A Wallowa County man is suspected of poaching and wasting at least a dozen elk on his property — and perhaps 13 more found dead on adjoining land.
Larry Harshfield, 69, was arrested April 8 and charged with 12 counts of taking elk out of season and 12 counts of wasting elk.
The charges stem from a Feb. 11 search of the Harshfield Ranch, located in the city of Wallowa. During the search, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife troopers located 25 dead elk, 12 of which were located on Harshfield’s property and 13 others were nearby.
The elk carcasses appeared not to have had any attempt to salvage meat from them, according to ODFW.
Harshfield was charged with poaching the 12 elk on his property and was lodged at the Wallowa County Jail. Additional charges for the 13 dead elk on the adjoining property will be referred to the Wallowa County District Attorney for consideration.
Mike Hansen, assistant district wildlife biologist for ODFW, said that the department can issue a kill permit or a hazing permit for elk that cause consistent damage to a farmer’s crops. Hansen said Harshfield had contacted ODFW about the permits. The kill permit requires the farmer to field dress and skin the animal and take it to a meat processing facility.
“He did not want to do that,” Hansen said. “We gave him a haze permit.”
A haze permit does not allow for any killing of elk.