In another egregious case of illegal wildlife killing, a 69-year-old Oregon man has been charged with poaching and wasting at least 12 elk found dead on his property – and perhaps up to 13 more found on a neighboring property.
Earlier in the week officials placed Larry Harshfield, operator of the Harshfield Ranch located in northeastern Oregon, under arrest on 12 counts of taking elk out of season and 12 counts of wasting elk.
The investigation commenced in early February when Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) officials came across the carcasses of 25 dead elk. Of those 25 elk, 12 were located on the Harshfield property with the remaining animals located on a property close by.
So far the Wallowa man has only been charged for 12 of the dead elk but could face charges for the remaining 13, which now lies in the hands of the Wallowa County District Attorney.
While ranchers and farmers in Oregon can apply for either a kill or hazing permit for elk consistently damaging crop, according to ODFW, Harshfield was not interested in skinning and processing the meat as is required with all issued kill permits.
“He did not want to do that,” ODFW assistant district wildlife biologist Mike Hansen told the East Oregonian. “We gave him a haze permit.”
The rancher was, however, granted a haze permit, but unfortunately, these permits do not allow any killing.