The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says the subject had permission to hunt from the landowner
PORTLAND, OR (COINE) — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) says a 66-year-old man who shot and killed a herd of elk in Tillamook County blamed the shooting on “elk fever” when he contacted police.
ODFW reported the shooting on Thursday afternoon, although the incident happened months earlier, in January. The department said the perpetrator killed one elk and seriously injured at least three others while illegally shooting the herd from the road.
Oregon wildlife officials say the man also pointed a gun toward the highway.
On the day of the shooting, OSP Fish & Wildlife Troopers responded to a hotline call and found three injured moose. They later reported that one moose was killed due to injuries, and the attacker had already marked the fourth moose.
The next day, wildlife officials say one of the remaining moose likely drowned after rushing into the Nehalem River. Also, the military had to put down another mortally wounded bull. The animals were donated to local tribes and the prison.
The suspect claimed he had a hunting permit from the property owner, who later told officials he saw the suspect put on the carcass before leaving.
“The guy got out, stopped by the road and started shooting,” the landowner, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told ODFW. “I told another hunter, he said the guy shouldn’t have left. He should have called the state police and turned himself in.”
The landowner called the offender and told him to contact ODFW. When he did, wildlife officials say the man became remorseful and blamed his actions on “moose fever.”
The identity of the suspect has not been released during the investigation. He was charged with shooting from a roadway, unlawfully taking or possessing an antlerless elk, and unlawfully taking or possessing a bull elk.