Home USA News Deer, trophy elk taken in Oregon south of Tri-Cities, Washington

Deer, trophy elk taken in Oregon south of Tri-Cities, Washington


A Pendleton, Ore. man has been charged with illegally killing 13 elk and deer, one of which was a trophy bull elk, in Umatilla County is across the state line from the Tri Cities.

Walker Dean Erickson, 28, is charged with 22 counts, including embezzlement of game meat, trespassing, tampering with evidence and hunting from a vehicle.

In a related case, Hunter Paul Wagner, 23, of Pilot Rock, Oregon, was charged with aiding and abetting the illegal shooting of game.

Oregon State Police began collecting evidence in 2020 after receiving reports of poaching.

That led to a search warrant being served on Pendleton’s home a year ago. Among the confiscated items were three sets of elk antlers, one of them from a trophy animal. Six sets of deer antlers, a rifle, onions and meat were also confiscated.

Erickson is accused of first illegally shooting two cows and three elk over a period of approximately two weeks from December 13 to January 3, 2021.

August and September 2021 saw another alleged illegal hunt without valid tags, including the September 30 shooting of a trophy moose with seven antlers on each side of its head.

A Pendleton, Ore. man has been charged with 22 counts related to alleged poaching in Umatilla County. He is accused of illegally shooting 13 moose and deer, at least one of them a trophy animal. Oregon State Police

Charges related to the beginning of the two months include wasting deer and elk meat on August 4.

Two days later, Erickson was accused of shooting a young bull whose horns were still in velvet.

On Sept. 13, he shot a white-tailed mule deer with 5×4 antlers and a 2×2 deer a week later, according to court documents.

He shot one 5×6 antlered bull that month on Sept. 19, followed by a large trophy elk later in the month, according to court documents.

He is also accused of wasting the meat of a trophy moose and shooting the animal during a criminal trespass on private land.

According to court documents, the land was either farmed or fenced and he did not have a hunting permit.

In December 2021, he tried to hide a 7×7 and 4×4 digital image of bull elk, according to court documents.

The last three charges relate to the shooting of 2×3 and 4×4 roe deer in late 2021. He is accused of hunting from a car at that time.

Wagner was charged with aiding and abetting the illegal shooting of three cow elk, three white-tailed elk and a 4×4 bull elk, with most of the alleged crimes occurring in Umatilla County between mid-December 2020 and early January 2021.

Two of the seven indictments related to a cow and a bull shot in August 2021.

Umatilla County Court Records also reveals that he was convicted earlier this year of illegal fishing charges.

This story was originally published November 30, 2022 at 4:45 p.m.

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Senior Staff Writer Annette Carey covers Hanford, energy, the environment, science and health for the Tri-City Herald. She was a news reporter in the Pacific Northwest for more than 30 years.

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