Karma Strikes Alleged Deer Poachers

When it was too tough to yard an allegedly poached blacktail doe up a steep hillside to their truck, a pair of Oregon men tried to move their Toyota away from the edge of the road — but instead the rig rolled backwards, down the hill and onto the deer.

Talk about karma.


The incident began as an investigation into a pickup truck off a steep embankment near Noti, west of Eugene, on Sept. 15, according to the Oregon State Police.

On arrival at the scene, Trooper Marc Boyd went down to truck and discovered a “crushed deer partially sticking out from underneath it.”

It must have seemed odd that a deer just happened to be in the path of the Toyota as it crashed downhill, but it became a little more clear to Boyd when, after a tow truck pulled the truck back to the road, he discovered the doe had been shot.

Further questioning of the truck’s occupants, Zachary Heineman, 21, and Thomas Whittaker, 22, both of nearby Elmira, determined that the pair had been driving around, spotted the doe, stopped and shot at it, OSP alleges.

The deer went downhill from the road so Heineman and Whittaker backed the truck up to the edge, police say.

But unable to pull the deer up the slope, the driver attempted to drive the truck away from the edge of the road when the rig instead “rolled backwards, down the embankment and came to rest on top of the dead deer,” OSP says.

Heineman was cited to appear for Aiding in a Wildlife Violation to wit: Unlawful Take of Doe Deer.  Whittaker was cited to appear for Unlawful Take of Doe Deer to wit: Prohibited Hours, Closed Season.

IN OTHER POACHING NEWS, today IDFG announced that a Genesee, Idaho, “will have a felony record, spend 45 days in jail, lose his hunting privileges, possibly for life, and pay part of a $10,175 civil penalty for his role in poaching a bull moose.”

Mitchell Sisler, 22, of Genesee, was sentenced September 13 on the felony charge of poaching a bull moose off Miller Road near Genesee. Sisler was one of two defendants convicted of the crime. Roy Wallace also of Genesee pleaded guilty earlier this year.

The case began in October 2008 when officers received a tip that someone discovered the head and antlers of the moose hidden under a bridge. The rest of the carcass was discovered a few days later. During the investigation, the officers were able to connect Sisler and Wallace to the moose. Both men pleaded guilty to shooting the moose from the road without a tag and leaving the majority of the meat to waste.

Sisler also was sentenced to five years probation and had his hunting privileges revoked for life. But the court retained jurisdiction over his hunting privileges, which could be reinstated at a later date if warranted. During the revocation, Sisler cannot accompany anyone in the field when hunting.

“There is a heavy price for poaching, and hopefully this sentence will deter others from doing it,” said Idaho Fish and Game District Conservation Officer Barry Cummings of Deary.

Fish and Game encourages anyone who hears about or sees a wildlife crime or suspicious activity to call the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) hot-line of 1-800-632-5999 with detailed information. Rewards are available and callers can remain anonymous.


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