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November 10, 2009

Reward Issued in Lane County, Ore. Deer Poaching Case

The Humane Society of the United States

The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust granted a $2,500 reward to a confidential informant who provided a tip leading to the citation of a man for illegally killing a buck deer in Creswell, Ore. A second man was also cited for helping to butcher the deer.

According to the Oregon State Police, the male deer was killed on or about July 12, 2009. The animal's head was cut from the carcass, which was dumped at the end of Idyllwild Road in Creswell. Cody James Esselburn claimed to have struck the animal with his pickup truck and admitted that the animal did not have any major, detectable injuries after the collision. The investigating trooper noted that there was no significant bruising on the deer's hide as is generally seen when a deer is struck by a vehicle. Esselburn explained that while the deer was dazed, he removed a .22 caliber rifle from his vehicle and shot the animal in the head.

Trooper Marc Boyd of the Oregon State Police, lead investigator on the case, said, "The assistance and cooperation the Oregon State Police receives from agencies such as The HSUS help tremendously in apprehending offenders in cases such as this. It is very important that people step forward to report illegal hunting and fishing violations."

"Poaching is a serious crime that all too often goes unpunished, and we thank Trooper Boyd and enforcement authorities for doggedly pursuing a resolution," said Andrew Page, director of the Wildlife Abuse campaign for The Humane Society of the United States. "The issuance of this reward is a signal to poachers to think twice before callously robbing Oregon's citizens of valued wildlife."

Esselburn was cited with unlawful take of a buck deer in closed season and placing an offensive substance on another's property. Lane County Circuit Court ordered him to pay about $3,000 in fines and restitution. For assisting in the butchering of the deer, Lukas Joseph Case was cited with aiding in a wildlife violation (unlawful take of deer and possession of deer parts). The court ordered Case to pay about $2,000 in fines and restitution. 

As part of the restitution, each violator must repay half of the $2,500 reward for information on the case offered by The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust.

Anyone with a tip related to an Oregon poaching case may call theTurn in Poacher (TIP) line at (800) 452-7888.

The HSUS works to stop wildlife abuse and animal cruelty across the country. Visit humanesociety.org/wildlifeabuse for more information.

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.

Since 1993 the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, alone or in partnership with other conservation groups, has participated in the protection of more than 1.8 million acres of wildlife habitat in 37 states and seven foreign countries. On all properties owned by the Trust or protected by the Trust's conservation easement, both here and abroad, we prohibit recreational and commercial hunting and trapping and restrict logging and development. The Trust's commitment to these principles will never change as we continue to assist caring landowners to make their property permanent, safe homes for wildlife. Join our online community at wildlifelandtrust.org.

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