Reward upped to $10,000 in elk-poaching case

    A reward is now up to $10,000 for anyone who helps police nab whoever poached a large Roosevelt bull elk from a private ranch in the Lake Creek area earlier this month.

    Cascade Ranch has increased its portion of the reward from $500 to $4,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who illegally shot the bull on ranch land and then cut off its head and antlers, leaving the body to rot, according to Oregon State Police.

    The Humane Society of the United States earlier pledged $5,000 in the case, and the Oregon Hunters Association's Turn In Poachers Program, or TIP, is also in for $500.

    "That's $10,000 if someone comes forward and gives us the details we need for an arrest and a conviction," says OSP Trooper Josh Nugent, the lead investigator in the case.

    Tipsters have been calling in with possible clues since last week's media reports on the crime and the reward, says Nugent, who declined to say whether any of the leads appear promising.

    No arrests have been made.

    "We're hoping to get more tips and hope people keep calling," Nugent says.

    The elk's body was discovered on Cascade Ranch land Sept. 9 by a ranch security officer, and authorities fear it was the lead bull for the elk herd in that area, according to OSP.

    The carcass had no apparent bullet wound, and there was no blood trail, so troopers were quite sure it was killed where it fell, Nugent says. Also, the animal appeared to be healthy and there was no sign that it otherwise died of an injury or illness, he says.

    Investigators believe the bull was shot at night.

    Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to contact Nugent at 541-727-8055, or the TIP hotline at 1-800-452-7888. Those providing information may be kept anonymous and still qualify for the reward, OSP said.

    Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or Follow him at

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