ASHLAND, Ore. — A Riddle man faces poaching charges after he allegedly shot and killed a buck in an Ashland neighborhood earlier this month, according to Oregon State Police (OSP).
On October 16, an Ashland resident called OSP to report "suspicious hunter activity" within the Ashland city limits, in the 600-block of Thornton Way. The caller reported seeing a man load a deer into a pickup while parked along the street.
"The reporting party approached the male to inquire about the deer but the male then drove off," OSP said. The caller managed to get the license plate number and make of the truck.
When a trooper arrived at the scene, he talked to several neighbors — eventually finding a short trail of blood that lead to a bush up against a nearby home and a row of hedges along the street.
"This evidence along with the reporting party’s observations, showed that the suspected deer may have been shot while bedded down next to a house and loaded into the pickup while parked on the street," OSP said.
OSP troopers soon found the suspect, 38-year-old Dustin McGrorty of Riddle, and interviewed him. According to the agency, "faced with the evidence and resident observations," the hunter admitted to shooting the buck as it was laying in its bed under a large bush up against the house.
"The male stated he shot from inside his vehicle while knowingly parked on a city street in Ashland," OSP said.
The hunter also admitted to dumping the buck and the rifle he used along the Tiller/Trail Highway after the shooting, which a trooper managed to find. The deer was a "trophy class 4x4 buck," OSP said.
Investigators also found a bullet hole in the Ashland home where the hunter's shot exited the buck and went into the house, just above the front door.
McGrorty faces charges for Hunting Prohibited Within City Limits, Unlawful Take/Possession of Buck Deer, Unlawful Use of Weapon, and Criminal Trespass II. He was also warned for Hunting on Public Roadway and Fail to Validate Tag. OSP said that a second, unidentified man will also be charged with Aiding in Wildlife Offense and Criminal Trespass II.
Troopers seized the buck and rifle as evidence, and OSP said that the meat was salvaged and donated to a local charity.