact number that poachers are taking, but there was a case where 9 people from Springfield, had taken over 300 deer during a 5 year time period. With the new bill in place they are hoping there is a greater deterrent against poaching rings, where as now the fines may just be considered a "business cost."
Poaching is prosecuted as a Class A misdemeanor, with a maximum fine of $6,500, and no mandated minimums. Under the bill, anyone killing a bird of prey would face a fine of $1,622 for a first offense. Anyone killing a sturgeon more than 6 feet long would be fined $3,250, and anyone taking three times the daily bag limit for fish or game — three deer instead of one, or six steelhead instead of two — would face the maximum $6,500. From The Register Guard.