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Oregon Man Charged in Illegal Slaughter of 25 Elk

Dead elk poached in Oregon. (Oregon State Police, Department of Fish and Wildlife)
Dead elk poached in Oregon. (Oregon State Police, Department of Fish and Wildlife)

After a February search of a ranch near Wallowa, Oregon, Fish and Wildlife officials have filed at least 12 charges of poaching elk out of season on his ranch.

Officials say, according to the East Oregonian, 68-year-old Larry Harshfield allegedly killed 12 elk, and possibly is facing charges for 13 more that were found on an adjoining property.

The East Oregonian says Harshfield approached wildlife officials about an apparent problem with the elk grazing or causing damage and disruptions on his land. Officials say the state can issue either a hazing (scare them off) or kill permit.  ODFW (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife) offered him a hazing permit, but Harshfield didn’t want it. Reports indicate he apparently took matters into his own hands to deal with the elk.

February 11, officials searched the Harshfield Ranch, and found 12 dead animals, and 13 more nearby. The investigation took weeks, and Harshfield was arrested April 8th, the charges being announced this week.

He is not only facing poaching charges, but also wasting elk charges as well. Rules require legal kills to be field dressed and the meat taken to a meat processing facility.

Officials found the 25 carcasses rotting, scattered around the property and the nearby fields.

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