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Officials say Oregon poachers rolled truck while attempting to recover doe

September 22, 2010 | 10:42 am

Wildlife poachers seem to be making headlines every day somewhere in the country. These are the worst kind of hunters -- if they can even be labeled hunters. They steal resources belonging to others, with potentially damaging consequences, and they tarnish the image of legitimate hunters and conservationists.

Thus, Outposts has developed a habit of publicizing poaching cases, and rather enjoying it when these scofflaws are busted because of stupidity on their part.

Two Oregon men can be added to this category after allegedly shooting a deer out of season then accidentally rolling their truck down an embankment and atop the dead animal while attempting to load their illegal cargo. 

IPDeeded.deer Zachary Heineman, 21, and Thomas Whittaker, 22, both of Elmera, were cited after Oregon State Police responded to a report of a non-injury crash  along a logging road on Sept. 15.

The Register-Guard reports that when State Police Fish & Wildlife Division Trooper Marc Boyd climbed down the embankment to inspect the damaged pickup truck, he saw a crushed deer partially sticking out from beneath it. After the vehicle was towed back up to the road, Boyd inspected the deer carcass and saw it had been shot.

According to a State Police news release issued Tuesday, the men were driving in the area when they spotted the deer, stopped their vehicle and shot the animal, which disappeared down the embankment. Officials said Heineman then backed the pickup to the edge of the road and that the pair went down the embankment to try to retrieve their kill.

Unable to pull the dead doe up the embankment, Heineman tried to drive the pickup from the roadway edge and onto the road when it rolled backward and tumbled down the slope, coming to rest atop the dead animal.

Whittaker was cited for unlawful take of a doe deer during prohibited hours and a closed season; Heineman was cited for aiding in a wildlife violation.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: The pickup after it had rolled down the embankment. Credit: Oregon State Police