Poaching Trophy Elk Costly for Father and Son

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Jorey Peterson, 25, and his father Michael Peterson, 47, shot a 10 by 7 bull elk using a rifle on the last day of bow hunting season in the Walla Walla Unit (Oregon). Now they will be paying $15,000 jointly, spending 180 days in jail, three years bench probation, three year hunting privileges revoked, and loss of all seized property in the case. Both father and son pleaded guilty to the charges; theft first degree, waste of wildlife and illegal take of wildlife in Umatilla County Circuit Court. The $15,000 is for restitution that will be paid to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, from The Statesman Journal.

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.


arrowflipper's picture


I have to admit that I'm happy these guys got caught.  I find it interesting the size of the penalty.  It looks like the penalty is in proportion to the size of the animal.  They are saying that a trophy has a much greater value than a smaller animal.  Is that true?

I'd like to know the extent of the personal items that were taken and kept. I'd guess for sure a rifle or two and maybe even a car or truck.  That adds up to a pretty hefty fine.  But maybe this will be a deterrent to others who are thinking about taking game animals out of season. 

Throughout history, we have used punishment as a deterrent to crime.  I honestly believe it works as long as it remains consistent.  In the case of capital crimes, we have become so hit and miss in this country that we have lost the deterrent factor.  I would like to see the states become standardized in the penalties for poaching and taking game illegally.  Go ahead and put a sliding scale on, based on the type of animal and the trophy quality.  But be consistent.  Be firm.  Be fair.  Be prompt.

I am not so sure about the taking of smaller game animals when it can be proven that it was for the meat and the meat was needed.  I know that's a subjective issue, but there are times when people really need the meat and can't afford to buy it.

Whatever the punishment, I hope it sends a message to others who are thinking about the illegal taking of our public owned wild game.


ndemiter's picture

in the states, we largely

in the states, we largely deal with smaller amounts of game animals taken illegally for individual use. it is nice to see that some states are stepping up and following up on game managment aby reinforcing the rules.

i don't necissarily agree that in these types of crimes, possessions such as rifles, trucks, atv's or etc. may be siezed. i actually think this opens the door for too much corruption within the game departments. by giving an officer's greed a chance to expose itself while on-duty, i am more fearful that this power will be abused in the future. in fact, i'm fairly convinced that it will be when large federal government cutbacks are made in an effort to finally resolve the crisis with our international debt. these cutbacks then force agencies to find other means of funding. which ultimately comes from the citizens. this is the moment the governement fails to exist to represent the people. we were here once before.

i don't condone poaching in any way, but i am concerned about what's happening to the game departments in our country. the prospect of losing hunting oppertunities is nearly endless. we have more people that want to hunt than we have game. this is because we (americans) were poor stewards of the land, not because a few jerkoffs poach around 2-3% of the game harvested each year.

there are places where wildlife trade is getting out of controll, i frequently read stories in the news about india and west africa having huge problems in the trade of wildlife parts and pieces. we just recently discussed in another thread about rhino horn trading going on in asia. having a commercial value put on wildlife is the surest way to exterpate the species from the planet.

there are a few organizations out there that monitor the types and number of poached game annually. i'm not yet sure what to think about them, maybe somebody else is more familar with them?

hunter25's picture

Here we go again with another

Here we go again with another poaching case making the news. I can't believe how many people are so motivated by the trophy and not just the enjoyment of the hunt itself. They chose to buy an archery tag and then used a rifle just to be successful. The penalty is severe in this case but if it is carried out it will hopefully send a strong message to other game thieves like these guys. How can a man be proud for teaching his son to be like this anyway?

Good job to the state of Oregon for catching these guys and bringing them to justice.