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Huge Oregon Poaching Ring Nets 23 Arrests – Biggest in State History

Dead poached elk seized from illegal Oregon hunting operation
Dead poached elk seized from illegal Oregon hunting operation (Oregon Fish and Wildlife)

A Bend, OR man is facing multiple charges, thousands in fines and a permanent hunting ban after leading numerous illegal hunting expeditions, and shooting elk and buffalo.

Oregon wildlife officials began the investigation after receiving an anonymous tip in October 2012 about alleged illegal hunting activities taking place in Wheeler County.

The tip led to Oregon Fish and Wildlife officials checking the hunting guide activities of 43-year-old Alan Roy Aronson.   The investigation led to allegations he was leading illegal hunting guide parties, and illegally hunting elk – often on ranches and property without the owner’s consent.

According to  Fish and Wildlife officials:

“Information indicated ARONSON was performing guided fee hunts, to hunters on private lands, whether or not they had valid hunting licenses or tags. Between 2010 and 2012, hunters accompanying ARONSON killed dozens of elk, including several large trophy elk that were shot and killed by persons without valid tags, and at least 9 buffalo from a neighboring ranch without the ranch owner’s consent.”


Officials also learned he was not a licensed guide in the state of Oregon.  Authorities also said Wednesday:

“Search warrants were served at two different locations tied to the ARONSON’s in Deschutes and Wheeler County. Subsequent to searching the properties, evidence seized included documents, a computer, untagged trophy elk and deer mounts, vehicles, a rifle, and three freshly skinned buffalo hides. “

Arrest warrants were served on both Aronson and his wife, 34-year-old Emily Aronson, who was accused of illegally shooting a 6×7 bull elk.   Alan Aronson is facing five charges, including two felonies,  fines and restitution totaling over $152,000, 30 days in jail, and has been forced to forfeit a truck used in the illegal hunting.  He’s also been banned from hunting in Oregon for life. Emily Aronson is facing misdemeanor charges and a $15,000 plus fine for her role in the ring.  Emily plead no contest to her charges.

In addition, 23 other people who participated in the hunting-guide parties have been hit with a variety of charges and fines.

Officials say it’s one of, if not the largest, hunting-poaching ring in state history.

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