Oregon bull hunters were caught after posting on social media

Three people are facing huge fines, long probation conditions and years of hunting bans after a photo on social media linked them to the hunting of a trophy bull in northern Oregon. The photo, which shows the giant bull placed in a utility trailer, started circulating on social media in early November 2021. It was then that an anonymous hunter texted the suspicious image of an employee of the Fish and Animal Division of Oregon State Police Wild.

“It was a big deer in that trailer,” senior executive Brent Ocheskey said in a press release issued by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). “Lunch is a big animal [that’s] it is not easy to pack without scratching and splitting it. “That, in itself, was suspicious, especially in our patrol area.”

deer in the trailer
This is the picture that aroused the interest of ODFW. ODFW

According to ODFW, Ochesky made some excavations when he saw the photo and came up with a suspect named Lionardo Munoz. When visiting Munoz at his home in Mosier, Oregon, Ochesky found that the man had a deer head with the impressive set of horns featured in the photo. Munoz told Ochesky that the bull belonged to a friend of his named Matt Wilkinson. Wilkinson, who was present at Munoz’s residence at the time of the interrogation, said his wife had shot him on a high-altitude piece of public land in the Santiam unit of Oregon. In fact, Wilkinson even told Ocheskys the exact point where his wife allegedly shot the big bull. Unbeknownst to him, the crossing pointed to a spot inside the Bull Run watershed that is off-limits to deer hunting.

Trooper Ochesky, an experienced hunter, also knew that the area shown from the point of the road was covered with fresh snow at the time, which Wilkinson had denied he had encountered in his attempts to attract the animal. Furthermore, the photograph did not provide any indication of the high-altitude surrounding terrain. Through further investigation, it became clear that Munoz had in fact shot the bull in an orchard near his home in Mosier. After shooting the deer, Munoz sought Wilkinson’s help to load the corpse into his cargo trailer. Because Munoz had only one deer label, and Wilkinson had no label at all, they decided to use a label held by Wilkinson’s wife, Rachel Hallett, in order to insert the bull into a local processor.

Hallet had improperly labeled a deer

With the bull deer counted, Trooper Ochesky and colleagues returned their review to Rachel Hallett. According to ODFW records, Hallet had also tagged a deer in the Santiam Unit about a month ago, but that tag lacked a date or a time stamp. Ochesky drove to Hallet and Wilkinson’s home to investigate the deer. The couple reluctantly admitted that Hallett had shot the deer in an orchard near their home and not in the nature of the Santiam Unit. During that visit, the soldiers confiscated three more skulls that Wilkinson claimed he had found, along with all the meat from the mislabeled Hallett dollar.

“Regardless of design, negligence or forgetfulness, sometimes people do not care what label they have,” Ocheskey said. “But then they get into the weeds trying to cover their tracks instead of reporting their mistake. Or, they are deliberately deceitful. They borrow and borrow labels. And that’s what puts people in trouble. “

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For illegal hunting of trophy bull deer, Munoz was fined $ 15,000, given a three-year suspension with a hunting license, and given 12 months probation on the bench. For lying to wildlife bodies, Wilkinson was fined $ 1,000, given a five-year suspension of his hunting license, and given 40 hours of community service and 12 months of bench testing. Hallett pleaded guilty to “Buck Deer Taking Illegally”. She received a three-year suspension with a hunting license, 12 months probation on the bench and 40 hours of community service. Meanwhile, the hunter who scored the image of the illegally shot bull for Trooper Ochesky was recently awarded five points of preference by ODFW.

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