Police identify suspected poacher
The East Oregonian
Oregon State Police investigators have identified a second poacher allegedly involved in the illegal killing of five mule deer near Cold Springs National Wildlife Refuge in early November.
On Nov. 7, employees of Royal Columbia Farms near Hermiston discovered signs of illegal hunting when they arrived at work. Troopers found the dead mule deer, including two mature four-point bucks, a forked horn buck and a yearling doe, left to waste.
A neighbor reported hearing shots a about 1 a.m. The farm property is adjacent to the wildlife refuge.
OSP charged Christopher Nino, 20, of Hermiston, Wednesday with two counts of helping kill the five deer during a closed season. Nino also allegedly aided in waste of a big game mammal, hunted with artificial light and was also charged with criminal trespass and criminal mischief in the first degree.
The charges came as a result of an OSP Fish and Wildlife Division investigation.
Police earlier charged another Hermiston man, Christopher Allred, 23, with numerous wildlife crimes along with damage to agricultural lands. Allred will face five counts of taking deer during a closed season, five counts of wasting game mammals, hunting with aid of an artificial light, criminal mischief in the first degree, criminal trespass and offensive littering.
Senior Trooper Tim Gallaher described the crimes as "a random killing and senseless waste of several animals that is an example of the most serious type of wildlife crimes that we investigate."
Along with the five deer, the two men also allegedly killed a porcupine.
Investigators analyzed forensic evidence found at the scene and fielded numerous calls from citizens who provided helpful information.