By George Plaven

East Oregonian

Wildlife troopers in Eastern Oregon are investigating a string of animal poaching and waste cases that occurred over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division in Baker City is asking the public for help identifying whoever is responsible for shooting and wasting three mule deer, including one buck and two does, that were discovered Nov. 25 on private property off of Hunt Mountain Lane.

Both does were shot, driven over by a vehicle and left to waste, according to OSP. The buck was also shot, had its antlers removed and left to waste. Anyone with information is asked to call the Turn-In-Poachers hotline at 1-800-452-7888 or Sgt. Isaac Cyr at 541-523-5867, ext. 4170.

Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward offered through the Oregon Hunters Association.

Meanwhile in Umatilla County, the OSP Fish and Wildlife Division is following up on another batch of cases involving animals that were dumped and left to waste on Nov. 25. Sgt. Tim Brown said one of the incidents involved two elk carcasses located near the Athena Cemetery, and the second involved two deer carcasses left along East Birch Creek Road near Pilot Rock.

Brown said the animals may have been harvested legally, but dumping and leaving meat to waste are crimes.

“This is kind of a common occurrence toward the end of elk season,” he said.

A small doe was also found Nov. 25 two miles up Government Mountain Road near Milton-Freewater, which had apparently been shot and left to waste the previous evening. Brown said that is most likely a poaching case and is under investigation.

Brown said troopers were busier than normal over the weekend, which he largely attributed to the holiday.

“Obviously, with the holiday weekend we had more people out and about, recreating,” Brown said. “The potential for more violations is there.”