A Creswell, Oregon hunter who shot and killed a trophy bull elk is sentenced to serve five years probation and pay $15,000 in restitution for his act.
The hunter, Jeffrey Clinton poached the elk on Weyerhauser property inside the Cottage Grove region in September, when it had not been legal to hunt that area with a rifle, according to the Lane County District Attorney’s Office.
Mr. Dodge also had his hunting license suspended for three years and will loss even more hunting privileges, unless he’s paid the fine, according to Lane County District Attorney’s Office. He also was required to forfeit the trophy elk and the hunting rifle he used in the poaching to the Oregon State Police.
Jeffrey Clinton Dodge of Creswell was sentenced today for the Unlawful Taking of a Bull Elk on Weyerhauser property (off Mosby Creek Rd. in the Cottage Grove area) on September 5, 2015.
Dodge had permission to be on the land, but shot and killed a trophy bull elk with a rifle during a season hunting elk by rifle was prohibited. Dodge was observed shooting at least twice in the direction of a group of elk by another outdoorsman who was participating in an archery hunt.
The witness took photographs of Dodge and the vehicle he was using, and then immediately contacted the Oregon State Police. Trooper Bachmeier from the Fish and Wildlife Division of OSP responded, and together with other civilian outdoorsman quickly located an 8×7 bull elk which was mortally wounded and suffering. The elk was dispatched at the direction of the trooper, and this investigation commenced. Using the photographs, troopers quickly developed Dodge as a suspect.
A search warrant was executed at his home, with evidence seized. Dodge cooperated with the investigation at that point, and surrendered the .300 Win. Mag rifle he used to shoot the bull elk. Lane County Circuit Court Sr. Judge Douglas Mitchell sentenced Dodge to 5 years probation, $15,000.00 restitution for taking of the trophy bull elk, a 3-year hunting license suspension, and two additional years of lost hunting privileges unless Dodge has paid the $15,000.00 restitution figure to ODF&W in full. Additionally, Judge Mitchell ordered the elk and the rifle forfeited to the Department of Oregon State Police.