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OR: Man loses hunting license for abandoning bighorn sheep's remains

Man loses hunting license for abandoning bighorn sheep's remains

Posted by Megan Crepeau,
The Oregonian
February 18, 2009 18:14PM

A Gresham-area man has had his hunting license suspended after he killed a bighorn sheep, severed its head and horns, and abandoned its carcass.

Ronald Edward Cecil, 49, pleaded guilty Feb. 12 to waste of wildlife, a misdemeanor.

"When you shoot the animals, you're required to take the meat (so) it doesn't waste the game animals," said Oregon State Police Lt. Patrick Ashmore. "It's a waste of life, whether you're an animal activist or not."

A trooper with the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife first spotted Cecil hiking from the John Day River area carrying the head and horns of a bighorn sheep. Suspicious that Cecil had not taken the meat from the carcass, which is required by law, troopers searched the area and found the partially scavenged body several days later.

An investigation revealed that Cecil had killed the sheep lawfully. He possessed a bighorn sheep tag, which hunters can only apply for once. Oregon's fish and wildlife agency issued fewer than 100 bighorn sheep tags in Oregon.

"It's a very big deal," said Michelle Dennehy, an agency spokeswoman. "People wait a lifetime to get this tag."

Cecil was sentenced to a $1,500 fine and 12 months' probation. His hunting privileges will be suspended for two years. The court also ordered Cecil to turn over the sheep's head and horns.

"These bighorn trophies are really valuable to hunters," Ashmore said. "It's a real prestigious trophy.".

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